Client News02. Who are we?

IVOhealth: Five oral care habits that may harm your health

CAN USE THIS iStock_000022902469 low res

Is your oral care routine helping or harming your health? A recent study* suggests that overuse of mouthwash and poor oral hygiene may be linked to oral cancer. Dirna Grobbelaar, oral hygienist for IVOhealth, lists five habits that may be doing you more harm than good.

Brushing immediately
Don’t brush straight away after indulging in sweet foods and drinks. Sugar makes the mouth more acidic, weakening tooth enamel. Rather rinse with water or an alcohol-free mouthwash and wait an hour before cleaning the teeth.

Not cleaning in-between
Ninety percent of dental problems start in-between the teeth; brushing the teeth is simply not enough, daily interdental cleaning is essential. If you find flossing awkward look for tiny interdental brushes such as the Sunstar GUM range or go high-tech and use the Philips Sonicare AirFloss – it jets microbursts of air and water between every tooth in just 30 seconds!

Brushing is not something to rush – brush the teeth twice a day for a full two minutes each time. Watch the clock or use a timer; Philips Sonicare powerbrushes have built-in timers that helps you brush for the correct length of time.

Avoiding the oral hygienist
The plaque that an oral hygienist professionally removes has hardened into tartar and cannot be ‘brushed’ away at home. The hygienist uses special tools to carefully remove tartar without damaging teeth and gums. See the hygienist twice a year.

Minty sweets and breath fresheners just temporarily mask bad breath and because many contain sugar they can actually damage your teeth. Rather chew on sugar free gum for a few minutes as this stimulates saliva flow and ‘cleans’ the mouth naturally.

“Not cleaning your teeth and gums properly on a daily basis is the biggest mistake many people make. If plaque builds up on the teeth it can cause gum inflammation (gingivitis) or even more seriously, periodontitis and that can lead to tooth loss.

“Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and pre-term or low birth-weight babies. Oral hygiene is not only about having fresh breath and a bright smile, it is directly linked to your body’s overall health and well-being,” says Grobbelaar.

Dirna Grobbelaar is available to answer oral care queries on the IVOhealth Facebook page and their website

Back to top