Sunday, March 1, 2009

the missing link

a patient asked me once:

why do we still have calculus and still need scaling like 6 monthly; whereas we brush our teeth at least two, maybe three times a day?

the concept that we have to grasp is the fact that brushing will only clean the surface of our teeth, and not in between; and calculus will first appear in between the teeth and usually nearby our salivary gland.

so, brushing alone is not enough?

no way near enough. granted, it removes almost all plaques. but almost is still not all. that small amount of plaque is all it takes to form those brownish blackish unsightly karang gigi that we often mistook as part of our teeth. mind you, calculus IS the frontrunner cause of smelly mouth.

really? calculus really cause foul mouth? (no pun intended)

what do you expect? those plaque are actually remnants of what we eat. imagine leaving lebihan kuah satay on your plate for 6 months. how stinky do you think it become?

what do i do then?

flossing!!!! the one thing that we always think as leceh and malas nak buat. (why is it that the things that we wouldn't like to do most is the thing that is most important?)

so if i floss everyday i wont need scaling?

hard to say. depends on how effective your flossing and toothbrushing technique is. if you do both correctly, you may only need scaling once in a few years, and your mouth smells like blossom. hence the mandatory annual dental check up. your dentist can tell you whether this year you need the treatment or not. (you simply cannot run from them, dont you? :-p)

but i use mouth gargle everyday! for all my life!

flossing is still the missing link. gargle is simply not enough. i would suggest you use mouthrinse as your daily need to freshen up after meal or after your long meditation in front of your notebook. but flossing should always accompany brushing. think of flossing as butter to your bread, or petrol to your car.

last but not least, happy flossing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

salam doc.
saya duduk di kuantan dan baru mencabut gigi taring kanan saya 2 hari lepas. rasa menyesal pun ada sbb ms doc ckp gigi saya dah mati trus saya amik keputusan nak cabut tanpa fikir panjang. skrg ini saya rasa sangat tidak selesa. apekah yg saya harus lakukan kerana semua rawatan gigi yg saya tengok, semuanya agak mahal dan saya kurang berkemampuan. tolong bantu saya doc... email di