News: Proper hygiene makes smiles light up rooms
Story by Lance Cpl. Joseph Karwick
IWAKUNI, Japan - There are a few common mistakes people may make when caring for their teeth, said Seaman Apprentice Cody M. Frink, Robert M. Casey Medical and Dental Clinic dental technician. Not flossing, brushing too hard, not brushing long enough and various other mistakes can cause tooth pain, cavities and even tooth loss, Frink added.
“Flossing is really important,” said Frink. “It helps fight Gingivitis and gum disease. When Gingivitis starts to get into the more advanced stages, your gums start to recede. You start getting tooth loss and your gums will bleed when you brush them.”
Choosing a toothbrush is a large part in dental hygiene, said Frink. “A lot of people use a hard-bristle toothbrush and when they brush they get toothbrush abrasions,” said Frink.
"Enamel is strong, but you can still wear it away. People who brush really hard begin to wear it away and it gets to a point where you can see it and it is very painful and makes your teeth extremely sensitive. To prevent that, use a softbristle toothbrush and grip the brush lightly to reduce force.”
Also, many station residents may not know the dental office offers free whitening treatment to all active- duty servicemembers and their dependents.
“If you want your teeth whitened, you are better off coming into dental, rather than using whitening strips and other means which could possibly damage your teeth, and getting impressions made for bleaching trays,” said Frink.
“It’s completely free whether you’re active duty or a dependent. But, we go through the cleaning solution pretty fast.
So, unfortunately, sometimes we have to turn people away. It takes about two weeks to get the impressions made, then come back in to pick them up and we will give you two tubes of a bleach-variant solution to use for two weeks, then off for a week, then a follow up at dental.”
Going in to dental when in pain or for a routine checkup is available for all station residents in order to maintain proper dental hygiene. Proper dental hygiene is something which not only positively or adversely affects servicemembers day to day, but can make a difference in an overall healthy body and life.