Thankfully, I woke up feeling a bit better (yesterday was bad); especially thankful since I had a dentist appointment this morning. Unfortunately, the dentist appointment took a little more out of me and seems to have triggered a minor flare up (very minor, just enough to be obnoxious). You’d think that would mean I’d want to avoid the dentist, but NO. I very strongly believe in 6 month checkups with the dentist.
This belief might also sound weird given the fact that I definitely am no poster child for dental hygiene. Embarrassingly, I didn’t even brush my teeth daily until I was in college (and, even worse, it was because alcohol made my teeth feel weird). I mostly didn’t brush my teeth daily because I was more of a night owl and would go and go and go until I suddenly felt like just passing out. Since I wouldn’t get ready for bed until I was dead tired, I didn’t leave myself any energy to brush my teeth. Obviously, I was even worse about flossing. This has changed.
I brush my teeth every night, and I now use a Philips Sonicare with their Diamond Clean heads. My dentist wanted me too, and it has yielded much better checkups now that I’m using it! They said the handle doesn’t matter, as long as it’s the click-on head style. I bought the handle in a 2-pack from Sam’s Club (for about half the price of the handles anywhere else), and I get the heads in a 2 pack from my dentist (for about $27 / pack). It’s expensive, but I definitely think it’s been worth it! My teeth feel a lot better and they’re staying much cleaner between checkups.
I still can’t floss much. With my Chronics, I just can’t stand long enough. However, I use a WaterPik multiple times a week (most of the time, during my flares I skip it). This has definitely made a huge difference. The dentist would still like me flossing, but I think if I use the WaterPik more often and more consistently, then the lack of floss won’t be an issue. I love the WaterPik because it is so easy to use and only takes me a minute or two (depends on how long it’s been since I last did it) to “floss” my teeth. I definitely recommend it to people that hate flossing because of the time it takes and how messy your hands get.
These two tools have definitely made a huge difference in my dental hygiene. My teeth feel much cleaner, and they’ve even gotten a bit whiter! Today my dentist said I had “beautiful teeth.” I hadn’t used the pick for a bit, though, so I did have some gum bleeding. Once I start taking care of my gums again, I should be good! I’ve also been using ACT Restoring mouthwash, which I think has helped keep me from getting cavities between my teeth (the only place I’ve ever had any). I am pretty sure the mouthwash has been helping with the sensitivity, if nothing else. I’m not getting paid for recommending any of these things (it would be nice if I was, but oh well hehe), I just truly believe in them and they’ve made a big difference in my life. New studies are being released all the time tying oral hygiene to overall health and to various chronic conditions (maybe not the condition itself, but they do tie to symptom severity). If it’s been a while since your last checkup (more than six months), I highly recommend going again. Even if it hurts a little at the time (my mouth is pretty sore now, so it’s a soft food day for me today), I truly believe it’s worth it in the long run.