Let’s talk about those bones in your mouth.
Okay, in all seriousness, for some reason there isn’t much chatter in the healthy blogging world about how much of an impact your oral hygiene can have on your overall health. We’ve all heard it’s important but what do we really know?
How important is it? Let’s consider the biggest connections between poor oral hygiene and two other [unfortunately] common diseases.
Diabetes (aka Diabeetus)
According to WebMD (diagnoser of all my diagnoses), “The working relationship between diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and body. ” Diabetes – a condition in which a person cannot properly process the sugars in their body – can be triggered by inflammation in the mouth that suppresses the body’s ability to control blood sugar.
WebMD also states, “”Up to 91% of patients with heart disease have periodontitis, compared to 66% of people with no heart disease…some suspect that periodontitis has a direct role in raising the risk for heart disease as well.” The idea here is that an inflammation of the mouth can lead to an inflammation of the blood vessels and if you’ve been to even one health class in your lifetime I don’t need to explain the importance of keeping your blood vessels at a natural, un-inflamed state.
The almighty WebMD also goes on to discuss that although some studies and links are controversial, the link between oral health and overall health is undeniable – in both directions. Gum disease can cause further disease in your body that can, in some cases, be fatal.
Not brushing your teeth can kill you. Kill you dead (I should seriously go into marketing).
Because I love you and don’t want you to catch diseases from your own face, I’ve sought out some helpful tips on brushing your teeth and flossing from Mayo Clinic:
Brushing and flossing daily isn’t too complicated, right smarties? I even compiled links to some pretty common questions because I know you’ll ask and I’m here for you.
“Flossing is one of the most difficult things to get people to do, but probably the most effective method of reducing the need for a dentist and preventing disease.” Dr. Oz
“I look at mouthwash as an added positive habit to help with oral health. ” Dr James Jacobs
“Whitening toothpaste can whiten teeth slightly by removing surface stains, such as those caused by drinking coffee or smoking” Dr. Alan Carr
“It’s possible to brush your teeth effectively with a manual toothbrush — but an electric toothbrush can be a great alternative to a manual toothbrush.” Dr. Alan Carr
You might be thinking, “Hey Sabrina, why the sudden interest in my mouth?” (heyooo) and the answer is pretty simple. I finally have an oral health routine and you should too. I don’t want to tout the healthiness of anything I’m not doing myself. After a quarter of a century on this planet I finally have a great routine down and it’s never too late to start!
1. Crest 3D White Glamorous White Toothpaste. Unlike a lot of whitening toothpastes this one doesn’t taste all weird and chalky.
2. Dentek Complete Clean Floss Picks. This line is made specifically for tight teeth; of which I am the proud owner. I avoided floss for a long time because I always got it stuck in my teeth like an asshat. This removes the asshattery and I am free to floss my teeth, unjudged.
3. Crest 3D White Glamorous White Multi-Care Whitening Rinse*. Whitens teeth, prevents future stains, and kills bacteria. What more could I need?
I brush and rinse with mouthwash twice a day and I floss at night. David deserves credit for finally getting me to floss. When we first moved in together I thought it was weird that he flossed every night. I’d never met a regular flosser. I was curious. I found it odd. He told me I needed to start flossing too since it was such a simple step to being healthy.
Two years later, I’m finally flossing regularly. Okay so maybe I’m not super prompt at heading advice but I did try to floss regularly right when we moved in to impress him with my willingness to grow so I deserve points for that. All two days.
More importantly, now that I’m a regular flosser, I can’t ever go back. Sure, it hurt for the first week and my gums bled but that’s because my gums were inflamed – not a good sign. I worked through the pain because flossing every day taught me to floss every day. It’s a very complex catch 22. I floss. Every day. And yet, I eat food. Every day. So, every day, without fail, my floss picks pull some food out from betwixt my pearly whites.
It’s super gross and yet super validating. And here’s the thing, now I’m convinced non-flossers are all wicked gross. Seriously people, I pull PIECES OF FOOD FROM BREAKFAST out of my teeth. I didn’t even know they were IN there (that’s what she said). If you’re not flossing, I don’t even want to know what sort of month-old BLT is hanging out in your mouth, breeding bacteria all day long.
And people, it’s the kind of bacteria that makes your breath smell. So if you floss for no other reason than vanity, then consider those around you and be kind; floss.
I’m really grateful I’m engaged to a flosser because if I wasn’t I would have demanded he become one. My squirmy fiance gets points for not refusing to kiss me until I hopped on the floss train. #TrueLove
When it’s all boiled down, takingcare of your mouthspace is easy and isn’t incredibly time consuming. And oh yea, it can help to prevent further disease in your body so hell, why wouldn’t you clean out that chatty orifice of yours??
*Not pictured or linked. According to the internet – even Crest.com – this mouthwash doesn’t exist but I just looked at it on my bathroom sink five seconds ago – I swear it’s real.
***Large amounts of important information cited from WebMD.com and MayoClinic.com – they know their facts so do your research!