When many of us think of health and wellbeing, we don’t automatically think of oral health but imagine life with a constant toothache, or not being able to chew properly or speak clearly due to tooth decay or gum disease. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states that, “Good oral health is fundamental to overall health and wellbeing.” There is nothing ambiguous about that statement!
Today I chat with my dentist, Dr. George Forrest, about this crucial aspect of our wellbeing. George explains what causes and the various forms of oral disease, and, some of the impacts it can have. We chat about the life cycle of teeth and he clears up the mystery of wisdom teeth – why we have them and why some people need to have them extracted.
It turns out, unsurprisingly, that the foods that are good for our bodies, like unprocessed whole foods, are also good for the health of our teeth and those foods and drinks that are less beneficial, like sugary drinks (including sports drinks) are the enemy of good oral health. Many of us have heard this but we may not know exactly why and George clarifies this for us. What I was interested to learn was that frequency of contact with sugar rather than quantity is the real culprit in the case of tooth decay and gum disease. It is better, therefore, to skol (or scull) your raspberry lemonade than slowly sip it all day.
George also describes the gold standard in oral hygiene – see if you are meeting it.
If you are based in Adelaide and would like to learn more about Dr George Forrest’s practice, here is a link to his practice website: http://www.forrestdental.com.au