Masks off, big smiles

By August 31, 2022Current
Masks off, big smiles

TL;DR – As we head back to work more often and wearing masks are now made optional, it is time we make regular dental check-ups a routine. 

Now that wearing masks are optional, except on public transport and in healthcare facilities, we can expect to see more smiles.

Cancelling check-ups because of the Pandemic 

Research has found that since the pandemic, 35 per cent have stopped their regular check-ups with the dentist. During the pandemic, there has also been an increase in the consumption of snacks, coffee or tea, and frozen treats. These types of food and beverage have a noticeable effect on oral health.

Many do not practice good dental hygiene 

Six in ten Singaporeans did not have dental check-ups every six months as advised by dentists, and 43 per cent visited a dentist only when they had problems like a toothache.

“But about 40 to 50 per cent of the population still have fairly poor oral hygiene. They are either unaware that this can lead to gum disease or are possibly deterred by the cost of dental treatment,” said Dr Chee Hoe Kit, Consultant, Periodontic Unit, National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS), a member of the SingHealth group.

Poor oral health can lead to poor health

Gum diseases have been associated with chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, heart diseases, stroke and respiratory diseases. Blood vessels in our gums are linked to the body’s larger blood vessels. Bacteria from gum diseases can travel through oral gaps in the gum and enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body. Some studies even show that pregnant mothers with untreated gum diseases may deliver smaller or premature babies.

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Prevention is better than cure

Stinging on regular check-ups could be worse off. Your dentist can spot early warning signals and give you recommendations for early prevention. Keeping your teeth in good health is the surest way to save on the painful costs of crowns, implants, and dentures down the line.

Better to maintain our smiles for the sake of our health.

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Nicole Lim

Author Nicole Lim

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