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Holiday Travel Tips 2018

Travelling for the holidays can seem like a necessary evil.  But with a little preparation, it doesn’t need to take away from the Holiday Spirit!

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Mouth and Heart...A love-hate story by V.

Besides hurtful words that can make your heart bleed,

Or warm kisses that make its wounds heal,
Did you know that mouth and heart are closely linked?
In fact, periodontal disease and heart disease are intertwined.

I might be a -bad- Poet and certainly no Doctor, but I work in the dental field, read the news and keep myself fairly informed, and it is no news that oral care is linked to diseases and health issues, such as diabetes, Alzheimers, and even breast cancer, just to name a few.

Studies have shown a direct link between the frequency and length of brushing as well as flossing and the risk of having a heart attack, failure or stroke. And it is for this reason patients with gum disease cannot undergo brain surgeries!

This is how I explain it with my bad-Poet-no-Doctor words:

-         Some bad bacteria live in the mouth.

And those are not simply linked to badmouth.

-         If not eliminated by proper oral care, they harden into dental plaque.

Almost as hard but definitely not as pretty as your Shellac ;)

-         Plaque is in direct contact with the gum.

And here begins all the fun…

-         Gum are tissues with tons of blood vessels, that connect to more blood vessels…

That’s why they should be treated like little Angels…

-         Vessels transport blood to and from the Heart.
Sooooooo smart.

-         The Heart pumps bacteria-filled blood.

Now I’m gonna throw-up.

-         Bacteria cause blood clots, leading to hear attack or stroke.

And don’t pretend you are choked.

-         Death.
=> AVOIDABLE WITH GOOD ORAL HEALTH!

Alright, the last one is a bit dramatic, but I wish more people would understand and take seriously the impact of poor oral care on their heart. In conclusion: <3 Happy Teeth , Happy Heart <3

 

-V.

My Top 5 Holiday Travel Essentials!

Hi All!

The holidays are just around the corner, which is crazy! Time seems to fly as soon as October ends, and then it’s a mad dash to the end of the year.

I don’t know about you, but I no longer live near home—I’m about 2.5 hours north of where my parents live—so the holiday season means traveling back and forth throughout the next few weeks. Since traveling can be a pain (+ we often have our brains scrambled/occupied by so many other things), I’ve compiled a list of my Top 5 essentials for traveling this time of year! I hope this list is helpful (and keeps you from forgetting any important things while packing!)

1. A foldable hair brush

I am very low maintenance with my hair, but a hair brush is still essential! No matter what kind of hair you have, it’s important to get all snags and tangles out a couple times per day, plus it’s good for your scalp to brush your hair, as the contact of the bristles encourages circulation! I don’t like packing heavy when I travel, so a must-have for me is the Wet Brush Foldable Hair Brush

2. Comfy Socks

Travel (for me) means lots of driving, and my feet can get sore from the hours spent on the road—not to mention that the holiday season here in New England means brisk, chilly weather! A comfortable and warm pair of socks is a necessity for me. My favorite ones are Bombas! They support your arches and also give pairs to those in need when you purchase.

3. A Portable Face Toner

I’m a skincare junkie! I often have breakouts, plus when the cold weather rolls around your skin can get dry so easily. When I’m tuckered out from travel I don’t always want to go through a whole extensive skincare regime, so having a quick, easy, and portable option helps a bunch. I’ve been loving the Neogen Real Cica Pads—They have a smooth side and a more exfoliating side, so you can really get a good clean/scrub if you’ve decided to slack on cleansing, etc and just want to get to bed.

4. A Great Travel Toothbrush

Traveling is no excuse for slacking on dental hygiene! During the holiday season, people are always taking pictures, so you want your smile to be in tip top shape. I always make sure that I have my Dr. Plotka’s travel toothbrush!!! The flossing bristles make sure every spot gets a thorough clean, and the antimicrobial properties of the brush are even more necessary during travel—I can rest assured knowing that my toothbrush is clean and bacteria-free even after bouncing from my travel bag to various bathrooms/hotels back to home. I never travel without it!

5. A Good Neck Pillow

Most folks associate neck pillows with traveling on airplanes, but when you drive (or maintain any posture) for a long amount of time it can strain your neck! When I drive I have a very “forward” posture, so once I’ve arrived at my destination, relaxing with a good neck pillow really helps to ease the muscles and get everything back into position. My favorite neck pillow is memory foam!

 

I hope this list was informative and helps you piece together your packing list for wherever the holiday traveling season may take you!

 

Best,

 

~Meg

How to Keep Your Gums and Teeth Healthy

Gum disease is caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar. Plaque is mostly made up of bacteria, mucus, food, and other particles. When it’s not removed, it hardens into tartar, giving the bacteria a home.

Gum disease has 3 stages:

  • Gingivitis —> This is the early stage where the gums are red, swollen, and tender (can easily bleed). If the condition is caught early, it can often be reversed on its own with correct brushing and flossing.
  • Mild/Moderate Periodontitis —> In this next stage, there is increased inflammation and bleeding around the tooth. This happens when bacterial poisons in plaque and your body’s defenses start to break down the gum attachment to the tooth. The gums start to pull away from the teeth and forms pockets of infected material. Treatment at this stage is critical to prevent further loss of bone and loosening of teeth.
  • Advanced Periodontitis —> This stage has further deepening of gum pockets and heavy destruction of bone that holds teeth in place. The teeth may become so loose that they need to be removed if treatment doesn’t restore bone support. 

Symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Bad breath that lasts
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Receding gums
  • Pain when chewing

The following risks put a person at more risk for developing gum disease:

  • Smoking or using chewing tobacco
  • Hormonal changes in girls/women
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medicines
  • Heredity

How to Avoid Gum Disease:

Having good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing twice a day) can help prevent gum infections, cavities, and tooth loss. Also having your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist or dental hygienist at least once a year is important.

To brush correctly:

  • Brush in the morning and before you go to sleep.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against your gums and brush each tooth 15-20 times. 
  • Move your toothbrush gently, using short strokes. Do not scrub!
  • Brush vertically in short, downward strokes against your inner upper-front teeth; short, upward strokes for lower inside teeth. 
  • Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth with short, back and forth strokes.
  • Replace your toothbrush about every 3-4 months.
  • Don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container as this can encourage growth of microorganisms.

Floss like you care!

Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles stuck between your teeth and under your gums 

  • Cut off about 18 inches of floss and hold it tightly between your thumb and forefingers. Place it between your teeth and gently slide it up and down. 
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it around 1 tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss up and down, making sure to go below the gumline. Repeat method on the rest of your teeth, and also flossing the back side of your teeth!

Your teeth and your gums will thank you once you get into the habit of good oral hygiene. Do everything in your power to preserve that great smile!

Remineralizing your Teeth - a Primer on Reversing & Preventing Tooth Decay

Hello all! Happy October! 🎃 🎃 🎃

I have a confession to make......before joining MouthWatchers, I wasn't taking very good care of my teeth. 😬

I slacked off on oral care during college when my course load was crazy, and those bad habits unfortunately carried over, leading to the development of something nobody likes having or getting treated: cavities.

After working at MouthWatchers for a bit, I knew I had to get in for a dentist appointment...I hadn't seen a dentist since high school, so probably at least 6 or 7 years had passed (horrible, I know! 😬). I knew if I didn't get back on track with my oral health it would be contradictory to my work! So I scheduled a dentist appointment, grinned & bared it through fillings, and started my new, tooth-conscious lifestyle.

One thing I learned about at the dentist that I wasn't aware of before is the concept of remineralizing teeth! This process, simply put, is using various products/practices to encourage the strengthening/restoration of enamel, which can help remedy soft spots (areas of weakening enamel that are threatening to become a full-blown cavity) as well as strengthen tooth enamel all throughout the mouth, helping to prevent development of any further tooth decay. I learned at the dentist that I had 1 soft spot, and it was deemed fixable/not needing a filling....yet. So I began working on changes in my oral care to remineralize the tooth/strengthen my teeth overall. Here are some of the steps I took:

Brushing with Fluoride Toothpaste

I know that fluoridation can be a controversial subject (should it be in water, should it not, should we be using it in oral care or not, etc), but when it comes to weakening of tooth enamel (known as demineralization), fluoride is essential. It helps to strengthen/build up enamel, which, over time, can fill in soft spots/prevent further tooth decay. I've been using a spearmint fluoride toothpaste by Spry; it tastes great and I can rest assured that I'm incorporating remineralizing ingredients into my oral care regime.

Flossing Every Night

I have to admit, I am not the best flosser (I went a long time not flossing at all which I'm sure at least partly contributed to the formation of cavities), so this step is one I still struggle with. When I'm getting ready to go to bed, it's already far past my bedtime (any other night-owls out there?), so any and every task before my head hits the pillow feels extra tedious. However, having seen the repercussions to not flossing, and not particularly wanting to get more fillings in my future, I am doing my best to floss each night before I go to bed. Flossing before you sleep is a good time to do it, because otherwise any food debris that is stuck in your teeth/can't be removed by simply brushing will sit there overnight (not good). I've been using this floss by Reach; It can slide in between teeth fairly well since it's waxed, and the mint coating/flavor leaves a pleasant taste after use. Since I'm still working on my flossing technique, I'm ever-thankful for my Dr. Plotka's toothbrush with flossing bristles! I have been using the Youth Yellow recently, as it can reach my back molars really well.

Using a Restoring Fluoride Rinse

Another easy way to prevent tooth decay/remineralize your teeth is using a fluoride rinse as well. Although you may be thinking "Meg, I brushed with a fluoride toothpaste already, isn't this overkill?", hear me out! A rinse coats the teeth and stays there, while toothpaste is mostly removed from the teeth after brushing. using this extra layer of minerals can just act as an extra boost to strengthening weaker teeth, and upping overall defenses for the rest of your smile. I've been using a restoring rinse from ACT. I like that it doesn't have much of that 'burn' sensation other rinses do, meaning I can swish for the full minute I'm supposed to without wincing in pain.

Hydrating

Drinking enough water is essential! Dry mouth isn't good for teeth. Make sure that you get enough water each day; not only does it benefit your skin/body, but it promotes healthier teeth too!

I hope this baby lesson on remineralization was helpful for some of you! Long story short: Use fluoride to strengthen, floss to remove stuck debris, and don't get lazy!

Have a great day,

~Meg

A Lazy Girl's Guide to Oral Care!

Hi Everyone!

We all know we need to brush & floss well in order to maintain a healthy smile! Unfortunately, that fact doesn’t make keeping up with oral care any easier. Especially during the summer months, when the days are longer and we feel lazier and chilled out, our dental care can easily slip from the forefront of our minds.

 

I have devised a few simple habits and tricks to help keep on top of your dental care:

 

Use a distraction/multitask

 

Everyone has heard that they should brush their teeth for 2 minutes, but in our fast-paced world, 2 minutes seems like a lot of time to spend brushing away! In order to make sure I brush (AND FLOSS!) sufficiently each day, I either listen to music/podcasts I enjoy, or watch some youtube videos while I work on my dental care. This keeps me entertained, and I end up being more thorough in my brushing and flossing when there’s something entertaining me in my periphery.

 

Be strategic about your routine

 

I’m not the best at flossing regularly, so being intentional and strategic about what I use/when I use it can help me do a better job vs. just hap-hazardly trying to keep my teeth in good shape.

For example, using our Dr. Plotka’s brushes with flossing bristles helps to sweep away much more plaque than brushes I previously used, so when it comes to flossing, I have less work to do!

Another good trick is to actually floss BEFORE you brush. Sometimes, once you’ve brushed your teeth, they already “feel clean” so you can’t be bothered to floss. By flossing first, you’ve dislodged some plaque but don’t yet have that “squeaky clean” feeling, so you brush afterwards as well.

 

Drink tons of water

 

Summertime is notorious for icecream, lemonade, and all kinds of sweet treats. Whether it’s sugary sodas/drinks or funnel cake at a theme park, it’s always important to do your best to make sure sugar can’t linger on your teeth! Drinking lots of water not only helps your general health, but also helps to flush away the stuff you don’t want sitting on your teeth/creating plaque.

 

Be prepared on the go

Since vacations/outings are more common during the summer months, make sure you have the necessary supplies to keep your teeth healthy while you’re out and about! I recommend keeping some floss or inter-dental brushes on you, as well as one of our nifty travel brushes! Keeping your teeth clean on the go means less work at the beginning and end of each day, and overall better oral health.

 

I hope this was helpful for you! Best of luck keeping your smile in tip-top shape during the lazy months. Now, off to have a nap in the shade…..

 

 

--Meg

Mouth Watchers Claims #3 Spot Amongst 2018 Best Travel Toothbrushes!

We are so proud to be listed on Wiki.Ezvid.com’s 2018 list of best travel toothbrushes!

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