At certain times of my life I have found that I try to live life vicariously through those around me. I had a patient come in who went to Borneo to photograph the orangutans in the jungle. The way he described it; the heat, the insects and all the wildlife was unreal. Every day I learn about some other creative way to do something….it is amazing what people do today.
Perhaps the biggest part of living vicariously is also living in the past…and for me that can be when summer vacations actually meant weeks of no responsibility. All the kids in my neighborhood had pretty much the same routine during the summer. We went to summer school (yes we did every single summer). All of the kids did. We would carpool or ride our bikes depending on what campus the school was being held at. We always took an academic type class with a fun class, one year I took creative writing and a woodshop class. Then after school we would head home, eat lunch (often together) and then off to the playground around the corner. Softball practices Monday and Wednesday and the games were on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We would ride our bikes to either La Cienega or Roxbury Park and had the games there.
After summer school ended the parks and recreation department had their all day field trips like to Catalina or Disneyland (with the coupon books….remember the E tickets?) And my family would end summer vacation going to a local beach community for a week/labor day and then school would start again. I was always ready for school to start….until it actually started. And every year I had the same sick feeling in my stomach….why was I in such a rush to get to school again???? Because summer time is leisure time.
Let’s get back to the concept of the Leisure Season of Summer. I would like to share some simple ways you can help improve your dental health (and consequently the entire health of your body). The key is that all of these products are easy to do…
- Electric/Power toothbrushes: The Oral B and Sonicare were discussed in last weeks blog. In my opinion the best tool on the market to help prevent oral disease. The two minute timer on these brushes actually help insure that you take long enough to brush your teeth properly.
- Xylitol: This great sweetener is actually natural and not only does it not cause cavities, the research has shown that Xylitol actually fights against the bacteria that do cause cavities. Xylitol still has some calories to it so it is not “dietetic” but it sure is great for the body. You can find Xylitol all over the market but make sure it is the first sweetener listed to make sure you can get the full therapeutic effect of the Xylitol. This can be as easy as changing your tooth paste or partaking of candy or gum sweetened with Xylitol.
- Probiotics: From Oragenics comes their ProBiora3 probiotics which can help support tooth and gum health, freshen your breath and also help naturally whiten your teeth. Its as simple as dissolving a lozenge once a day in your mouth..
- CariFree products: These are products that are intended to help change the acid rich environment of the bacteria that cause cavities. The drilling out of a cavity and placing a filling only deal with the effects of the bacterial infection. The Carifree system actually works at the bacterial level to change the acidic environment of the bacteria in your mouth to a more base and cavity neutral environment. There is a complete line of products from oral rinses to candies with Xylitol.
The bottom line is that dentistry is hard at work trying to come up with tools and products so that it is easier for you to keep your mouth healthy. They all come with the basic tenant, these tools will only work if you let them, and they can’t help you sitting in a cabinet and not being used. Yes, we still have the standard of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. But if you want more protection the above is only a sample of products that are available to help you.
If you want to improve your oral health, if you want to reduce the potential long term costs of future dental care, or if you just want a healthier smile call us or your local dental health care provider.