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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
discount dental plans. READ MORE

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Tooth or Dare 2: Common Teeth Mistakes

Nov 10, 2015

By Dean George

Americans are more obsessed with pursuing a healthy lifestyle than ever before. From smart apps and Fitbit™ trackers to healthy diets and regular exercise regimens, good health choices often determine what we eat and drink at home, work and play. Still, there are things we do every day that can affect our dental health – including some we don’t think twice about!   

TOOTHSHROOMS?

Do you store your toothbrush in a travel case when traveling? That’s a good sanitary practice, right? I’ve got one word for you: mushrooms.

Mushrooms grow best in a dark, moist and humid environment. For those of you keeping “spore” at home, Better Homes & Gardens says a spot under a sink may be all that’s needed to grow a mushroom indoors. You know, someplace like where you may keep your toothbrush travel case when you’re not traveling.

The point is that bacteria thrive in moist environments, and most toothbrush bristles stay damp long after they’re used. If you’re taking a trip and brush your teeth that morning, there’s a good chance the bristles on your toothbrush will still be damp when you store it in that dark, un-ventilated travel case for a few hours.

Set your toothbrush free to air dry as soon as you unpack (#freeyourbrush?). Toothbrushes may not need sunshine and Vitamin A, but they definitely need fresh air to do their best.

In our last blog post we shared five common mistakes people make with their teeth. Here are four more pearlies of wisdom to help keep your chompers in A-1crunch and munch shape:

NO WAY OJ

Most people brush their teeth after eating breakfast, but there’s a reason why Ben & Jerry’s hasn’t released a flavor like orange ice cream with chunks of minty toothpaste.

Aside from the nasty aftertaste of combining fruit juice and toothpaste, it’s best to wait 30 minutes before brushing after drinking your juice because the acidity in citrus juices weakens tooth enamel. By brushing immediately after drinking a fruit juice, you increase the danger of tooth erosion by spreading the acid all over your teeth.

If you can’t wait 30 minutes before brushing, drink water or milk and that will help neutralize the harmful acid the juices contain.

VITAMINS + MINERALS = HEALTHY TEETH!

We’ve written a lot in this blog space about consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals that are good for teeth.  Youngsters need calcium and vitamins as their teeth mature, and those of us on the north side of the chronological timeline need them to maintain bone and tooth density as we age.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation says 99% of the calcium in our bodies is deposited in our bones and teeth. Adult men and women need 1,000 – 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 – 1,000 units of Vitamin D per day from sunlight, food and nutritional supplements.

Milk, yogurt and cheese are great sources of calcium, and the lactic acid found in cheese is also a proven tooth decay fighter.  I don’t know about you, but all the motivation I need to monitor my intake of vitamins and minerals is visualizing the sturdy surgical steel instruments dentists use when probing my pie hole.

H²O IS THE WAY TO GO

In 2012 we wrote that Americans drink approximately 8.4 billion gallons of bottled water a year. Today, based on my admittedly unscientific study of counting the number of shoppers leaving warehouse shopping clubs with bottled water, and the overflowing recycle containers I count every collection day, it’s safe to say that Americans drink anywhere from 10 billion to 2 zillion gallons annually.


My questionable methodology aside, not all bottled waters contain the fluoride most dental professionals agree are good for teeth. Fortunately, most public water supplies do.  But what if your brand of bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride and your tap water tastes like it’s laced with brimstone? No worries: just be sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Also, whatever water you choose, swishing and drinking it regularly helps dissolve sugars and acids that accumulate from the food you eat during the day.

TOOTHBRUSH FUSSY

Are any of our readers old enough to remember playwright Neil Simon’s cleanliness-obsessed character Felix Ungar?  

For readers not familiar with either the play or the 1970’s hit TV show, Ungar’s wife kicked him out because of his tidy-obsessive ways, so naturally he moved in with a slovenly sportswriter buddy whose idea of cleaning was to move the leftover pizza boxes from the couch to the coffee table.


Like Felix, some of us may be overzealous when it comes to the care of our toothbrush. For example, you may be overly obsessed with toothbrush cleanliness if you’ve ever thought about running it through a dishwasher or sanitizing it in a toaster oven.

None of us like to worry about bacteria accumulating on our toothbrush, but unless you’re brushing with the same brush used to clean your oven rack, you’ll be just fine rinsing it, storing it upright and letting it air-dry.

Leave testing your toothbrush bristles through Mojave desert heat or sub-arctic conditions to toothbrush inventors like Green Beret and former Special Forces Medic Steven Walther and New York periodontist Dr. Jack Gruber.

Of course, the best toothbrush in the world doesn’t replace the need for regular dental checkups! To find an affordable dental plan in your area, click here.  Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and for more orally awesome tips, follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.  

Sources: foxnews.com, health.com
Photo source: incrediblethings.com, sitcomsonline.com, assets.nydailynews.com


Copyright 2015, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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