Is there a connection between oral hygiene… and Batman?
Batman is cool. There’s no denying it. Whether your favorite incarnation of the World’s Greatest Detective is the goofy 1960s TV show, the old Detective Comics Batman, or the new, gritty, Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy, Batman is known for two things: dressing like a bat… and gadgets. Batman has the best swag. He has the Batmobile. He has the Batarang. He has Shark Repellent. And (Batmobile excluded) he carries all that stuff in his utility belt. How neat is that? Everywhere Batman goes, he has with him a kit that makes him unstoppable against bad guys.
What if we told you it was easy for you to be the Batman… of tooth health?
Laugh if you want, but while most of us will never fight a bad guy, we all must fight a daily battle against tooth decay if we want to keep our teeth and gums healthy. And let’s face it… if you think about dental hygiene as a super hero-style conflict, it becomes a lot more fun! So let’s take a few moments to discuss what you should have in your utility belt if you want to triumph over cavities, gum disease, and plaque.
Toothbrush: Let’s put the most obvious one front and center. Get a good toothbrush! Heck, get a pack of them, because you should replace them regularly—every 2-3 months, when the bristles fray, or after you’ve been ill. Choose a brush with a medium-sized head and soft bristles. Yes… soft. Even super heroes need a little tenderness sometimes, so show it to your teeth and gums by brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush, preventing enamel erosion and gum chaffing. And if you really want to add some “super” to your heroic battle against plaque, consider investing in an electric toothbrush, like a Philips Sonicare. It’s at least as powerful as the Batmobile!
Toothpaste: Toothpaste is your toothbrush’s sidekick. Except, instead of being the younger, softer version of the hero, as Robin was in the old Batman TV show, toothpaste is the gritty one here. Toothpaste is full of detergents, which help eliminate surface stains, and abrasives, which clear away plaque, tartar, and odor-causing bacteria. Get an ADA-certified toothpaste with fluoride for the best defense against evil… er, cavities.
Mouthwash: Another essential in your dental crime-fighting kit. Rinsing with mouthwash for half a minute can knock out the bacteria that cling between your teeth and gums—POW! BIFF! SMACK!
Floss: We know. Flossing is rarely people’s favorite activity. It’s kind of gross, unless you like pulling bits of your dinner out from between your teeth (some people do!), and if you “forget” to floss for a while, it can be painful. But what true superhero balks at a little discomfort? Or a little trial and error, for that matter? Batman can’t fly, and Superman doesn’t drive around in a fancy car, but both get the job done in the end. If in the past floss hasn’t fit between your teeth consider getting some waxed floss to slide into the tight spaces. And if you have wider-spaced teeth, tape will help you get everything lurking in those treacherous gaps!
Gum: Sugar free gum is a great addition to your utility belt. We here at Watts Family Dental, your friendly Overland Park family dentist, recommend brushing after every meal… but we also know sometimes that’s difficult or impossible. For super heroes on the go, consider tucking a pack of sugar free gum into your purse or glove compartment. Popping in a piece after a lunch date with Commissioner Gordon not only freshens your breath, but it stimulates saliva which rinses your teeth. It’s not a replacement for brushing, but it helps keep your teeth and gums healthy and plaque free!
In the fight against cavities, plaque, tartar, and gingivitis, stock your utility belt thoughtfully. Keep all the above on hand, and use them regularly. Turning on your bathroom light every morning and evening might not be as neat as being summoned by the Bat Signal, but it’s just as important to keep your mouth free of harmful bacteria as it is to keep Gotham free from the Joker!
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.