A Toothsome Tale of Teeth

Why are diseases of the mouth not given the same amount of priority as others?

Fluoridated water is key

What about scaling, i.e. that terrible experience where you anxiously sit in the dentist’s chair and have him/her scrape what seems like an entire layer off your teeth? Results are also inconclusive.

The evidence behind using Waterpiks and power tools to improve dental health is also poor—which is unfortunate, because I came very close to buying a Waterpik before deciding that it took up too much space in the bathroom.

On the other hand, brushing with fluoride has actually been proven to prevent tooth decay, and is pretty much the only thing anyone can agree on. Water fluoridation has been found time and time again to reduce tooth decay among children.

Much like hereditary diseases, it’s worth noting that sometimes the health of our teeth is beyond our control. Tooth morphology, genetics and enamel strength are some examples of things that we cannot control.

In the meantime though, because I don’t want to spend a small fortune at the dentist again, I’m going to continue brushing twice a day, flossing, and then using Listerine. That, and the fact that the tooth fairy will never visit me again now that I am way past five, just means that dental health should really have as much priority as mental and physical health.

This article is from a monthly column called Our Small World. Click here to see the other articles in this series.


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Shutterstock.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff

Annabel is currently a 2nd year Masters in Public Health student at Yale University. She received her MEng in biomedical engineering from Imperial College London in 2010. She spent the summer of 2014 researching substance abuse in Tanzania. She has a keen interest in food, yoga and metal music.

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