Oral health is probably important to most of you (who doesn’t love having clean teeth and fresh breath!?), but in our house we’re quite passionate about it. My husband is a dentist, so I think when you spend every day talking about teeth, looking at teeth, and fixing teeth you learn to love it. 😉 My husband put together a list of 5 things you can do to improve your oral health. I am not even close to being perfect with my oral health so these tips are a good reminder for me too.
1. Brush the right way
We all know that brushing is important, and my guess is that most of us are doing it daily, but are you doing it the right way? Check out this post my husband wrote on how to brush you teeth the right way.
2. Flossing, it really isn’t hard to do.
Think about it. Is there anything else in life that takes less time and money but can save you this much money, not to mention pain and suffering? One night’s worth of floss costs just pennies, takes one minute, and has been proven to prevent cavities and gum disease which could run into the tens of thousands of dollars for treatment over the course of your lifetime. Make it a habit and it’s not that hard. To help make it a habit, try incorporating it into your nightly routine, whether you’re reading a book, watching the news, or surfing your favorite mommy blog.
3. Condense your guilty pleasures.
We all know that snacks and sugary beverages are terrible for our teeth. Even dentists know this, but a lot of us do it anyway! If you can’t do away with that afternoon Coke break altogether (and trust me, I get it – sometimes those 12 ounces of bubbly pleasure is the only thing keeping your sanity intact!) – the next best thing would be to minimize the amount of time that the drink is in contact with your teeth. As far as your teeth are concerned, 2 liters of soda in a 5 minute span is much less harmful than a mere 12 ounces spread out over 2 or 3 hours! (Remember this is just your teeth, your pancreas and stomach lining might have something else to say about it). Once you’ve finished your drink (and regained your sanity) just pop in a piece of sugar-free gum and the saliva will help wash away the sugars so that the decay-causing bacteria won’t have a chance to convert them into enamel eroding acids.
4. Stop sharing!
I know, we’ve all learned from a young age that sharing is nice, but beware! Sharing a drink or a bite of a sandwich with someone else is a great way to share cavity-causing bacteria. Before you wrap your lips around someone else’s straw, stop and ask yourself, “Do I know how their last dental checkup went?” If you’re a parent and have small children, keep this in mind during mealtime. A lot of parents unknowingly contaminate their children with these nasty bugs by sharing drinks, letting babies put their fingers in your mouth, or even something seemingly harmless like blowing on a bowl of hot soup! Sometimes not sharing is caring.
5. Go see the dentist!
If you’re not having your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice per year, you are doing yourself a great disservice. A significant portion of teeth that are repaired with a $2000 root canal and crown are teeth that could have been fixed with a $200 filling just a few months earlier. So, if you’re avoiding the dentist to save money, you might want to re-think this strategy.
Also check out Camille’s secret to getting rid of bad breath.