Your teeth and gums are your life. You need them to eat, drink, smile, talk, live a full life. No matter how vigilant we are about caring for our mouths, wear and tear accumulates as we get older.
I've become a teeth grinder in the last few years. It's known as bruxism and is totally involuntary and occurs mostly while I'm asleep. I've done various exercises and massages to help unclench my jaw muscles but haven't seen improvement. Some have suggested Botox but I'm hesitant to inject anything in my face, especially when doing so does nothing to address the underlying problem. I've been given a mouth guard to wear at night which has helped stop new damage to my teeth.
In hopes of helping with previous damage, I now use a remineralizing toothpaste containing Nano-hydroxyapatite (nano-Ha). Nano-HA is natural and it works by binding to enamel to remineralize teeth. Studies show it works as well as fluoride and even helps with tooth and dentin sensitivity. It was a small switch to make and perfect for anyone looking for a natural toothpaste, whether you have bruxism or not. I noticed a difference with sensitivity relatively quickly after using it on a regular basis.
Another change I've made to my oral care routine is upgrading my flossing routine by switching to a PFAS-free dental floss. We all have heard of forever chemicals but I was genuinely surprised to hear that several dental floss brands coat their floss with PFASs. It's worth noting that there's an adjustment period when switching to natural dental floss. A natural dental floss is often thicker and less smooth compared to traditional floss but going slow while flossing is helpful until you get the hang of things. I consider it a small price to pay to lower the load of unpleasant chemicals in my daily routine.
Scraping your tongue is a no brainer. It takes no time and leaves your mouth feeling fresher. I never go a day without using a tongue scraper. I have upped my frequency and now opt to scrape my tongue before every meal. It allows me to enjoy my meals and savor tastes more deeply.
Your teeth need to last a lifetime. Every decision and action we take to keep our mouths healthy is impactful. A healthy mouth translates not only to a longer life but also better quality of life. How do you keep your teeth clean and gums healthy?
*As always, if you're trying something new with your teeth or feeling discomfort, consult with your dentist or doctor. They can help guide you with your specific questions and concerns.