Therefore I am proposing a new term we should use in educating our patients. Let's throw out the words "brush your teeth", "floss your teeth", "perio-aid your teeth", "WaterPik your teeth" and substitute the idea of "deplaquing your mouth". So when our patients come in and say "I have brushed and I flossed and I did all this and you're telling me there's plaque on my teeth, the answer is "Yes, you do all those things, I noticed that, but we have not yet been successful deplaquing your mouth; we've gone through a process but the mouth plaque remains".
If we can change the terminology, we can change the conversation to "How can I better deplaque my teeth?"
This all requires a more prolonged conversation and I have found that very few of my patients understand that for patients prone to periodontal disease and decay, plaque forms on their teeth within 12 hours even if they have "deplaqued" their teeth earlier in the day.
By using this concept of "deplaquing" every 12 hours (twice each day), we can then change the dialogue to avoid having the patient feel like we are constantly telling them they are brushing their teeth incorrectly. The old conversation has been a dead-end for me and my staff over the years.
I welcome your thoughts about this change in terminology which hopefully will efficate a change in our ability to educate.
Victor M. Sternberg, D.M.D.
Dental Office of:
Victor M. Sternberg, D.M.D., PC
Westchester Center of Periodontal and Implant Excellence
141 North State Road
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510
Office Phone: 914-762-1885
Office Fax: 914-762-1880