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No more tooth decay: Maintaining good oral health

No more tooth decay: Maintaining good oral health

Earlier this year, the Department of Health raised the alarm for our country’s silent epidemic which is tooth decay. According to the 2018 National Health Survey, more than 73 million Filipinos suffer from this serious health concern.

Ma. Cecilia A. Hiyao, DMD, General Dentist practicing Orthodontics and Cosmetic Dentistry from MCH Dental Clinic answers some of the most commonly asked questions about maintaining good oral health.

Question 1: When one says oral health, what parts of the body comprise the area to looked into?

Dr. Hiyao: Oral health refers to the health of the teeth, gums, lips and the entire oral-facial system that allows us to smile, speak, and chew.

Question 2: What is the difference between Orthodontics and Cosmetic Dentistry?

Orthodontics focuses on the alignment of misaligned teeth and correction of bite while Cosmetic Dentistry focusses on the aesthetics or the appearance of the teeth like the shape, color, position and overall smile appearance.

Question 3: Are teeth supposed to be really white in color?

Dr. Hiyao: Our teeth are made up of different layers. The transparent and hardest outer covering of our teeth is the Enamel. Next is the Dentin which is softer than Enamel and has a slightly yellowish color. The innermost layer is the Pulp which consists of nerves and blood vessels. The root of the tooth and is located beneath the gums is the Cementum. With this, the answer is no, since the enamel is translucent, it reflects the yellowish layer of the Dentin.

Question 4: How many times should one brush his/her teeth?

Dr. Hiyao: At least twice a day.

Question 5: Do toothpaste flavors increase its effectiveness to clean teeth?

Dr. Hiyao: Yes. Toothpaste flavoring provides encouragement for both adult and children to brush their teeth, where it is proven to help increase brushing times. When a specific toothpaste tastes good, both adults and children will tend to brush longer. In that case, it helps to prevent tartar formation and maintains good oral hygiene. Take note, one may use whatever toothpaste he/she chooses but make sure it has 1,500 ppm fluoride to ensure protection of the teeth.

Question 6: Does one need to use mouthwash?

Dr. Hiyao: Yes. Even though we advise that after brushing one’s teeth one should not need gargle any mouthwash and just spit, its still necessary to use mouthwash as an alternative way of preventing bad breath. Like during break time and and one forgets his/her toothbrush, gargling with mouthwash can be done to get rid of all food remnants in the mouth, and to also prevent tartar formation.

Question 7: Does one need to use dental floss?

Dr. Hiyao: Yes. One needs to floss at least once a day to remove the remaining food in between the teeth. This is commonly neglected by the patients. If not, there will be a high risk of formation of caries [cavities or decay] in between the teeth that may spread later on to the entire teeth.

Question 8: When should a toothbrush be replaced?

Dr. Hiyao: Replacement should be done every three months, or if one feels the bristles are already spread out and doesn’t brush one’s teeth properly. This is recommended to ensure that the bristles are still effective and that bacteria accumulation on the toothbrush is minimal.

Question 9: How early should parents and/or guardians send their children to the dentist?

Dr. Hiyao: It is recommended that children should start visiting the dentist from the moment the first tooth comes out or at least at six months of age. A dental home should also be developed, which is an ongoing relationship between the dentist, the patients and their parents and/or guardians. They should be educated about the proper way of taking good care of their children’s teeth in order to prevent problems in the future.

Question 10: How often should one visit his/her dentist?

Dr. Hiyao: At least twice a year or every six months.

Dr. Ma. Cecilia A. Hiyao is a Member of the Antipolo Dental Chapter. Her clinic, MCH Dental Clinic, is located along J. Sumulong Extension, across ICCT Colleges in Antipolo City. It is open from Monday to Sunday, 9:00AM to 6:00PM.

For more questions about maintaining good oral health, message us, or like and follow Dr. Hiyao’s official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100093950446356


About The Author

Raymund Ravanera is an accomplished and experienced graphic designer with almost 20 years of creative expertise working in the graphic design industry. He loves the latest gadgets, food and movies. Currently, he owns and manages megabites.com.ph, an online technology and lifestyle blog since 2015.

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