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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

9 Tips for Embracing the Fall!

As I am sure many of you can relate, this week I am reluctant to accept that Summer is coming to an end.  I protest silently in my mind, but this past week’s persistent grey skies and temperatures in the mid-60’s leave little room for argument.  So, in the spirit of embracing that which I cannot change, here are some tips to make the most of Fall!

 

  1. Stay active

With the days getting shorter and the weather becoming less temperate, we can feel less inspired to get outdoors.  We naturally slide into “hibernation mode”.  Being inside is often accompanied by couch-lounging and indulgent snacking.  This is a perfect combo for those extra pounds we tend to lament as bikini season comes back around.  But you can hold off this slip into laziness by making a conscious effort to stay active.  There are plenty of things to still do outside like going for a hike, mountain biking, fishing and hunting for yard sales.  Still can’t get out there as often as you like?  Try a 15-minute bodyweight workout.  There are hundreds posted everyday right on YouTube by experienced and talented trainers.  There’s really no excuse for getting lazy in the Fall!

 

  1. Get Vitamin D

Much has been discovered about this ubiquitous micronutrient in the last 10 years.  Studies have shown it to be integral to many cellular processes, and have linked it to Seasonal Affective Disorder, obesity, and heart disease.  Tend to feel a bit blue when the days get shorter?  Want a little extra assurance that you are protecting your health?  Consider adding a Vitamin D supplement as the weather gets cooler.  It can help boost your immune system and your overall sense of well-being!

 

  1. Bundle up

Here in New England it is a rite of passage to endure the four seasons in all of their extremes.  For you fashionistas out there, the changing of the seasons is just an opportunity to break out a whole new wardrobe.  For the more practical types, having the right weather resistant gear can mean enjoying the outdoors straight through the colder months.

 

  1. Go to a game

September through January is the peak of the sportophile’s year!  The NFL season kicked off a couple weeks ago, the playoffs are about to begin in the MLB, and the NBA and NHL are both ramping up with preseason activities.  You can enjoy a local high school or college game any weekend and support the next generation’s up and coming talent.  Take it one step further and commit to coaching a local youth sports team and help guide kids to aspire to be better and believe in themselves.

 

  1. Take a class

September is back to school time.  But that isn’t necessarily reserved to just the kids.  Feel like you could use an edge at work?  Looking to start a new hobby or learn a new skill?  Now is a great time to make the most of being inside more by taking a class and grow on a personal level.  There is probably a breadth clinics and classes right in your community.  Check out locally owned businesses, community colleges, and adult learning centers to see if there is something that appeals.  It might just open up a whole new world of opportunities!

 

  1. Throw a Party

There’s nothing like propping up against the colder weather with a group of close friends and family.  Share that new recipe you learned in the cooking class you recently signed up for.  Take a chance to reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a while.  Having less to do outdoors can mean having less social interaction through the colder months.  But it doesn’t have to be true!  This is the perfect time of year to fill your home with the good cheer of great company.

 

  1. Enjoy the Harvest

This is prime time for local farmers and artisans to bring their goods to market.  Seek out a farmer’s market and you can support families and the local economy.  You are sure to find some of the freshest produce, baked goods, meats and cheeses available.  Often the selections are organic and better for you than food from national producers.  It is also a great opportunity to find something to share at that party you’re planning next weekend!

 

  1. Crock Pot Cooking

Nothing is easier, and often healthier, than cooking in a crockpot!  You just pile the ingredients together in the morning, and by the afternoon you have a delectable hearty meal.  And it’s not just limited to beef stew.  You can find delicious recipes online for anything from curry to jambalaya to cheesecake!

 

  1. Grow a Beard

This last one is based on my own biased opinion that beards help improve a man’s health, vitality, and credibility in general.  They look great, bestow an air of wisdom, and stave off that chill that comes creeping in with Fall and Winter.  Having trouble finding a girlfriend? Struggling with a plateau in the gym?  Wondering what you’re going to do about that pack of wolves that keep harassing your flock?  Grow a beard and watch as these seemingly insurmountable obstacles crumble at your feet.

September 19, 2018

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September is National Oral Health Month!

September is National Oral Health Month – time to pay extra attention to your dental routine, particularly as two of the world’s most common health problems affect the mouth - cavities (dental caries) and gum disease. Caring for your teeth and gums is about far more than a sparkling smile, it’s an investment in your long-term well-being!

You may be surprised to learn that gum disease ranks second only to the common cold in terms of prevalence, with an estimated 90% of South Africans experiencing the problem at some point. Although you may not know you have gum disease, it can be extremely serious, having been linked to coronary heart disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and diabetes. New research from Australia shows that women with gum disease find it harder to conceive.

How do you know if you are at risk? Although diabetics, pregnant women, the elderly and smokers are more likely to have gum disease, everyone is at risk, particularly those who don’t pay proper attention to their oral care. The most obvious sign is bleeding gums but often there are no symptoms.

“Good oral health is vital for all of us, especially if we wish to avoid the perils of gum disease, tooth loss, and extensive dental work. Yet getting people to adhere to a thorough, twice daily, oral health regime, is no easy task,” said Professor Robin Seymour, a leading UK periodontologist and speaker at the 2011 South African Dental Association Congress.

Three steps to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top condition:

1) Brush: Brush twice a day with Dr. Plotka's Soft Bristle Toothbrush, after breakfast and before going to bed at night. It should take at least two minutes to brush properly, cleaning each tooth with a circular motion. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to clean gently under the gum line. Don’t brush too hard as this can damage gums. Replace your toothbrush at least every 3 months (or 4 months if you use Dr. Plotka's brush).

2) Clean in-between the teeth: It is absolutely essential to remove plaque from in-between the teeth where brushing does not reach, as many dental problems, especially gum disease, start in this area. Flossing is one method, but according to the 2008 Dental Fresh Breath Survey, more than a third of South Africans admitted to never having flossed their teeth. Dirna Grobbelaar, Ivohealth’s Oral Health Expert explains that when you don't floss, you're not cleaning 40 percent of the tooth and she deems flossing even more crucial for preventing tooth decay and periodontal disease than brushing.

3) Rinse: “Using an alcohol-free mouthwash after brushing and flossing is an excellent final step in a three-part oral health routine," says Professor Seymour. Gowar recommends using a mouthwash that contains fluoride and is the same pH balance as saliva.

Watch the Youtube Video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViVI_crlEbU

 Did you know that September is also National Children's Cancer Awareness month?

Families, caregivers, charities and research groups across the United States observe September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In the U.S., 15,780 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year; approximately 1/4 of them will not survive the disease. A diagnosis turns the lives of the entire family upside down. The objective of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children, survivorship issues, and – importantly – to help raise funds for research and family support.

Read more here - https://www.acco.org/

National Thank You Day

Hey y’all! It’s Jackie reporting in this week.

Man oh man, am I sad to see the summer come to an end. But fall is approaching us and who else is feeling spooky this season? 👻 I’m not a huge fan of fall, but I must say I am excited for Halloween and Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to send out a reminder that September 15th is National Thank You Day, which is only a few days away!

It’s celebrated every year on September 15th, even though we should be expressing our gratitude every day! It’s always nice to give thanks to those around you because it’s very common to just expect certain things from people that we forget to tell/show them how much it means to us.

So on the 15th, make sure to give thanks to those who have done anything to support you or who has had a positive impact in your life whether it’s someone from your family, your friends, someone you work with — anybody!

There are numerous ways to give thanks but one of them is baking them some goods! No one can resist a thank you in the form of a cookie, I know I can’t! Another is making them their own thank you card. There are stores that sell thank you cards, but it’s more heartwarming to take the time to make your own! You can get real creative and personal on this one. And last but not least, just saying thank you! It’s the most simple, yet it goes a long way. 

 

Now with this being said, I’d like to say THANK YOU to all of you for supporting this great business and being wonderful, loyal customers! 

Happy (early) National Thank You Day :)

September 07, 2018

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What to do this Fall!

Hi All!

The first day of fall is September 22nd!!!

Personally, I'm way more into autumn than summer (heat is not my friend! If you feel the same way, check out my tips for surviving the remainder of summer heat here), so I'm 110% ready to jump into the new season. Here's a little list of fun things to do during fall!

Visit an Orchard/Farm

Farms and orchards are awesome ways to pass time during autumn! You can pick apples, visit a pumpkin patch, and even visit some farm animals! It's a great way to get some fresh air, sunlight, and exercise. An awesome farm near the MouthWatchers office is Appleton Farms! PS--lots of farms have adorable shops with cool gifts and tasty food too! :-)

Explore Local Museums

The crisp, slightly chilly fall weather is PERFECT for museum-roaming! You can be out and about but don't necessarily have to go outside. It's a great way to get out there and enjoy yourself instead of being cooped up! My personal favorite museum is the Peabody Essex Museum, also known at the PEM, in Salem! It has so much to see and learn about, and it's only about 15 to 20 minutes from our office :-)

Window-shop in a cool area

The fairly temperate fall weather makes it the perfect time to meander about and discover cool shops/take in local scenery! Personally, I'm a bit biased, as I live in downtown Beverly, so I recommend strolling through Cabot St! It has the historic Cabot Theatre as well as tons of cool little businesses and cafes! It can make for a fun afternoon that doesn't necessarily require spending any money (if you're lucky, you won't even have to pay for parking! Lots of the residential streets are open for parking).

(PS--I live right down the street pictured next to this theater! Such a cool spot)

 

I hope those ideas give you some inspiration to get out there and enjoy yourselves this fall!

 

Have a  good one,

 

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

Tips to Get Ready for Back to School!

Hey y'all!

It’s that time of the year again… back to school shenanigans! Some might be excited to head back to school, but I know for the rest of us, it’s hard making that adjustment from summer mode to school mode 😒 But not to worry! Here are some tips that I found to help me get prepped and ready for the new school year. This usually did the trick for me, so I hope it helps you all too!

 

1: Start going to bed early

Now, the older I got, I realized how important sleep is to function throughout the day. When it’s summer, especially when you don’t have any responsibilities early in the morning, you build up the habit of staying up late and sleeping in. But once you do that when school starts, you’ll highly regret it!! (I know from experience). So I recommend going to bed earlier than you normally do, especially a week or two before school starts. This will just make the routine easier! 

2: Get your school supplies early

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE school supplies! I’m sure we’ve all been inside Target, Walmart, and etc. and have seen all the Back to School deals, but didn’t take advantage of it since school was so far away. But trust me! It’s better to get your school supplies early and at a great cost, because once you decide to go shopping later on, you’ll be left with just one pencil and a stepped on notebook!

3: Know your plan

I know going back to school can be nerve-wracking, whether it be elementary, middle, high school or even college! One thing that calms my nerves down a little is checking my classes before the first day. When I was younger, I loved checking to see where my class(es) would be because I hate getting lost on the first day! And as I got older, that became a habit within every school year. I also loved checking the class roster to see who my teacher(s) would be and who would be in my classes! 

 

These are just a few things that help me shift from summer to school mode! I hope you find these helpful as well! What do you do to prepare for the school year?