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Apr 7, 2011

Healthy Living visits the dentist

A visit to the dentist does not have to be the most traumatic experience, in fact, it is a practice that is to be encouraged on a regular basis to maintain good dental hygiene and avoid those horrible pains or the loss of teeth.  In short, preventative care is the best way to keep healthy teeth.  In this week’s edition of Healthy Living, you’ll find out that there is no need to be scared when next you sit in the dentist’s chair.

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

The only time the dentist comes to mind is when we have pain. Most often we try to ‘grin & bear,  as is often said in Belize.  Dental Surgeon, Dr Osbert Usher has been in practice for over 25 years. He explains the most common problems people exhibit when they visit his office and some steps that can be taken to prevent them.

Dr. Osbert Usher, Dental Surgeon

Osbert Usher

“Primarily people come to dentist whenever they have pain.  Pain is produced by decayed teeth by periodontal disease and whenever we talk periodontal disease were talking about disease that affects the bony structure, the gums, the roots of the teeth.  Nevertheless I should say cavities or dental decay is one of the primary reasons why people end up losing their teeth. There are very people who would come in with intentions for preventative care.”

Pain is the first indicator of a problem. Dr Usher explains why a doctor visit should be made at the slightest discomfort.

Dr. Osbert Usher

“Whenever we begin to have sensitive teeth whenever we begin to have pain, what this essentially is telling us is that there is a problem existent already.  If we eat fruits or foods that are acid-y. it eats away at the enamel and it causes sensitivity. Below the enamel is the dentine which is enervative, which means that there are lots of nerves endings. If these nerve endings are exposed because of the acidity of the food eating away the enamel what we will end up with is that we pull in air into our mouth drink cold water we drink warm water it hurts, it shocks. It hurts the teeth. These are signs that there are problems happening.”

One of the most common culprit, other than food, is oral hygiene. But Dr Usher emphasizes that proper technique is of utmost importance as well.

Dr. Osbert Usher

“Often times we take our toothbrush and we put toothpaste on our tooth brush and we take about 20 seconds to brush our teeth we need to be meticulous. If we do it in an orderly fashion, then we might be able to clean ninety to ninety five percent of the teeth appropriately.  If we don’t brush our teeth meticulously just brush haphazardly what happens is that we end up brushing some surfaces and other surfaces are left untouched. Food accumulates in that area and decay begins to accumulate in that area and we end up with problems.”

The good news is that treatments of all sorts are available. Albeit, dental treatments are very expensive the options have improved. Dr Usher offers one of the newest treatments: dental implants.

Dr. Osbert Usher

“We use implant dentistry now to replace a missing teeth. It is a method where we implant a titanium artificial root within the bony structure of the jaw and eventually the bone heals around the jaw. It is very sturdy it is very strong. Compared to what we use to do, using removable dentures, that’s tedious having to replace something that is in your mouth and afterwards removing it brushing it outside your mouth, brushing your teeth and then placing it back; sleeping without it. It has some hooks up on it. They’re not adequate treatment.  Implants are a lot more conservative. We don’t have to touch any of the adjacent teeth. If there is anything wrong with your other teeth it does not affect your implant.”

Doctor Usher advises that the main focus should be on preventative care. Our teeth are given to us to last forever and with proper treatment and care it should be able to do so.

Dr. Osbert Usher

“The basic thing is to brush and we need to brush. We need to brush comprehensively in an orderly fashion to ensure that we brush all of the surfaces of our teeth all the time. We can’t expect that we will have good health without good oral health.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Healthy Living visits the dentist”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    Very informative but it still comes down to affordability, until poor folks can afford to get regular check ups & treatment at a price they can afford, good oral hygiene will remain a luxury. Let’s not forget that you guys are the only doctors whose offices we enter feeling fine & leave feeling like we had been in a fight & got punched in the jaw.

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