Saturday, 14 May 2011

A healthy mouth in a healthy body

I guess we all know the importance of maintaining good dental health. We know how to stop our kids having to have fillings or teeth extracted. We know how to look after our teeth so they last as long as possible. Or do we? I know when I was going to postnatal group, we had a dental nurse who told some horror stories of small children having to have milk teeth out because they had drunk sugary drinks out of baby bottles and so forth. But then, I've heard of children who have had to had teeth out because their well-meaning parents had given them dried fruit to eat, thinking it would be OK. I've tried to maintain balance with the things that the children eat or drink but even so, our dentist gives me different advice to some of the advice the dental nurse gave us that way. It can be quite confusing at times.

So, yes, they do have sweets and yes, they have raisins (which are often worse than  sweets because they stick to their teeth) but mostly after a meal - when saliva levels are higher and your teeth are better protected - or they have some cheese straight after as this helps to neutralise plaque acid. Most of their drinks are sugar free and I try, where possible, to dilute fruit juice because it is so acidic. We try to get them to brush their teeth properly - although our current project is for them to remember to spit out the toothpaste after our last dentist visit - because, apparently, too much fluoride can make their adult teeth come through mottled. (Do not - repeat, DO NOT - google dental fluorosis!) They actually love the dentist, although until recently, Missy Woo didn't like the fact that the dentist's chair moved but we're over that now.

My parents always made a point of visiting the dentist regularly. I grew up knowing that looking after your teeth is important - and that's passed onto me, as I still go regularly myself and hopefully, that habit will pass to my children.

Colgate sent me a goody bag to try out in order to promote their Healthy Mouth Challenge, which I have also had a play with. You fill out a quiz about your teeth and your dental routine and they give you recommendations based on your answers and if you're scared of the dentist, a bit more information and knowledge before you go. The results showed that my only occasional problem tends to be mouth ulcers, and I must admit I never realised that burning with hot drinks can cause those.

Colgate sent some me interesting facts about dental health. Did you know that:
  • bacteria is continually growing on your teeth even immediately after brushing? 
  • when you’re pregnant you’re more at risk of gum disease and tooth sensitivity? 
  • women suffer from more anxiety than men when visiting the dentist (with 12% of UK adults suffering from an extreme fear of the dentist)?
When it comes to buying toothpaste, I tend to get whatever is on offer. Luckily, when I checked, we most recently bought Colgate. They sent me Colgate Total Advanced toothpaste to try, which they claim is the only toothpaste that is clinically proven to provide non-stop 12hr protection against bacteria which is constantly building up in your mouth. Now, there is not a lot you can say about toothpaste! It's pleasant enough and I don't have any way of verifying that it does what it says. They also sent me a 360 Surround Toothbrush, some floss and some Plax mouthwash - something for every part of a healthy mouth routine.

Finally, Colgate sent a couple of resources for parents that I thought I'd share. (Click on them to enlarge). 

Firstly, oral care milestones for young children. 

And also, tips for brushing children's teeth. 

If you have a go at the Healthy Mouth Challenge, let me know how you did. Do you visit the dentist regularly? What about your children - do they see a dentist? How careful are you with sugary food and drinks? Do you struggle to get them to look after their teeth by brushing etc? 

I was sent a goody bag of Colgate products to try and have received no other compensation for this post. The opinions stated are my own and not affected by any compensation. I have not been told what to write and I retain full editorial control.)
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