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Dawn Woodward: Oral Health Motivation

Every person presents with their own, unique oral health situation in combination with certain factors that could create a barrier to improving their at-home hygiene routines. These might be socio-economic factors such as income, or there may be lifestyle factors such as diet, alcohol abuse, or smoking.

Subjective factors might also keep them away from the practice. They might be dento-phobic – fearful of the dentist – they might not like the clinician; or they might be struggling to find time to fit a practice visit into their busy schedule. For such people, preventive guidance towards a healthy, tailored, at-home oral hygiene regime becomes essential.

Preventive-maintenance appointments with the dental team – from the dentist to the dental therapist or hygienist – should cover key subjects, if there’s the time to discuss them. Would the patient recognise the early signs for gingivitis and understand how it can develop into periodontal disease? Do they know the correct cleaning techniques and the importance of intraoral brushing to remove plaque?

Oral care ingredients are also important for people who prefer natural products. For example, the ‘Perio plus’ range of mouth rinses contain a blend of chlorhexidine together with Citrox® natural bioflavonoids – extracted from bitter oranges.

Alcohol free with a pleasant taste, the powerful natural formula of ‘Perio plus’ helps protects teeth, gums and oral mucosa – the tissues that line the mouth – from plaque regrowth. These innovative products are easy to assimilate into a daily oral-care regime and will help engage people with the ethos of prevention.

The priorities of the healthy

We can learn so much from people when we ask the right question and learn to listen to the answers, not only regarding their concerns and circumstances, but also to identify any gaps in their knowledge. Not everyone understands how deeply oral infection can impact our systemic health – and why some might be more prone to dental disease than others.

There is perhaps a tendency to focus on the most vulnerable age groups; the very old and very young. Infants and children lack the fine motor skills to clean their own teeth properly, and older patients may have problems with dexterity. Effective support for infants and children requires working with parents and carers to establish a good brushing routine, underlining the importance of regular dental visits and explaining why they should limit sugary food and drinks.

But what of those adults who aren’t considered “vulnerable”, who feel they are in very good general health? Spending money and time on dental preventive-maintenance appointments might be a low priority if they don’t have any symptoms or pain to indicate there might be a problem; especially when faced with other financial commitments, from a mortgage to a family.

How can we motivate these people into healthcare habits that can help them retain their teeth for longer, when old age seems a long way off? Particularly now, when large parts of the population are suffering from message fatigue and, thanks to COVID restrictions lifting, might choose to live in the present and enjoy each day without worrying too much about what tomorrow may bring.

Educating these people about the importance of attending the dentist regularly and elevating their at-home hygiene routine will improve the nation’s overall standards of oral and general health. These patients may want to pursue elective cosmetic treatments such as tooth whitening or orthodontics, but they must also appreciate the value of maintaining a clean, hygienic mouth to keep the results stable and looking beautiful for as long as possible.

Building positive patient-practitioner relationships will open the door to motivating those who consider themselves to be in good oral health to continue to prioritise and invest in it, in order to prevent poor future outcomes. Good communication, practical advice, and recommendations to only use the highest quality products can keep these people invested and engaged for a lifetime.

Author:
Dawn Woodward was writing on behalf of Curaprox. For more information about ‘Perio plus’, call 01480 862084, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.perioplus.com/uk 

See the original article here: Dental Industry Review