Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dental Gadget Fun (ha!)

It seems like I'm getting less and less fond of going to the dentist as I get older. Perhaps because my teeth seem to require more of everything, and so things have intensified in the dental care department.

It almost feels like since starting the guaifenesin protocol for fibromyalgia five years ago, that my dental health really has gone down hill. Perhaps this is because I can't use listerine or any other anti-germ mouth wash anymore. They ALL contain mint which prevents the guaifenesin from working.

I have more dental care gadgets now that I use regularly than I ever even knew existed a year ago. Sad, but true.

So here is my gear and what I think of each item:

-Toothbrush: tried and true. I don't care what brand, as long as the bristles are soft. Seems I get some fancy schmancy one every time I go to the dentist for a cleaning these days, which is so often (every three months) that they practically keep me supplied for free.

-Tom's of Maine Cinnamon Clove toothpaste. Boring, non minty (a requirement on the guaifenesin protocol).

-Those little Y shapes flossing thingies. Yes, they get the job done. At last I have become a flosser. I finally learned from a dental hygenist friend of mine that flossing is NOT just flicking bits of food out from between one's teeth, but rather, done correctly, one is scraping plaque off the between-surfaces. Who'd-a-thunk-it? I give them to my kids, too, and they now floss as well. When I was a kid I thought flossing was for grownups.

-A water pick. Yes, it is fabulous! Using my water pick regularly has cured my chronic bleeding gums. And chronic bleeding gums (gingivitis, I believe it is called) is BAD for one's whole body, including heart health. I HIGHLY recommend the investment in a water pick.

-Bite guard, on the cheap: I don't use this as faithfully as I should, but here was my dentist's advice: Go to the athletic department and get the one dollar mouth guards and follow the directions for molding them. If you can stand sleeping in that, you save a penny or two by not having one professionally (and expensively) made. And it's just as effective in saving one's bit from cracked teeth due to grinding.

-New items: teeny little toothbruth thingies that look like tiny little mascara wands. The denist told me to get some today and start using them on my very back tooth. The mess started when I had that dental emergency where my tooth broke while eating a chicken pot pie one time, and I went to Immediadent and they butchered my mouth. Well, apparently the gum back there is STILL swollen, and the filling does not come all the way to the tooth, so I have to get it really really clean and get the swelling to go down otherwise they'll have to send me to an oral surgeon to cut my gum away so they can re-do the filling. Yipes! So now I have the mascarea wand toothbrush that I have to jam between my gum and tooth back there and wiggle around. Fun.

-And a tongue scraper. It is supposed to get rid of/prevent bad breath. I figure, since I can't use mint, I can use all the help I can get. I might get some for my stinky little kids, too.

I still hate going to the dentist, and I find oral care very very very boring. But it has to be done, I suppose. And I think that list pretty much covers everything from the dental gadgets aisle.

So, that's my post for the day. Maybe someone has learned something by reading it. A year ago, I certainly did not know so much fun could be had in the dental gadgets aisle, that's for sure!

6 comments:

Hezra said...

oral care mini book. lol thanks for sharing. I use Melaleuca cinnamon tooth polish. It is quite addictive. They also have cinnamon breath spray and mouthwash. I order it at my preferred customer cost, so if you are ever interested let me know, I can have it shipped to your door(ups). www.melaleuca.com remember to look at the PC price.

amy said...

Alana,

I worked as a dental hygienist for 10 yrs. before becoming a stay-at-home mom. I recommended Sonicare toothbrushes to my patients with gingivitis or periodontal diesease.

I use one myself due to being a heavy coffee/tea drinker as they help reduce stain significantly. The sonic technology not only blasts plaque & stain, but massages the gingiva/gum area, helping to reverse gingivitis. The initial cost of one (brush heads are replaceable) can be high (depending on the model you get), but may save you $$ in dental bills down the road =-)

Janice Clark said...

I use a local toothpaste their selling here. Brands don't matter really (most of the time) it's the habit.

thegeekywife said...

We've had success with the Rotadent toothbrush. It's about $100 to start, but since the heads are interchangeable both of us can use it. Once/day with the Rotadent, and once/day with a regular brush.
The Rotadent sounds very much like the brush Amy described.

Mimi said...

I've been noting that I'm waking up with jaw pain, thank you for the tip about the bite guard.

Now, let's see how attractive my Dh will find it ;)

Shelley said...

I swear by natural bristle toothbrushes!