Friday 21 February, 2020

New year, same teeth: How’s your Jamaican smile?

With Dr Dayna Mitchell

Jamaica, our country is filled with tremendous talent and hope. It is home to the fastest sprinters, the most beautiful beaches, and the greatest music of all time, reggae. 

It is also filled with wonderful, warm smiles - that Jamaican smile that spreads across the Caribbean. We love to SMILE.

The reality, however, is that in the midst of all of these tremendous attributes the country has, there exists the immediate need to focus on the development of oral health care, that often times is neglected. Poor oral health care can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, predispose one to heart disease and stroke and negatively impact a child’s or an adult’s ability to learn, socialize, and enjoy life.

So how healthy is your smile? Let’s go through some easy oral health options to improve your Jamaican smile for 2020. 

 

BRUSH, FLOSS, RINSE - REPEAT 

- BRUSH twice daily (bye bye bacteria, hello fresh breath!) Brush for a minimum of two minutes, twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste. Brushing promotes healthier teeth, good breath and fewer cavities, and is also critical towards avoiding painful dental problems. Your brushing technique is also important - use a soft bristle toothbrush and move the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to help to remove plaque. If you allow the plaque to harden it becomes calculus and increases your risk of gingivitis (early gum disease). Lastly, don’t forget to brush your tongue as the build-up can  lead to bad mouth odor.

- FLOSS twice daily. Flossing helps to remove dental plaque between your teeth. Use the tape floss and say no to plackers. With plackers having the same end, you are removing the bacteria from one surface of your teeth and simply transferring it to another section, while with the tape floss, you have the option to start with a clean strip of floss each time.

- RINSE using an alcohol free mouthwash. 

 

OTHER TIPS:

- Chew sugarless gum. 

- Eat a healthy diet. 

- Drink fluoridated water (no-stress, we already have this in Jamaica)

- Quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake 

- See your dentist twice a year for your professional cleaning and check - ups

Are you willing to make a change with your oral health for 2020?

Dr Dayna Mitchell is the principal of Pure Smiles. You can contact her at (876) 667-1694 or hi@puresmilesja.com.

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