Published: Feb 02, 2013 06:00 PM
Modified: Feb 02, 2013 05:18 PM
CARY - Larry Moray, an orthodontist in Cary, wants to make it easy for families to practice good dental hygiene.
Moray and fellow dentists and orthodontists from The Happy Tooth and Urban Oasis Dental will host a Toothbrush Exchange Day on Friday, Feb.15, at three locations throughout Cary.
As part of the project, parents and children can bring an old toothbrush to throw away. In exchange, theyll get a new toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. Q: How did you come up with the idea of a toothbrush exchange?
My employee, Mimi Chan, came up with the concept. Our staff likes to do community-based programs. We like the opportunity to get out and shake hands and talk about the importance of good dental hygiene.
Even though February is National Childrens Dental Health Month, we dont want to restrict our information to children. Q: What is the biggest misconception about dental hygiene?
I hear a lot of people say, I brush my teeth every day and even floss; I dont need a regular cleaning.
I tell them that regular cleanings are absolutely important. Deposits that are hard form on teeth and under the gum line. A dental cleaning takes care of those deposits. It is so important to see a hygienist every six months. Q: It seems like people didnt hear as much about gum health and its effect on whole-body health a generation ago. Have doctors learned more about the correlation in recent years?
In the past 10 to 15 years, the association between oral and systemic health has become much clearer.
I was a hospital dentist years ago, and it was clear to me then that if the patients didnt have good dental hygiene, they were at higher risk of having systemic problems.
Patients with diabetes can develop systemic infections.
And the big focus now is on periodontal disease and heart disease and periodontal disease and low birth weight. Q: Soft drinks have been in the news quite a bit in regards to obesity. Do you talk with your patients about sugars effects and what they can do beyond brushing to keep their teeth healthy?
In general, sugar in the mouth is not a good thing, especially for my patients in the orthodontic office.
The 12- to 16-year-olds I see eat and drink a lot of sugars, juices and sodas, which tend to pool around the teeth and sit around the brackets.
This sets up a wonderful environment for bacterial growth. The bacteria feed on the sugar byproduct, acid, which dissolves the enamel and leads to cavities.
I tell my patients that if they do eat or drink sugary things, they should rinse out their mouths with water afterwards. Q: Whats this we hear about a fun sock trend that attracts the attention of your patients?
Many years ago, I used to practice in my stocking feet. Im a runner and a cyclist, and I tried to buy wild running and cycling socks that my patients would like.
I no longer practice in my stocking feet, but I still wear wild socks. I have several pairs of some special ones my wife and I had made when my son was born that served as a birth announcement.
They have three babies: one swimming, one cycling and one running, and my sons name, birthdate and birth weight are printed on them. Hes 3 years old now, but I still wear those socks. Theyre my favorites.