I used to have great teeth. I remember a conversation I had with another backpacker in Bundaberg, Australia. I was talking to Michelle after a days work at the farm and somehow we started talking about teeth. She was quick to point out that I had fantastic teeth. I completely agreed with her.
That was about 8 years ago, how things have changed…
I blame time. I think it takes a long time for the small “mistakes”/inefficiencies and bad habits to accumulate. These start to show once you hit your thirties.
Let’s talk about flossing first. I only had a few months in my twenties when I actually flossed regularly. I lost that habit and have flossed very few times ever since.
Recently I found out that I was flossing wrong anyway. This is because I have retainers (both upstairs and downstairs) and the floss can’t get to the area between all of my teeth. My dentist said I should be using “super floss”, which fixes that problem – it has a stiffened end on the floss, which you can poke between your teeth and behind the retainer, where all of that plaque etc lives.
It’s only been two days using super floss for me – and boy does it take a while. It’s easily a 5-10 minute endeavor. However, I hope to stick with it this time and aim to only do it once a day before I go to sleep (also I think I need to floss before I brush my teeth).
I also found out that I have been brushing my teeth wrong my entire lifetime. Did you know that after you brush your teeth, you should spit out the excess toothpaste and that’s it? Do not rinse your mouth with water after brushing your pearly whites. Apparently, rinsing will just flush out all the fluoride and other magic, which is supposed to keep your smile big and bright. Why isn’t this common knowledge? My edumacation has failed me again.
Good dental hygiene is important as teeth are expensive (and unpleasant) to fix. Year to date, I have paid £200 to extract a wisdom tooth, paid £90 for a hygienist (AeroFlow), and another £50-£60 for consultation(s)/antibiotics (London, Zone 2 prices, private dentist). The costs aren’t astronomical yet but if I don’t change my dental routine, then the direction of travel is towards big dental bills. I’m sure we can all agree, we’d like to avoid that.