Even though in today’s world there are so many kinds of tooth brushes, all sorts of different brands and you can find them almost anywhere from the supermarket to the drugstore. Wherever you go there are toothbrushes, dental floss, and mouthwashes with or without alcohol, with or without clorhexidine. Also machines that throw pressured water to clean your teeth, dental flosses that are braided and not braided, brushes for your tongue, brushes for dentures, so much stuff…
Now it seems to me that cleanliness of the mouth is a special subject being that it is often the last thing we worry about. Now hair, that’s another story. You want your hair impeccable at all times and you even go to the beauty salon or the barber for this purpose. If it was your body you put on creams and lotions and even get a sun tan to look good. But what about the mouth? Cleanliness of the mouth is more complicated. One of my greatest complaints is that IF folks remember, they brush their teeth… IF they remember, they might go to the dentist.
Maybe when you were a kid you remembered because your parents told you to brush your teeth or maybe they checked your teeth at school sometimes or there was a campaign of some sort or whatever. But you get older and you adopt an attitude of “If they don’t hurt, I don’t care”. So this “If they don’t bother me, I won’t get checked” factor is something that really affects us negatively along with being fearful and bad eating habits.
Our eating habits really do make a difference also. So for over 12 hours you have no food in your mouth, then on top of that you smoke, or you chew gum… Things are not like they used to be where people ate meals at a certain time on a regular basis, plus there is a lot of stress, and then there is work etc., and in the end dental hygiene is ignored. Sometimes you get home so tired the first thing you forget to do is to brush your teeth.
You may eat something, and then you forget to brush for hours and hours, so the plaque and tartar begin to form etc. So by the time you go to the dentist you are like “What, I have tartar and plaque? Why are my teeth yellow? How come if I only smoke 1 or 2 packs a day my teeth are stained and besides I just got my teeth cleaned 2 months ago?” Dental hygiene habits can be peculiar, that’s one of the reasons why I highly recommend to other doctors that they emphasize to their patients that if they don’t cooperate and do their part, there is nothing that the doctor can do for them. Whether you are a dentist in USA or a dentist in Cancun, you agree to fix their mouth but they as patients have to take care of maintaining it and servicing it. What is the service? Well in a sense both the patient and the doctor are supervisors, with each patient it is a team work effort where the patient participates in half the story and the doctor in the other half. Personally it bothers me when I work on someone’s mouth and leave it beautiful, magnificent, intact, impeccable and then they come back 1 or 2 years later and say “Well, I never went to the dentist, I didn’t want to, or I didn’t have time, or couldn’t afford it.” But now they have plaque and tartar build ups or even periodontal pockets. There are many such problems related to lack of hygiene. Well, I do hope that this may have been of some help to my fellow dentists and that they will work on teaching this to their patients besides their diagnostic… Thank you!