It’s an experience we’ve all had at one time or another; desperately wanting—or needing—to brush our teeth, but finding ourselves a long way from our toothbrush. Maybe you’re out running errands around town, or you’re grabbing lunch just before a big meeting. Nobody wants to go into the boardroom with bits of green stuff in their teeth, and you certainly don’t want everybody else in the meeting to be getting a whiff of the particularly strong onions that you had on your burger.
If you’ve got kids in junior high or high school, they face a lot of the same problems. Appearances play a big part in a teenager’s life, and they can’t always pop in to brush their teeth between classes or in the middle of a big date.
What it boils down to is that we can’t always brush our teeth when we’d like to. But fortunately there are some easy tips and tricks that can help us all keep smiling with confidence, even when we can’t brush.
Sugar-free gum. Everybody’s probably heard the commercial that goes, “When you can’t brush, chew on this.” It’s not bad advice, either. Chewing sugar-free gum can help increase salivation, which helps to wash away acids that are created when you eat food, as well as getting bits of stuck food off your teeth. Look for sugar-free gums with the American Dental Association seal, or gums that contain xylitol, which can help inhibit the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.
Portable flossing picks. There are a variety of flossing picks available at stores and pharmacies—usually with a toothpick at one end and a small strip of floss at the other. Your friendly Overland Park dentist can probably also get you a sample.
Pocket toothbrushes. If you’re the kind of person who travels a lot—or a busy executive always rushing from meeting to meeting—it’s probably a good idea to invest in some pocket-size toothbrushes and travel-size tubes of toothpaste. Keep them in your purse, in your car, in your briefcase, in a drawer at your desk at work. Wherever you need them, and you’ll always be able to brush when the need arises.
Foods with cleaning properties. Even if you can’t brush or chew gum, there are certain foods that will help you keep your mouth clean after meals. Foods that are firm and crisp often help clean teeth as they’re eaten, and eating them last can help eliminate the problems that come with not being able to brush right away. Apples are one of the best foods for this, along with raw carrots, celery, and unsweetened popcorn. Though with popcorn and carrots, you may still have to worry about hangers-on getting stuck between your teeth.
And of course, no matter how careful you are with your teeth during the day, in order to maintain proper oral health, your Overland Park family dentist recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss thoroughly at least once. But that’s something that you can usually do in the comfort of your own home, before you get started with your day, or at the end of a long one.
This article brought to you by Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas. Our friendly office specializes in preventative dental care for the whole family. To make an appointment, please call (913) 338-3384 or click here to fill out our online contact form.