Monday, December 4, 2017
#MicroblogMondays: Brushing up my routine
Here's one example: toothbrushes. When our former dentist retired about 10 years ago (he was in his EIGHTIES -- was a WWII vet who graduated from dentistry school in the early 1950s, & had been dh's dentist since he was six years old!!), the new dentist he sold his practice to presented us with fancy rechargeable electric toothbrushes (with charging cords & holders/cases that could be mounted on the wall) as "welcome to the practice" gifts on our first visit. It was a pretty nice freebie, I will admit -- but they were big clunky things and just looking at them and all the accessories & the tiny type of the included instruction booklet intimidated me. I'm a little embarrassed to say we never used them.
The hygienists kept asking us if we were using electric toothbrushes, though, and continued to recommend that we give them a try, saying they did a much better job of removing plaque. About 10-15 years ago, I saw some cheaper, smaller & less intimidating battery-powered brushes at the drugstore, so I bought us each one. We gave them the old college try. No question, using it made my teeth feel smooth & polished in a way my manual brush never could.
But I couldn't help feeling like something was... missing. I knew my teeth were probably clean, but I didn't feel like I had DONE anything to them, KWIM?? I'd been brushing my teeth the same way, with a manual brush, since I was a toddler, and old habits die hard. Gradually, we both drifted back to using our manual brushes.
We were back at the dentist last week for checkups & cleanings. Since our last visit six months ago, my teeth had inexplicably developed some embarrassingly bad stains, including a stain right on one of my front teeth that made me embarrassed to even open my mouth, let alone smile. Brushing vigorously with some baking soda had helped remove some, but not all of the stain.
Thankfully, the hygienist was able to clean it up with a minimum of scraping & polishing. She asked if I was doing anything different with my diet (I drink tea every day, but I hadn't been drinking any more than usual) or whether I was using any new products on my teeth. I was: at my last visit, she'd noticed some inflammation of the gums around a recently installed crown, and recommended I use an antiseptic mouthwash to counter it. She told me she & the other hygienists have noticed that, in a small segment of the population (which OF COURSE would include me...!), certain kinds of mouthwash seem to increase the incidence of stains on teeth. Go figure. You think you're solving one problem, but in the process, you're creating another...!
She encouraged me to try a different mouthwash formula. And (just guess!) to use my electric toothbrush.
Younger Nephew's wedding is coming up in a few months -- before our next checkup -- and I certainly don't want to have to hide my smile that day. :) So I've switched to a different kind of mouthwash, to see if that helps -- and I fished my old electric toothbrush out of a dusty drawer. It still worked; didn't even need a new battery.
And after I use it, I give my teeth a quick going-over with my manual toothbrush too. I figure it doesn't hurt -- and it makes me feel better somehow. :) Maybe doing both will help me stick to the new routine this time around.
How about you? -- Electric/power or manual toothbrush?
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.