Dr. Christopher Ho Mother's Oral Health Interview
Dr. Christopher Ho is a leading Australian Dentist and Oral-B advisor, international speaker and acclaimed teacher who lectures around the world.
He comes with an extensive background in oral care adn is the Founder and Principal of the Instriture for Dental Implants and Dentistry by Design - two renowned practices that are committed to providing the highest quality dental care.
Question: How can time poor mothers still ensure they have perfect oral health?
Dr. Christopher Ho : There are a few simple measures that can help achieve better oral health, such as your diet, the type of toothbrush you use and your overall oral health behaviour. Better oral health starts with the basics; ensuring you are brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once daily.
Consider reducing the amount of sugary snacks consumed throughout the day, as excess sugar can contribute to plaque build-up. Eating a range of nutritious foods is good for your overall health, including your oral health.
Consider switching to a power toothbrush that uses oscillating-rotating technology, such as the Oral-B PRO5000 power toothbrush. It removes 100% more plaque compared to a regular manual toothbrush leaving you with a dentist-clean smile. With Mother's Day just around the corner, it would make the perfect gift to help brighten and maintain your Mum's smile.
Question: Can you share with us your top tips to teaching kids the perfect brushing technique?
Dr. Christopher Ho : Join in - Children love to copy their parents, so it's a great idea to make brushing a group activity, by encouraging your child to copy you as you brush, along with siblings. Brushing will always seem more fun to a child if it becomes a special activity or game that they get to do with their family
Use the right tools - To help make the brushing routine more entertaining, I recommend parents look for toothbrushes that are fun and appealing to their child. I encourage parents to invest in power brushes as I find children often struggle with the necessary patience to brush for the full dentist-recommended two minutes and find it tricky to brush the hard to reach places. This is where power brushes are a great help as they do a lot of the hard work for you, and many link to a timer so you can be sure that your child has cleaned their teeth for the correct time
Reward good habits - Rewarding your child with a star every time they brush their teeth for the full two minutes is a great way to incentivise good habits. Treat them to a trip to the park or a simple gift like a story book if they achieve 14 stars by the end of the week. Not only does this give your child an incentive for adopting good oral health habits, it's also a simple way of reminding them that they need to brush twice daily
Be diligent - Be mindful of other habits that can affect their oral care like thumb sucking that can lead to their teeth developing out of alignment. As it is for adults, taking your child to have a dental check-up from an early age at least twice a year is advisable
Question: How often do women need to visit the dentist?
Dr. Christopher Ho : Regular dental visits are essential for everyone that wants to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It's important to visit your dentist every six months for a routine examination and cleaning. By visiting your dentist regularly and following recommended oral hygiene practices at home, you will keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Question: How often should we be flossing our teeth? Is daily, too often to floss our teeth?
Dr. Christopher Ho : The old adage that you only floss the teeth you want to keep holds true. Dental plaque can cause cavities if left between teeth. When mixed with sugar, the bacteria in plaque can start the process of tooth decay; this is why it's bad to leave plaque in your mouth. In addition to brushing, flossing daily can help the removal of plaque and bacteria between the teeth that can cause bad breath.
Question: Can you share your tips on how we can improve our smiles?
Dr. Christopher Ho : Water is your friend - Drinking more water reduces the acid that causes tooth decay and helps keep the mouth clean. When we are dehydrated there is less saliva to neutralise acids which can lead to tooth erosion. Opt for tap water whenever you can for the added benefit of fluoride
Keep sticky sweets that cling to teeth to a minimum. Your mouth needs time for the saliva to neutralise the effects of sugary foods and help plaque prevention. So if you are going to eat sweet treats, try to avoid frequent snacking – one acid attack is less damaging than frequent attacks
Limit your intake of acidic drinks like soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices. These are not only high in sugar but contain acids that dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes or erosion. If you are going to have a sugary drink, one of the best ways to minimise the damage to the teeth is to use a straw
Schedule regular visits to the dentist throughout the year - a regular check-up will help identify potential issues earlier and a professional clean will help remove built up plaque
Question: How can we keep our teeth white?
Dr. Christopher Ho : Good oral health behaviour such as brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes and flossing once daily can help whiten teeth. For better results, I recommend the new Oral-B 3D White Diamond Strong range, which can be used at home. The new Oral-B 3D White Luxe Diamond Strong toothpaste provides 2 x stronger enamel, when used with Oral-B 3D White Luxe Diamond Strong Rinse, vs. brushing alone with an ordinary toothpaste, so it has great health benefits as well as whitening capabilities!
Question: Does whitening toothpaste really work? If so, what do you suggest?
Dr. Christopher Ho : Yes, when used regularly, a whitening toothpaste can help remove stains and contribute to a brighter smile. In fact, whitening toothpaste is specially formulated to remove surface stains from natural teeth. They usually contain mild abrasives, such as hydrated silica, or chemicals with stain-dissolving properties.
Question: Should we be cleaning our teeth immediately after coffee to ensure we don't stain our teeth?
Dr. Christopher Ho : It's best to leave time between consuming food or drinks and brushing your teeth. Be sure to allow at least 60 minutes between eating or drinking and brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth too soon can damage the softened tooth enamel caused by acidity in food and drinks consumed beforehand.
Interview by Brooke Hunter