Saturday, August 27, 2011


I visited my uncle's surgery this afternoon because my mom needed some dental work. I figured while I was there I might as well do my supposedly biannual check up. The advice is to have a dental check up every six months. However, the last time I sat on a dental chair was, I think, 3 years ago. Yes, I should've known better.

My uncle said my teeth are white and clean. Yay!

Apparently my saliva has low minerals therefore there are no plaque even after 3 years. That, and I do clean my teeth very well even though I dont use electric toothbrush, almost never floss and never use plaque disclosing tablet (ever since I moved back here).

I've noticed that a lot of Indonesians have halitosis because they dont take proper care of their teeth.

We need to brush our teeth at least twice a day using toothpaste with fluoride. The most important time to brush our teeth is before we go to bed to prevent tooth decay. We also need to remember not to brush our teeth directly after any meal. After a (sugary) meal our teeth environment is very acidic which weaken our enamel. If we brush our teeth straight after eating, our weaken enamel parts can be brushed away. Therefore, we need to wait about an hour after any meal before we clean our teeth.

As I stated earlier, I brush my teeth manually with a normal toothbrush. However, if your saliva has high minerals, it might be good to invest in electric tooth brush to make sure that you get all the debris. Clean your teeth for a good two minutes. Every now and then use plaque disclosing tablet to see how clean you brush your teeth. Dont brush your teeth to hard. You might think it is cleaner to brush it that way, but you hurt your gum. Once your gum is receding and your root is showing, you need to have a proper dental/gum work on it. So, remember to brush your teeth with a gentle pressure.

Flossing daily is advisable. I dont do it that often because I have permanent retainers and it's a pain to thread the floss between them unless I use a super floss one that I dont see it often being sold over here. It is said that flossing daily lengthen your life and improving the health of your gum

When you use mouthwash, please make sure you are not using one with alcohol in it. Studies suggest it might increase your risk of getting mouth cancer. Traditionally in Asia people use betel leaves to strengthen their teeth. If you want, you can boil the leaves and use the water as mouthwash as they contain an antiseptic.

I know some of you are afraid of going to a dentist, but you have to do it ideally twice a year. Why do I bother writing about teeth? My father's best friend had heart problem because he ignored his teeth problem. I also know someone who had headaches all the time because he ignored his teeth problem. It amazes me how (some wealthy) Indonesians neglect their teeth hygiene while caring so much about their brands.

Your teeth are important not only for your over all health but also for your image.


Multibrand said...

Our teeth are very important like you said.
A dentist once said that we must always brush our teeth after eating.

triesti said...

@harry yes, but not straight away, wait for about an hour before you brush your teeth to protect your enamel. You can use sugar free gum in between.

colson said...

Though I admit my childhood's experiences with dentists were pretty traumatic, your post is full of sensible words and very sensible advice.

One thing I don't like though. In spite of your advice I guess mouthwash with alcohol is about the only mouthwash which gives pleasure :).

triesti said...

@colson I kind of expected that answer from you :D