Say Ahhhhh!

Hygene is a big deal! It always boggles us when people neglect it… after all, cleanliness is close to godliness… right? So ask yourself, do you wash daily? You know, get wet, use some soap and scrub yourself? Bet you do. Do you brush your hair? Pretty sure the chances are high that you do that. Would you go one day without doing this? Probably not. So why is it people so often neglect dental hygiene? A very good question to which we don’t know the answer.

What we do know is that neglecting one’s dental hygiene is seriously bad for your health. There are very few places on the human body that can harbour so much harmful bacteria — it is important, more than, ever that it is kept in check. Compounding the problem with the average person’s dental healthy is the modern western diet.

The war on terror isn’t a patch on the war on sugar — we can tell you from experience. Dentist fight an increasingly losing battle with the food industry, who insist on adding sugar to practically everything we eat. Sugar, once broken down by saliva and left in a mouth to fester turns into enamels worst enemy. Put simply, the acidic by-product is to teeth as sulfuric acid is to… well… everything.

Dentists will always encourage the brushing of teeth at least twice daily… but now we are increasingly becoming more proactive in how we help people. Education is the key! It starts with our schools and children.

In recent years, there has been much progress in the education system’s attitude to harmful foods — aka sweets. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a school that will permit a child to enter with a chocolate bar or packet of crisps, let alone allow them to eat them. Things are looking slightly better for the up and coming generation of consumers… but we’re not out of the woods yet.

diets high in fruit also pose a viable risk to peoples’ oral health. With the advent of genetically modified crops, some apples, for example, have been bred to be exceptionally sweet. Obviously this is due to a higher sugar content than their contemporaries. The issue is compounded with a recent fixation on trendy diets and the thought of leading a ‘healthy’ lifestyle.

What can be done? What indeed. We think the key remains education… but there needs to be reciprocation from the food producers and vendors. Media will also play an important role as these are highly influential in society. Lest we forget, dentists will remain the front line of defence for oral hygiene as regular check-ups will be at the forefront of preventative action.

Another plus is innovations in household products like toothpaste. Once upon a time, mouthwash was a painful experience. Now, a whole range of products bring with them pleasant experiences… there are even products for children! Toothbrushes continue to develop — oral innovation at its absolute best. Toothpaste is leaps and bounds better than it was a few years ago.