Improving the look of a patient’s smile or getting rid of their pain brings rewards to the daily routine of a dental professional.
Dentist and periodontist Dr. Minu Doiphode changes her patients’ attitudes towards their periodontal health and helps people see dentistry in India in a different way: ‘‘It doesn’t have to be scary,” she says. In this interview, Dr. Doiphode shares her opinion on the importance of cleaning interdentally, as well as early prophylaxis measures being taken.
What routines do you find most critical for maintaining proper oral health?
As a rule of thumb, everyone must brush twice a day with a special emphasis on night brushing. In India, there is a saying: “If you want to keep your friends, you should brush in the morning. If you want to keep your teeth, you should brush at night.” Secondly, interdental cleaning is the most commonly neglected routine in dental hygiene procedures. In my opinion, it should be introduced at an early age so it naturally becomes a part of a daily routine. And thirdly, rinse after you eat anything. Practically, it isn’t possible to brush every time you eat, but the habit of rinsing your teeth with water after eating anything will have a good impact on your oral health.
What does the word prevention mean to you?
The well-known saying “prevention is better than cure” is 200% true when it comes to dental and gum diseases. Dental diseases can be prevented if necessary precautions are taken on time. If caries are addressed when still in the initial phase and spreading is under control, there is, obviously, less damage to the teeth.
The periodontal disease is reversible in the mild stage, however, 80% of patients with severe periodontal disease unfortunately lose their teeth.
What is your “golden rule” or advice that you tell your patients often?
I always make sure my patients go home with these three mantras:
First, brush your teeth twice a day.
Second, clean the interdental spaces at least once a day. I understand flossing is a tedious job, but at least once at night will do the job.
And third, limiting sugary food intake and increasing water consumption will make a huge difference in maintaining good oral hygiene. Diet plays an integral role, not only for general health but also for oral health.
Welcome to the Billion Healthy Mouths Club
Proper routines in prevention are the future of dentistry – that’s why we at Curaden launched the Billion Healthy Mouths Club – a community of dental professionals committed to the idea of having proper routines in prevention and a holistic approach to dentistry. is one of those dental professionals who shares these values, and we proudly present her experience and thoughts with other like-minded people from the field. Keep reading our Gently magazine to discover more interviews with forward-thinking professionals from around the world.
What’s the biggest challenge of your job?
As a practicing periodontist, the challenge I face the most is the patient’s attitude towards their periodontal health. I always tell my patients that periodontal diseases are a silent killer. If you’ll be ignorant in the initial stage with minor signs of the disease, the treatment options in the advanced stage are limited. Many people end up losing their teeth due to periodontal disease. Unlike deep dental cavities, there is no symptomatic pain and it is challenging to make them understand the importance of taking care of the gingiva too.
What’s the thing that you like about your job the most?
I feel accomplished when my patients leave the clinic without pain and with a smile on their face. I love the part of my job where I get a chance to interact with different people. It gives me a rewarding feeling when I can make someone more confident just by improving the look of their smile or getting rid of the dental pain.
What’s the most important thing in terms of an oral care routine, from your point of view?
Besides regular brushing and interdental cleaning, getting a professional dental check-up and oral prophylaxis every six months is equally as important.
What’s the biggest oral health myth that you fight against?
There are many, but my “favourite” is this one: “I don’t need to do interdental cleaning if I use an electric toothbrush.” But the fact is, even if you use the most expensive high-tech toothbrush, you still need to floss once a day. While these toothbrushes can certainly clean surface area better than most manual brushes, they still can’t reach in between the teeth fully. The only way to remove plaque in between the teeth is with an interdental brush or floss.
Dr. Minu Doiphode
After graduating from the renowned Manipal University, Dr. Minu Doiphode followed with a specialisation in periodontology from JSS University in Mysore, India. Entering the profession after dental school, young Dr. Doiphode knew she wanted to change people’s perspective on dentistry. Currently, she works as a consultant periodontist in Pune, Maharashtra in India. She co-owns a practice Tooth Buddy Kids & Family Dental Care with her husband – pediatric and preventive dentist Dr. Amol Kamble, MDS. Besides dentistry, Dr. Doiphode balances her mind with travelling and dancing as she is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer. She enjoys writing her blog The Dentist Who Writes and is active on Instagram, where she shares educational and motivational content on taking care of oral health and daily routines.