You Are Your Teeth

I was watching the video of Lagbaja’s classic “feyin e” and the sight of the different sets of teeth on display in that video kinda inspired me to scribble this.

Most people find it difficult to maintain their teeth, or rather the whiteness of their teeth. It is sometimes a pathetic sight when people smile at you, because all you see is a brownish and decayed teeth. Someone once mentioned to me that only rich people have the resources to maintain good teeth, but after careful survey, I realized that a greater percentage of the so-called ‘rich’ people have problems maintaining their teeth.

Maintaining a good teeth is not a function of how wealthy you are, it is rather of how careful and passionate you are about what you have in your mouth and what goes into it.

Most people subject their teeth to many dangerous activities which can damage the teeth and give dentists the job of removing a tooth or teeth, depending on how much has been affected.

Below are the lists of bad habits that can wreck our teeth:

Eating chocolates (plus sugary substances)
There is more to eating chocolates and other sugary substances. Here comes the problem. Once the chocolate is eaten at night without brushing immediately, microbes start their night duty when you close your mouth for too long and go to bed at night and sleep, causing tooth ache or tooth decay.

Chewing on Ice
It’s natural and sugar free, so you might think ice is harmless. But munching on hard, frozen cubes can chip or even crack your teeth. And if your mindless chomping irritates the soft tissue inside a tooth, regular toothaches may follow. Hot foods and cold foods may trigger quick, sharp jabs of pain or a lingering toothache. Next time you get the urge for ice, chew some sugarless gum.

Playing Sports with No Mouth Guard
Whether you play football, hockey, or any other contact sport, don’t get in the game without a mouth guard. This is a piece of molded plastic that protects the upper row of teeth. Without it, your teeth could get chipped or even knocked out when the action gets rough. Self-fitting mouth guards may be purchased at a store, or you can have one custom made by your dentist.

Opening Stuff with Your Teeth
Opening bottle caps or plastic packaging with your teeth may be convenient, but this is one habit that makes dentists cringe. Using your teeth as tools can cause them to crack or chip. Instead, keep scissors and bottle openers handy. Bottom line, your teeth should only be used for eating

Tongue Piercing
Tongue piercing may be trendy, but biting down on the metal stud can crack a tooth. Lip piercing pose a similar risk. And when metal rubs against the gums, it can cause gum damage that may lead to tooth loss. The mouth is also a haven for bacteria. Therefore, piercing raise the risk of infections and sores. Bottom line, discuss the health risks with your dentist first.

Grinding Teeth
Teeth grinding can wear teeth down over time. It is most often caused by stress and sleeping habits. This makes it hard to control. Avoiding hard foods during the day can reduce pain and damage from this habit. Wearing a mouth guard at night can prevent grinding while sleeping.

Ways of maintaining good teeth.

1. Chuck your toothbrush or change the head of your toothbrush at least every two to three months. Otherwise, you’re just transferring bacteria to your mouth.

2. Go on a white-teeth diet.
If you’re taking red wine and black tea, or smoking cigarettes or cigars, expect the results to show up as not-so-pearly whites. Other culprits to blame for dingy teeth include colas, and dark juices. Bottom line: If it’s dark before you put it in your mouth, it will probably stain your teeth. Brush immediately after eating or drinking foods that stain teeth and use a good bleaching agent, either over-the-counter or in the dentist’s office. For convenient teeth-cleaning action, eat an apple.

3. Clean your tongue.
Use a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath. One major cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue, which a daily tongue scraping will help banish.

4. Eat ‘detergent’ foods.
Foods that are firm or crisp help clean teeth as they’re eaten. We already mentioned apples (otherwise known as nature’s toothbrush); other choices include raw carrots and celery. For best results, make ‘detergent’ foods the final food you eat in your meal if you know you won’t be able to brush your teeth right after eating.

5. Gargle with apple cider vinegar.
Do this in the morning and then brush as usual. The vinegar helps remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.

6. Brush your teeth with baking soda once a week.
This will remove stains and whiten your teeth. Use it just as you would toothpaste. You can also use salt as alternative toothpaste. Just be sure to spit it out so it doesn’t count as sodium intake! Also, if your gums start to feel raw, switch to brushing with salt every other day.

7. Stay fresh.
To check the freshness of your breath, lick your palm and smell it while it’s still wet. If you smell something, it’s time for a sugar-free breath mint. Shopping for mouthwash? Make sure it is alcohol-free. Most over-the-counter mouthwashes have too much alcohol, which can dry out the tissues in your mouth, making them more susceptible to bacteria.

8. Practice flossing with your eyes shut.
If you can floss without having to guide your work with a mirror, you can floss in your car, at your desk, while in bed, and before important meetings. In which case, buy several packages of floss and scatter them in your car, your desk, your purse, or your briefcase.

9. Brush your teeth when you first get out of bed and before you get back in at night.
These are the two most crucial times. That’s because saliva (which keeps cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up at night, so it’s best to have all plaque cleaned off the teeth before sleep. It’s also important to brush first thing in the morning to brush off plaque and bacteria (morning breath!) that may have built up as you slept.

Putting most of these into practice will help you maintain a good dentition, make smiling a lot easier for you, and allow you talk to people without scaring them away.

You don’t have to be rich to keep good teeth, do you?


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About Olumide Lawrence

OLUMIDE LAWRENCE is a writer, an artiste and a publicist. Started out as a PLAYER, now I am a Relationship COACH. Follow me on twitter @ilummynation and instagram @glowville Facebook: Olumide ilummynation Lawrence. BBM: 2A3B059E, 7E15126B.

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