As GCC Oral Health Unified Week comes to a close, dentists in the UAE are warning of an alarming lack of knowledge and understanding about the basic steps that need to be taken to ensure a clean mouth and a bright, healthy smile.
In an interview with Khaleej Times, Dr Nisha Velayudhan, GP dentist at Aster Clinic, Al Nahda, noted that many of the oral hygiene problems she regularly sees are easily preventable.
“Tooth decay and gum diseases are the most common dental issues we see here,” she said. “There is a lack of oral hygiene, and a lack of education.”
When asked if she believes the average dental patient is knowledgeable about necessary oral hygiene steps, she noted that “not really.”
“Though many people are aware that brushing is important, they are much less aware of the proper technique, and the type of brush,” she said.
Importantly, Dr Velayudhan added that she has noticed that many people don’t brush at the correct times, using the proper method, or floss regularly.
“It’s important that we brush immediately after meals. Food immediately lodges there, but many people brush much later after they eat,” she said. “Also, it’s not (supposed to be) horizontal brushing. It’s vertical. The brushing should be upwards on the lower teeth, and downwards on the upper teeth.”
“Flossing is also very in between to clean in-between areas,” she added. “But very few people do. The main problem quoted is lack of time, but I’d say that five minutes of time spent is worth it.”
Dr Nisha Velayudhan, GP dentist at Aster Clinic, Al Nahda
Aster Clinic, Al Nahda