Dentists Keep the Smile
Based on new development in microbiology the toothwash was seen as a revolution when introduced, preventing the dental caries from even getting established. Now people only wash their teeth once a day instead of the previous recommendation of brushing the teeth two times a day and flossing. The most popular kind of toothwash is the one including tooth whitening.
The result from the toothwash was stunning, when used as recommended reduced the prevalence of dental caries by up to 50% compared to tooth paste. Barry Fair, a practicing dentist from Lansdale, Pennsylvania gives an explanation of the slow transition to toothwash although the exceptional result: “We recommend people to use the toothwash instead, but people in general are used to brush their teeth with paste and as long as they don’t have any major problems they continue with that. Families with small children are the easiest one to convert to toothwash." The 20% higher price for toothwash for the daily use is most likely playing a role too.
Toothpaste was the king in the dental care shelf of the grocery stores for almost a century, after people gave up on tooth powder about the same time as fluoride was added to tooth paste. Even though suggested by dentists, floss never really made it through to the US public. Only about 50% of the population flossed regularly and 10-15% on daily basis according to surveys at the time.
As of year 2024 there were 185,600 professionally active dentists in the US, compared to 175,700 dentists 20 years ago. There has been a greater demand for dentists with a growing and aging population, but in the same time technological and biological developments have made dentistry more efficient. The need for a regrowth of dentists has been steady though since 50,000 dentists have gone in to retirement over the last two decades.
“Due to the praise of toothwash when introduced in the market, and the way it was marketed as doing wonders, I think people in general relied to much on it. The result was that in some cases people just washed their teeth once a week and that definitely gives you poor result”, Barry Fair says. “I’m not worried about looking for a new job in the future because at least when it come to caries, there will be enough to do as long as people don’t wash their teeth properly at least once a day, and don’t eat too many times between the regular meals.”
Argument: The development in microbiology will give more efficient products in dental care with better protection and easier maintenance. The numbers given of flossing and current dentists in the US comes from the American Dental Association.
Questions: Will it be possible to include the necessary preventing substances in the food that we eat, so we don’t have to think about dental care? What can other inventions in dental care result in?