Dr. Ronald Plotka: Why & How Antimicrobial Toothbrushes & Good Oral Hygiene Provide Long-term Health Benefits by Belinda Lichty Clarke
It can be so frustrating trying to get your kid to brush his teeth. However, practicing good oral hygiene at an early age provides life-long health benefits. I talked to renowned Boston dentist Dr. Ronald Plotka about how a healthier toothbrush (he created it!) and toothbrushing habits are so important.
Q. It's widely known that oral hygiene is directly related to overall health, specifically heart/cardio health. Can you elaborate on that?
"Good health starts in the mouth. What this statement refers to is 'oral systemic health,' which is the connection between oral health and overall health. Countless studies have demonstrated a link between poor oral health and systemic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and even pregnancy complications. The presence of plaque and bacteria in the mouth can cause inflammation of the gums, which has been linked to contributing to high blood pressure and restriction of certain arteries and vessels. These symptoms can lead to heart attack and other cardiovascular complications."
Q. Can you speak a little about the evolution of oral hygiene with regard to new additives (like silver) in both toothbrushes and toothpaste over the last several years?
"Oral hygiene products, techniques and practices over the last decade have changed substantially. In the case of the Dr. Plotka’s Mouthwatchers toothbrush, the use of nano-silver as an anti-microbial agent is an innovative way to help patients stay healthy while using dental tools – like the toothbrush! Introducing the use of superior materials such as polyester vs. nylon for the bristles, allows consumers to experience products that are more durable and last longer. We have also revolutionized the shape of the bristle. The tiny, one micron pointed tip of a bristle will go between the teeth like no other bristle to date.
"Toothpaste ingredients have changed remarkably over the past decade as well. Fluoride xylitol which is a natural sugar has been added to many toothpastes which fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay by making the saliva more alkaline. Propolis is another natural ingredient from the beehive which has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which promotes good gum health."
Q. Why is it important to keep your toothbrush clean and free of microbes?
"When anyone brushes their teeth, the microbes and bacteria that were in the mouth accumulate on the bristles’ surfaces. If left untreated, the total number can multiply 20 times per hour causing a person to re-introduce potentially infectious bacteria back into their system. If there are several family members that have toothbrushes stationed next to each other and/or other bacteria laden surfaces nearby (ex: toilet or sink) there will inevitably be a transmission of foreign bacteria to each person’s brush – not ideal for your precious immune system."
Q. What are the advantages of embedded silver in a toothbrush?
"When nano-silver is embedded into a toothbrush bristle it acts as an anti-microbial agent. The silver naturally kills bacteria that accumulate and multiply on its surface after brushing. Within several hours, the tooth brush bristle will be 99 percent free of the bacteria that may cause illness, tooth decay and gum disease. This means, every time you brush, you are using clean bristles!"
Q. What are your top tips for parents to help encourage kids/teens to adapt good tooth habits?
1. "Make brushing your teeth fun! Have a timer for them to refer to, sing a silly song, make a game of who can get cleaner teeth, or have a sticker or special prize for every time they brush, floss and rinse.
2. "Establish a morning and evening routine. If it becomes a habit to brush teeth after getting dressed in the morning and after getting pajamas on at night, kids are more likely to do it – it’s habit!
3. "Schedule regular dental visits and stick to them. Find a dental office that works well with children and creates a safe and friendly environment. Fear of the dentist is one of the top reasons people don’t go!
4. "Find the right toothbrush! Dr. Plotka’s youth toothbrush will make such a difference in the cleanliness of a child/teen’s teeth that they will want to brush. In addition, the flossing bristles are great for teens or adults with braces. Using a toothbrush that makes your mouth feel clean and healthy is imperative to adapting good habits."
The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.
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