Easier on mouth and wallet

OPEN WIDE: I hated my teeth after some idiot teacher constantly referred to me as Bugs Bunny.
OPEN WIDE: I hated my teeth after some idiot teacher constantly referred to me as Bugs Bunny.

Toothache caused by broken teeth is one of the top problems for Picton patients at the Queen Charlotte College dental clinic, says dentist Jason Bradshaw.

Mr Bradshaw works for Blenheim-based dental practice Durrheim and Associates, and began seeing a regular string of private patients at the clinic at Queen Charlotte College this month, after previously treating only students there.

One of the most common ailments seen so far in Picton was toothache resulting from broken and decaying teeth, he said.

"A lot of it's relief of pain treatment and preventing tooth decay.

"It's generally good to get a checkup once per year, but if you have something you know about, like a broken tooth, then don't leave it for the long term. It might not be in pain at the moment, but it can potentially be later on.

"It's often economical to get things fixed early before they become a bigger problem, like having to have a tooth removed. Regular checkups will save you money in the long run."

People should brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day, Mr Bradshaw said. Having slightly yellow teeth was normal, because the inner layer of a tooth was yellow and the enamel on the outside was transparent. Super-white teeth, like those sported by Hollywood celebrities, were more for cosmetic reasons.

Mouthwash was useful for taking care of gums, but it was important to find the right one because of varying strengths, he said. It was not essential for everyone, however, and he did not use it himself.

And the worst things for your teeth? "Soft drinks, orange juice, anything high in sugar or acid."

Mr Bradshaw sees patients on Wednesdays, aided by dental assistant Lilz vd Westhuizen.

Lying in the dentist's chair on Wednesday, Queen Charlotte student Keenan Love said he was not nervous about going to the dentist to receive more fillings.

Mr Bradshaw said Keenan had visited the clinic several times and had no complaints.

The Marlborough Express