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Neglecting your teeth? Time to straighten up!

Say Tola / Khmer Times Share:
Dr Pich Sreymom, clinical director of the Sunshine Dental Clinic. KT/Say Tola

Kids and adults alike tend to neglect their oral health nowadays. Many people are unaware that much of what they consume contains acids, sugar, gas and other harmful substances that can cause irritation of the gums and allergic reactions, and can leave bacteria in the mouth. Another commonly overlooked problem are crooked teeth.

According to Dr Pich Sreymom, clinical director of the Sunshine Dental Clinic, “Crooked teeth can result from natural decay or an accidental injury. People who have this problem and who wish to straighten their teeth can have braces fitted. Braces are worn for six to 18 months, depending on the case,” she said.

Contrary to popular belief, wearing braces doesn’t hurt, the doctor said. It may feel unusual for the first two weeks, as the teeth are being pushed together. Moreover, without braces, shape of the gums can become enlarged and not straight.

“In some cases, if braces are not fitted, the teeth can look very crooked. Another benefit of braces is that they can improve one’s ability to chew. More importantly, the teeth will be straight and look good,” she said.

People wearing braces should change the rubber bands between the upper and lower teeth monthly. Also, they may experience some difficulties adjusting to eating, chewing, and cleaning their teeth for the first few weeks. Some types of food are also best avoided, as they can cause the rubber bands to pop out.

“Before the dentist makes a decision on whether you need braces, they will make a scan and analyse what needs to be done with each tooth. The dentist will also make a mould of the teeth to help them make a decision.”

Dr Sreymom suggested people check their oral health status once every six months. If they find a problem, it should be treated immediately. Problems left unattended can become worse and more expensive to treat.

Having braces can leave you with a beautiful smile and unafraid to smile and laugh in public, the doctor said. Sunshine Dental Clinic offers very special promotions for braces fitting, she added.

While braces have in the past been too expensive for all but the wealthiest Cambodians, the clinic has a payment plan with monthly instalments of less than $100, Dr Sreymom said.

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