Dr Cameron Rolling from Cosmetic Dental explains why flossing can extend your life and how to choose a good dentist before step foot in their clinic.
Are Kiwi men good at taking care of their teeth? If not then why not?
Most Kiwi men probably aren't taking enough care of their teeth. While most people these days are brushing twice a day, many people would agree that they feel they don't floss often enough.
On top of this, Kiwi men need to ensure they are having regular check ups and visits to their hygienist. This means that if any problems do arise, they are dealt to before they become more difficult, complicated or costly.
There's an old wives tale that flossing and regular checkups will extend you life, some say by as much as ten years. Is there any truth to this?
I'm not sure if there is any scientific studies to back this up, but it wouldn't surprise me. Many people would have noticed bleeding from their gums when brushing or flossing. This is a sign of gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. If your gums are inflamed, this equates to a surface area the size of the palm of your hand. This must surely be having a detrimental effect on one's health.
A lot of us put off going to the dentist because we think it's expensive. Are we right or have we missed the boat?
Studies have shown that with regular check ups and regular cleans you will, on average, actually save money over the course of your life. When problems are left for too long, the treatment ends up becoming more difficult, complicated and costly. Often people are unaware that they even have tooth decay until it reaches the inner part of the tooth and requires a root canal to treat.
Can you give us some DIY tips for improving our teeth and keeping trips to the dentist to a minimum?
An annual check up with your dentist is the minimum! Leaving your check up for more than a year will simply allow any potential problems to get worse. The hygienist may want to see you more often however to maintain the health of your gums.
To save having to come in between these visits, make sure you have a new toothbrush (replace these every 3 months, and preferably make it an electric one!) and are regularly flossing. Also make sure you are using a fluoride toothpaste.
Your diet will have a big effect on the health of your teeth - 'grazing' throughout the day or sipping on a sugary drink means your teeth never have a chance to protect themselves with saliva. Chewing sugarfree gum after meals, snacks or sugary drinks stimulates saliva flow which will protect your teeth.
It's so hard to tell if a dentist is any good before you're under their drill. How do we pick a rock solid dentist before we book an appointment?
Dentists in NZ have to perform to a certain standard to be able to practice. All dentists have different working styles, but we all work to the same standard of care. Your best bet is to find someone you feel comfortable around and trust to look at your teeth. We have several patient reviews on Google - have a read through to see what others are saying!
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