While you're in Egypt for the dental conference, visit the Great Egyptian Museum and check out some of the mummies that are on display. As a dentist, you may be interested to know that by the time an ancient Egyptian died, his or her teeth were so worn down by sandy food and lack of dental care that the roots were exposed and hurting. When you return to your office, you might use this as a fun segue for talking to patients about proper oral hygiene. Here are some of the major points you'll want to cover.


The number one most important thing you must do to care for your teeth is to brush them regularly - after every meal and before bed, which is about four times a day. Easy enough, right? Wrong! You'd be surprised by how many otherwise healthy individuals don't brush enough because they're out for dinner. Therefore you should encourage your working patients to carry a folding toothbrush and a decent fluoride toothpaste, like Crest Complete or Colgate Total, which continue to protect teeth after brushing.


Brushing alone can't get out all the little bits of food that end up stuck between your teeth when you sample dishes for your catering business, so brushing should be paired with flossing at least once a day. Flossing also helps keep your gums healthy, prevents cavities that often form between teeth. For people with crowns, braces, and retainers, you should also recommend superfloss or floss threaders so they can floss underneath their dental devices.


There are also plenty of optional extras out there that can help with oral hygiene. Mouthwash, particularly the germ killing kind, is great for preventing cavities and freshening breath. Get your patients to keep some in their bathroom for use after brushing. Tooth whitening strips can help with tooth aesthetics, but warn patients that overuse can weaken tooth enamel. Other extras include braces and retainers for straightening teeth, which can be expensive but will help to improve your smile and boost your self esteem.

Dental Visits

And finally, as dentists we have a duty to encourage patients to make regular visits to their dentist and dental hygienist. Encourage them to stop by after they get off work so they don't have to make a special trip. Visits should be at least once per year - ideally twice - and should include a checkup and cleaning. This helps detect and fix cavities, oral cancer, and gingivitis early before it becomes necessary to pull teeth or have invasive surgery. Even with proper at home care, professional cleaning is still required to protect your teeth.

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