But I brush my teeth twice everyday….

But I brush my teeth twice everyday….

by | 5 May, 2016 | Blog, Children, Oral hygiene

One of the most frustrating things for my patients is that they continued to have bleeding gum and tooth decay for many years despite doing the right thing and cleaning their teeth religiously. Sometimes it can feel helpless, like there’s nothing that can be done. But when I looked into patients’ mouths, I can almost always see plaque or film of bacteria around the gum. So why is that?

Most people know that bacteria around the gum causes gum diseases which are presented as bleeding gum or swollen gum. By brushing off this soft film, the gum can stay healthy and firm, but it’s not always easy to do so. It’s kind of like sweeping the floor of your living room. The dirtiest place is always the corner or near the skirting board. Unless you get the broom right in there, the dust will continue to accumulate. In the mouth, this “corner” is around the gum and in between the teeth. In my previous blogs, I talked about toothbrush (Click here) and put up a video on the correct brushing technique (Click here). By changing how you brush your teeth, it can have a significant impact on the health of your gum and teeth.

That’s great …but, how would you know that you did a good job? One of the things I tried with my patients is disclosing gel which stains the bacteria to the colours of blue, purple and red. To simplify things, the blue ones are the worst because they are bacteria that have been sitting there for more than 2 days! The colours gave a very visual and honest feedback of how well you are cleaning your teeth.

Now, this gel is not commercially available but there’s a good alternative which is a disclosing tablet by Colgate (Disclotabs). It only stains the bacteria red but that is good enough. I often tell parents that this is a great way to motivate children to clean their teeth as they are often too embarrassed to go to school with red pigmentation on their teeth so they’ll brush their teeth very well. By doing this once a week over a period of time, it’ll help encourage a good cleaning habit for children. Of course adults can use these tablets too! So why not give it a try and see how well you’re cleaning . What you see may surprise you.

To your healthy smile
Dr Supa