Since graduating from Melbourne University School of Dentistry as an Oral Health Therapist in 2010, Helen has gained extensive knowledge on gum treatment and dental therapy working both in cosmetic and general dental practices around Melbourne.
Helen has established a loyal patient base, renowned for her extensive knowledge, thorough examination process, advanced treatment and nurturing patient care. Helen takes the time to listen to her patient’s concerns carefully. She then completes an intensive examination process and offers her patients her expert advice on the best-tailored options for treatment, allowing her patients to have the final decision in their treatment plan.
At DR Dental South Yarra, Helen’s patients often tell us how much they love coming in to see Helen. They trust her, they know they are in safe hands and they look forward to catching up with her delightful self. Helen speaks Greek as well as English.
Outside of the dental world Helen enjoys exploring the rest of the world and what different cultures have to offer. She loves good food and being outside in nature.
Today, we sit down with Helen Ago to ask a few questions about dental hygiene.
What is the most common dental concern you see in patients today?
The most common dental concerns I see today are bleeding gums, enamel erosion due to acidic foods and drinks and tooth wear as a result of grinding/clenching.
These are all treatable issues, but they are time sensitive. The sooner a patient addresses their oral health issues, the higher chance we have to treat and preserve the natural teeth.
What is your general advice for at home dental care?
Mechanical cleaning, which includes careful tooth brushing twice per day and some form of interim teeth cleaning (i.e. flossing or interdental brushes) once per day, is paramount to prevent dental disease but also maintaining your overall health.
Are electric toothbrushes really better than manual?
Electric toothbrushes are superior and worth the investment. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes can be more effective at eliminating tartar build-up compared to manual toothbrushes. Individuals using an electric toothbrush are less likely to brush too hard, which reduces the risk of toothbrush induced gum damage.
Finally, as it is a machine it’s more likely to be more consistent in its effect than manual tooth brushing.
Is there any other advice you can offer people regarding oral health?
Everything you eat and drink can affect the health of your teeth and gums.
Protein and zinc found in lean meats, beans, green leafy vegetables and mushrooms are essential for tissue repair after any dental treatment. A high water intake maintains tissue hydration and a diet focused on wholefoods and fresh produce is necessary to repair the damage caused from gum infections.
Additionally, there are certain foods that can be detrimental to oral health. These include foods high in sugar, acidic foods/drinks and refined carbohydrates. There is a direct correlation between consuming sugars and tooth decay. Sugar molecules combined with saliva and bacteria present in the mouth leads to pH changes and an environment ripe for dental decay is created.
Why is it so important for patients to have a dental hygiene treatment every 6 months?
Gum infections (gingivitis) are insidious issues that rarely experience pain. As such, it is important to carry out a dental examination and gum health evaluation on a regular basis to prevent infections getting established. Leaving dental or gum infections until they cause pain not only leads to irreversible damage but also more extensive and often costly treatments.
What do you think makes a great oral health therapist/dental hygienist?
Listening to your patients and asking questions to understand their health concerns, motivators as well as their lifestyle to help ascertain the best way to educate the individual on at home care and oral disease prevention. It’s NOT only about getting rid of tartar or fixing teeth.
To book an appointment, please contact our friendly team at DR Dental South Yarra on 03 9826 2146.