Dental Health Fitness
by Gary M. Verigin, DDS, CTN
Sometimes people react defensively when their dentist tells them that their oral hygiene could be improved. It seems like a personal insult, like they’ve been accused of being dirty, lazy, incompetent – or any other judgment we might rashly make about those with “poor hygiene.”
But the dentist is not making an accusation.
What he or she is saying is that there are things you can do now to enhance your current well being as a means of ensuring future oral – and systemic – health. It’s not about berating a person for what’s happening now. It’s about minimizing the risk of problems cropping up down the road. It’s the essence of preventive dentistry – and something we call Dental Health Fitness.
Dental Health Fitness applies the concepts of physical fitness to dentistry. It’s an application we have been perfecting since the late 1960s. As a Dental Health Fitness Team, we work as your personal coaches, offering motivation and support to help you create and maintain health and wellness.
Our clients appreciate learning how their active pursuit of Dental Health Fitness benefits them. Take a look at just some of the advantages:
- Whiter teeth
- Nicer smile
- Fresher breath
- Greater confidence
- Less sensitive teeth
- Less pain and discomfort
- Less need for dental repairs
- Longer lasting dental restorations
- Financial savings
- Re-mineralizing and maintaining the hard dental structures (e.g., enamel, dentin and the supporting alveolar bone)
- Controlling biofilm (plaque) stagnation, tartar build-up and pathogenic oral microbes
- Controlling salivary pH and other factors in the mouth terrain
- Easing dry mouth syndrome
- Enhancing periodontal, crevicular and salivary circulation
- Keeping your teeth for a lifetime
Moreover, Dental Health Fitness enhances overall physical health and increases longevity.
Think for a moment about untrained people working out at a gym. They move weights around and use the cardio equipment – but if they do so properly, it’s only by chance. They ignore the need for good nutrition and supplementation. They suffer injuries. Finally, they stagnate and hit a wall or plateau. Working this way, they’ll never fully achieve positive results or meet their goals.
Unfortunately, many pursue their dental care in just this manner. As a result, most healthy people can simply thank their genetics or chalk it all up to plain dumb luck.
We want to help you safely blast past the plateau at which you may have been stuck since the days of “Look, Ma! No cavities!”
Decades ago, one of my favorite health lecturers said, “Nobody knows how much you know until they know how much you care.” Just as a coach cares for his or her athletes, we care about each and every client we see. Teaching Dental Health Fitness is just one of the ways we express that care. We believe it engenders trust. Trust, in turn, facilitates our clients’ listening and learning, and years of experience have taught us well that educated clients make better decisions about their health.
The 7 Components of Dental Health Fitness
Consider the benefits listed above. Which do you value most? Actively pursuing them can intensify your desire to achieve good dental health. Why does success breed success? It motivates you to go further, to achieve more.
You need good food not only for energy but to regularly rebuild your tissues and maintain biochemical balance. Thoughtfully selecting and preparing what you eat gives your body the necessary building blocks to sustain a healthy life.
Additional minerals, vitamins, herbs, homeopathics, probiotics, enzymes and coenzymes enhance your immune system. They also help keep your biological terrain in balance, ensuring that your basic regulative system maintains your wellbeing.
Improving Periodontal Tissue, Eliminating Biofilm Stagnation
As soon as you clean your teeth, microbes start to colonize and biofilm starts to accumulate. If the biofilm is not regularly disturbed, cavities, periodontal disease and other problems can arise. The tools used to clean your teeth are designed to disrupt, agitate and create turbulence, keeping the biofilm from stagnating.
Home Care Tools
- Manual toothbrushes with soft to medium bristles
- Electric toothbrushes that pulsate, oscillate and massage in sonic modes
- Non-fluoridated toothpaste
- Oral irrigation instruments (e.g., HydroFloss, WaterPik)
- Herbal remedies for use with oral irrigators
- Dental floss
- Inter-proximal brushes
- Perio-Aid toothpick
Tools are worthless if not used correctly. So it’s vital to understand how to use your home care tools safely and properly: their ideal alignment, their range of motion and how to avoid injury in using them. The last is especially important for those with physical disabilities or cognitive problems.
The Dental Health Fitness Team and client should work together toward the achievement of goals in an interesting, fun and non-confrontational discourse. Two-way conversation is key.
Sometimes a skilled dentist must intervene to restore a person’s teeth to clinically healthy conditions. Again, the team and client should work together. Intelligently working together involves co-diagnosing the existing situation, educating and guiding, planning and executing restorative treatment.