Is Flossing Really That Important?

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Today marks the beginning of National Dental Health Week, so we decided to check in with our resident dentist Lisa Standing and ask her all the hard-hitting dental questions.

Favourite procedure to do as a dentist?

Weirdly enough I like doing most procedures. It’s the type of job where if you didn’t enjoy it you wouldn’t do it for 25 years. But my favourite is treating people with toothache. Whether it be a root canal, an extraction or fixing up a sporting injury, I like getting people out of pain.

Your most outrageous dental story?

Ha! I should write a book on this. When I was a young dentist an 18 yr old fellow came in with his Mum missing half a front tooth. His story was he ran into a brick wall. How do you even do that, I thought? There was this metallic residue on his broken tooth. When Mum went out of the room, (he was an adult right) I asked him how he really broke his tooth. He said he was shot in the mouth by a BB gun! I lectured him he was lucky not to lose an eye etc.
Less than a month later he visited again as an emergency, this time with his girlfriend. The same tooth was smashed again. They were being towed together behind a boat on some sort of craft, came off, and crashed into each other. His front teeth hit her head. The tooth broke off in her scalp. She had received stitches and a nasty infection. His tooth was repaired yet again by me. I didn’t see him again so maybe his tooth was ok after that.

Best piece of dental advise

This sounds a bit basic but…BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!!

I am still amazed after all these years that so many patients don’t get the connection between tooth brushing and decay.

Also beware of drinking isotonic sugary drinks in the gym. Dehydration, lifting weights, acidity of the drinks, grinding/clenching your teeth and the sugar can be a disaster. I once treated a fellow who lost most of his teeth doing this. But he was a massive guy!

Is flossing really that important?

YES! It’s crucial to floss to keep your teeth decay free and your gums healthy and prevent gum disease. Do it every day and keep your dentist happy. It gets depressing repeating ourselves.

How are you going to celebrate Dental Health Week?

I’m going to spend it promoting dental health so it’s just another week.

But… I may be helping at the Perth Pregnancy Babies and Children’s Expo on Sunday the 13th at the ADA stand if I survive running training in the morning.

Where do you work?

We have 3 almost grown up kids and so I have always worked part time both teaching at UWA and locum work in private practice. (Alfred Cove for the last 3 years).

I’ve also worked a few times in Vietnam on voluntary missions. The dental equipment is mobile and we pack the bus each day and travel to remote villages, temples and even into the jungle at times. This really is my passion and as time becomes more available I hope to do more.

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