Remember your teeth! A dental hygiene message

Earlier this week a co-worker brought up an article that she read in the local newspaper, The Maui News. Essentially, the gist was that many athletes, especially Olympians and/or endurance athletes, have awful teeth.

There is no one rule fits all but this wasn't shocking news to me. I see my dentist regularly every six months for the routine cleanings and annual deeper investigations. And yes, I have issues with my teeth. For the most part I blame that phase of my life when I was less than diligent in going to the dentist. The article touches on this too by saying people 16-25 are at a higher risk of dental issues. The theory is this is when kiddos leave the nest and are on their own. Dental visits fall to the side. I agree. This was me.

Growing up dental visits were very routine. Then not so much but still somewhat routine. Then I moved to Hawai'i, heard horror stories about making an appointment and getting seen, and procrastinated....too long. The end result - cavities and fillings.

Why am I telling you this? To perhaps get one person into the dentist sooner. To get all of us aware of our teeth and how what we do beyond eating affects our teeth. I agree with the article in some ways as my dentist supported the claims months ago. He stated that I am doing a great job taking care of my teeth and am eating healthy foods. The issues he sees with me he sees with many other athletes on island. He attributes it to the sports drinks, gels, etc. that we consume while training. Add in more smaller meals and our mouths become breeding fields for bacteria. Essentially, we are providing them a steady stream of nutrients.

What was his advice? Of course, continue to brush and flush daily as I have been doing. Anti-cavity mouthwash wouldn't hurt but mainly, swish with water. If nothing else, swish. Finished your meal/snack? Great! Take one more sip of that water and swish well before swallowing. Yes, you can spit it out if you want but essentially, give your teeth a good rinse if you can't give them a nice brushing.

In addition, I have added in a water pick at home and my whole family is loving it! Especially darling daughter - and this is keeping her on a great pathway for proper dental hygiene. Do I have any regrets? Of course! I regret that it took me so long to get my butt to the dentist after moving to Hawai'i. I will nag my daughter when she leaves the nest even if it drives her bonkers. And I will tell the world to take care of their teeth. It matters.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for dentists and dental hygienists.
Daily Affirmation: I learn from my mistakes.

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