My teeth and I have not always seen eye to eye.
I’ve never really been keen on anything that involves getting my hands wet and when I was younger I was one of those children who would go to elaborate lengths to make it look like they had cleaned their teeth, rather than actually do it. I would run the toothbrush under the tap, makes splashy water sounds, even eat a little bit of toothpaste to give the illusion of minty fresh breath. WHY I couldn’t just take two minutes to clean my teeth and maintain this lovely cheeky grin I don’t know.
This, combined with a family history of poor teeth and a penchant for jaffa cakes left my teeth in rather a sorry state by my late teens. If you want to teach your children about the importance of looking after your teeth and gums please feel free to bring them round for a look in my mouth. I do flash my fillings at Belle from time to time as a warning.
I suspect that being pregnant at 16 didn’t to a lot for my calcium levels either – pregnant women are increasingly vulnerable to gum problems and my mother blames me entirely for the deterioration of her teeth in her twenties. Alongside my dubious dental records, or perhaps because of them, I also had a fear of the dentist.
I’ve had a lot of dentists over the years and some have been lovely. The kindly woman who told me not to worry, that ‘anaesthetics sometimes do make people a little teary’ was very sweet indeed. Unfortunately she was followed by the man whose hands always smelled of cigarettes and who accidentally gave me a root canal filling in the wrong tooth. Not ideal.
Fortunately by my early twenties things seemed to have settled down. As a grown-up I had realised the value of cleaning your teeth a little more regularly and as by this point pretty much all of my back teeth had filings already, there was very little else to go wrong. It was also at about this age that I started to use an electric toothbrush.
An electric toothbrush has made a massive difference to my dental hygiene and definitely gets my teeth much cleaner. The last time we moved house in fact, and had to find a new dentist, he looked into my mouth and was baffled. “I don’t understand it,” he said, “your teeth are so clean, so why do you have so many fillings?” I think he suspected some sort of dubious, crack addled past, but no, just crumbly teeth.
Oral-B recently sent me the Triumph 5000 to try out and I love it. I have had an Oral-B electric toothbrush before – albeit a much more basic model – but was pleased to discover that the heads I have already will fit this one too. The Triumph 5000 has loads of cool features, including a wireless Smart Guide that gives you feedback as you brush. It’s always nice to get a bit of encouragement after all.
Here it is, settling in and making friends with the other toothbrushes:
It’s not all about the teeth mind you – your gums are just as important, if not more so. Gum disease is the biggest cause of tooth lose and scarily as much as half of the UK population suffer from it. Aside from brushing twice a day and taking regular trips to the dentist, what can you do to help protect your teeth and gums? Here are five easy ideas to get your started:
Take a quiz
Everyone loves a quiz. Apparently lots of us are unsure whether or not we even have gum problems, so take the Oral B quiz as a first step to see if your gums are in need of a bit of TLC.
Use the right toothpaste
You’d think that one toothpaste was very much like another, but it isn’t. Oral B’s new Pro Expert Premium Gum Protection toothpaste contains Stannous, helping to protect gums by killing bacteria and preventing it from growing back too.
Don’t brush too hard
The temptation is to think that the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth are going to get, but this isn’t true. When you press too hard you are preventing the bristles moving around properly, meaning your teeth won’t get as clean as they could. The Triumph 5000 has a pressure sensor that tells you if you are brushing too hard:
Give up smoking
Tobacco can affect the cells in your mouth that help fight gum problems, giving bacteria the upper hand. Smoking can also suppress the signs of gum problems, such as bleeding gums, giving the false impression that everything is OK when there may actually be serious problems.
Yes it’s a faff, but flossing is one of the most important things you can do to help your teeth. My hygienist is always nagging me to floss more often and she’s right to – not only does it help protect your teeth and gums but it could help protect you against heart disease and add years to your life! Find out more about how to floss effectively here.
Are your teeth and gums in good shape? What are your top tips for keeping them healthy?
Disclosure: I was sent the Oral-B Triumph 5000 for the purposes of this post as part of a Mumsnet Blogger Network project. I was not given any other form of compensation.