The importance of oral hygiene

00:24 24 March in Dental Health, Sheldene's Thoughts

My kids suspect that I used to be the Tooth Fairy. They have come across my stash of teaching materials I used when visiting schools as an oral hygienist. Amongst other things, they found my wings, tiara and brush-shaped wand I used to wear while spreading the word of good oral health to kids.

After so many years as a hygienist, I’ve developed an occupational habit: I look at people’s mouths when I speak to them. I have come to know that the mouth can reveal a person’s age. Unfortunately, a face lift does not remove the bar code lines or pucker lines around the mouth. The peri-oral area is certainly the Achilles’ heel of the face lift.

The good news is that Somerset Surgery and MASC Laser Clinic offer various treatments that can rejuvenate this area. Medical needling (collagen-induction therapy), ablative and non-ablative laser, fillers, peels and fat injection have all proven very effective in treating this area. But of course, the best way to avoid getting pucker lines around the lips is to avoid smoking at all costs!

ss_november_img_2Other than smoking, ageing around the mouth can be caused by bone shrinkage around the teeth due to periodontal disease (the distance between the tip of the nose and the tip of the chin is shorter, causing the lips to roll inwards – this results in a thin-lipped look). The same distance can shrink, because teeth have ground down due to malocclusion or if people have completely lost their teeth due to gum disease.

I encourage you to visit your oral hygienist for advice on keeping your teeth looking younger for longer. A regular scale and polish – every six months – and a good home care routine that includes daily flossing, will keep gum disease at bay. Bleaching and some cosmetic dentistry can also make dramatic improvements to your smile.

If the area around your mouth is a concern for you, feel free to discuss it with one of our skincare therapists or plastic surgeons. They will be able to advise as to what would work best for you.

Most importantly, keep smiling!