On World Oral Health Day on March 20, haven spoke to dental hygienist Sarah Holslag from Maven Dental about preventive dentistry, to help keep you and your family smiling brighter.

“Preventive dentistry” might sound technical but it is simply the practice of caring for your teeth and gums to keep them healthy. We all know that daily brushing and regular dental cleanings can help to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear and more but, on a larger scale, did you know that good oral health is vital for kids and adults? Poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, strokes, preterm pregnancy and a higher risk of diabetes.

Maven Dental dental hygienist Sarah Holslag says regular visits to the dentist is the key to good oral health.

“Our philosophy is that visits should start as soon as teeth start to develop in childhood,” Sarah says. “It gets children familiar with the environment, dentists and their instruments. This takes the fear out of going to the dentist.”

Dentistry is moving its focus towards preserving tooth structure and preventing future problems. This has seen a suite of new products created for dentists to minimise tooth decay for their patients.

“Dental visits and preventive dentistry are not about getting your teeth ‘fixed’, but rather keeping them for life,” Sarah says.

Tips for teaching your kids good dental hygiene:

  1. Get children attending visits to the dentist early.
  2. Make brushing their teeth fun. This can include bubbles, music or just pulling faces in the mirror with them.
  3. Make tooth brushing a positive experience. Compliment children for doing a good job or for brushing their teeth for the ‘right’ amount of time. Sarah recommends brushing for two minutes.

Further risk prevention
Sarah says those who participate in sporting activities should wear a mouth guard to prevent injuring their teeth. Serious dental injuries from sport can be difficult to treat so prevention is the best method to protect your smile.

Also, busy lifestyles full of stress can lead to gum disease due to the higher production of inflammatory cells in the blood stream. Stress also lowers your immune system creating an even stronger link to gum disease. Beyond this, the busier we get the less emphasis people put on their oral health.

A dental hygienist plays a critical role in the delivery of oral health services. They work as a part of a dental team to help patients with the prevention of dental disease and promotion of oral health. The role is about providing high quality oral health services alongside dentists as much as it is about educating patients to undertake preventive dentistry measures.

Visit www.mavendental.com.au
Words // Nicolas Grech



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