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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Teeth Cleaning – Anywhere, Anytime

Dr. Vincent Wan


With Dental Health Week 2017 challenging us to clean our teeth anywhere, anytime, just how do we actually do this?  Most of us have morning and night time under control so it is mainly during the day which is the major problem.

It is not unrealistic to carry a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with us everywhere we go.  The contents of woman’s handbag is known for having all incidents covered, so why not oral hygiene?  There are very compact oral hygiene kits available much like the fold out toothbrush that used to be given out on long haul flights.  Even males without a bag could stash this in a pocket, but bags for both males and females are very common accessory items these days so this may not even be an issue.  Leaving an oral hygiene pack at work is also very common now, with many of my patients telling me that they do this.

Excusing yourself to go to the bathroom to clean your teeth should not be viewed of as an over-the-top thing.  Many people care enough to check their teeth after eating for something that may be stuck and embarrass them when they talk or smile.  Cleaning the teeth is just a simple extension of checking the teeth for something stuck and makes sure there us definitely nothing on the teeth and gums that may give you that awkward look from someone.

Brushing your teeth during the day may not even be necessary if you already do it morning and night.  Most modern fluoridated toothpastes claim to give you 12 hour protection against oral bacteria.   Having plenty of water to dilute acidic and teeth-staining food and drink after lunch will help.  Chewing sugar-free gum for a few minutes after eating and drinking will not only freshen the breath, but also help remove food particles and stimulate saliva to protect the teeth from acid and bacteria.