Interview with White Glo Dentist – Dr Georgios V. Sotiropoulo

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Dec 05
Tom Peterson
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What do you believe to be the percentage of people currently with tooth decay as a result of poor oral hygiene?


It is difficult to estimate as there are no adult figures available, but one recent study has shown that approximately half of Australian 5 year olds have had or presently have tooth decay. In fact dental work due to tooth decay is now the most common reason for hospital admission and general anesthesia for Australian children. We also know that children's habits are mostly learned from their parents. Also, children who develop tooth decay in their deciduous [baby] teeth ,are likely to suffer the same problems in their adult teeth because these poor oral hygiene habits tend to remain into their adult years. Therefore it is likely that there is a significant number of people of all ages,not just Australian children who currently have tooth decay due to poor oral hygiene.


Do people take enough care in ensuring great oral health?


Given the present rising trends in children's decay rates which had previously been falling in the 1970's and 1980's, and the strong link between children's and adult decay experiences, you would be inclined to say that people are not taking enough care in ensuring great oral health.


What is the correct technique to ensure thorough brushing?


The best technique is by using a soft and fairly compact head tooth brush, aiming it at a slight angle to where the tooth and gum meet, and with the use of a gentle circular massaging action clean the tooth and gum line carefully at both the front and back surfaces of the teeth. The biting surfaces of the back teeth can be brushed with a forward and back  movement. Spend at least a few minutes and think about what you are doing to ensure that no areas are being missed.

How important is the state of your toothbrush and how often should it be changed?


It is really important to change your brush at least every 2 months. The brush is designed to work with its bristles quite straight as they appear when the brush is new. If your brush's bristles are flattening out and getting curved and resemble the 'shaggy dog' look, you should change your brush as it will no longer clean effectively.


What are some of the more serious implications of poor oral health?


Poor Oral health is associated with quite serious medical problems such as Heart Disease, Strokes, Diabetes, and in pregnant women it can lead to lower birth weight and premature babies. The social and psychological effects of unsightly, painful ,discoloured teeth and bad breath can also be quite a serious problem for many people.


Aside from regular check-ups, what are some other tips for maintaining oral health?


Prevention is better than cure. Brush carefully morning and night using a fluoride containing toothpaste and a good toothbrush. Eat healthily, including good amounts of dairy, vegetables, fruit, nuts ,grains and red meat [iron deficiency can lead to some gum problems].Drink plenty of tap water. Avoid sugary snacks and drinks such as soft drinks, juices, and sports drinks which can really destroy tooth enamel. Do not smoke, it is extremely damaging to oral and general health. Limit alcohol consumption and try to not snack in-between meals.

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