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Dentist shatters concepts

Many people believe going to the dentist is a painful experience when in reality, it’s not.
More than 90 people got to see a dentist last Friday all at once. It wasn’t, however, for an appointment.
Denver dentist Dr. Herbert Mills presented a program to attendees of Wayne’s Feast regarding dental care.
One of the biggest myths he shattered regarded the use of a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Mills took questions from the audience during his presentation and the one that drew chuckles from the crowd regarded the ingredients in toothpaste.
“There’s a mismash of ingredients in regular toothpaste,” said Mills. “It’s better to use peroxide and baking soda. It may not taste that good but you’ll get better results.”
Mills said that the field of dentistry is ever-changing; the knowledge base, for example, completely changes once every three years.
According to Mills, a major issue in the field of dentistry is the fact that past dental problems weren’t given the attention they needed.
“Infections and problems in the mouth directly affects the bloodstream,” said Mills. “With gum disease, for example, it grows slowly with little or no pain.”
Over time, that gum disease invades gum tissue and bone. According to Mills, the next stop is the bloodstream.
“All it has to do is be there for just a couple of minutes to do damage,” said Mills. “All of this can go undetected.”
Mills said that bacteria growth occurs in mouths that are dry.
“A lot of prescription drugs we take as seniors dry our mouths out,” said Mills. “That makes the mouth a perfect breeding ground.”
Mills added future problems – especially as people become senior citizens – include heart disease and oral cancers.
“The death rate is the same for oral cancer as cervical cancer,” Mills told the Wayne’s Feast crowd.
He said that small problems are paid more attention to in the dental community today because of the increase of information.
“There’s little warning and little pain nowadays regarding dental problems,” said Mills, adding there are a lot of myths today in dental problems that were treated yesterday.
One myth revolves around dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.
“Cosmetic dentistry is a fad,” said Mills. “Young people are convinced that’s all dentists do is cosmetic dentistry.”
Case in point, Mills is seeing patients in his office who are 18 years old and now in pain.
“Their parents didn’t rank dental care as a top priority,” said Mills, adding 95 percent of all dental disease is caused by bacteria.
Mills drew laughs when he answered a question about when to change toothbrushes at home.
“Change it before it gets bent,” Mills responded.
Mills added that conventional toothbrushes have a difficult time cleaning a substance on teeth called biofilm, which is the start of gum problems.
“Toothpaste and toothbrushes today are having a difficult time cleaning the biofilm,” said Mills. “That biofilm create small amount of bacteria. Even mouthwash is having a hard time with biofilm.”
In short, Mills said conventional means are no longer “getting the job done” in regards to tooth care.
Mills added that dentistry as an industry has changed from a problem-fixing field to a proactive field.
“I don’t like using the word patient because it implies that the person can’t take care of themselves,” said Mills. “I prefer using the word clients because clients take a role in their own care.”
by Jon Mayhew

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