Many people believe going to the dentist is a painful experience when in reality, itâ€™s not.
More than 90 people got to see a dentist last Friday all at once. It wasnâ€™t, however, for an appointment.
Denver dentist Dr. Herbert Mills presented a program to attendees of Wayneâ€™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.
â€œThereâ€™s a mismash of ingredients in regular toothpaste,â€ said Mills. â€œItâ€™s better to use peroxide and baking soda. It may not taste that good but youâ€™ll get better results.â€
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 werenâ€™t given the attention they needed.
â€œInfections and problems in the mouth directly affects the bloodstream,â€ said Mills. â€œWith gum disease, for example, it grows slowly with little or no pain.â€
Over time, that gum disease invades gum tissue and bone. According to Mills, the next stop is the bloodstream.
â€œAll it has to do is be there for just a couple of minutes to do damage,â€ said Mills. â€œAll of this can go undetected.â€
Mills said that bacteria growth occurs in mouths that are dry.
â€œA lot of prescription drugs we take as seniors dry our mouths out,â€ said Mills. â€œThat makes the mouth a perfect breeding ground.â€
Mills added future problems â€“ especially as people become senior citizens â€“ include heart disease and oral cancers.
â€œThe death rate is the same for oral cancer as cervical cancer,â€ Mills told the Wayneâ€™s Feast crowd.
He said that small problems are paid more attention to in the dental community today because of the increase of information.
â€œThereâ€™s little warning and little pain nowadays regarding dental problems,â€ 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.
â€œCosmetic dentistry is a fad,â€ said Mills. â€œYoung people are convinced thatâ€™s all dentists do is cosmetic dentistry.â€
Case in point, Mills is seeing patients in his office who are 18 years old and now in pain.
â€œTheir parents didnâ€™t rank dental care as a top priority,â€ 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.
â€œChange it before it gets bent,â€ 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.
â€œToothpaste and toothbrushes today are having a difficult time cleaning the biofilm,â€ said Mills. â€œThat biofilm create small amount of bacteria. Even mouthwash is having a hard time with biofilm.â€
In short, Mills said conventional means are no longer â€œgetting the job doneâ€ in regards to tooth care.
Mills added that dentistry as an industry has changed from a problem-fixing field to a proactive field.
â€œI donâ€™t like using the word patient because it implies that the person canâ€™t take care of themselves,â€ said Mills. â€œI prefer using the word clients because clients take a role in their own care.â€
by Jon Mayhew