Miguel de Cervantes, the great Spanish writer from the middle ages, wrote that every tooth in your head is more valuable than a diamond. In his day, this was the difference between life and death. After all, you couldn’t have whipped out your nutra-bullet and juiced your dinner, nor could you have slow cooked your meat so that it just falls off the bone. Though we undoubtedly have it easier in the 21st century, you don’t have to think too long before you realise this is still 100% true. Imagine for a moment that you had no teeth (and let’s leave any Freudian dream interpretation out of this). Your day becomes difficult and potentially embarrassing. Here are some sobering facts: a quarter of Aussie kids have untreated decay on their teeth. 1 in 25 people over the age of 15 don’t have any teeth left at all. The lesson? Look after your teeth. They don’t grow back. OK, OK, I know you’re all asking what about baby teeth? You know the point I’m trying to make!
Here are some of the very helpful products available in online chemists Australia to help you keep your teeth where they belong.
Floss - I have deliberately put this first, because it is a hidden weapon that is direly underused. A dentist friend of mine puts it this way: “Floss the ones you want to keep.” That is pretty stark. The reality is that toothbrushes only hit about 70% of the surface area of the teeth. The only way to hit 100% is to combine it with floss. There are very few other areas of hygiene which we would settle for 70% coverage. I’ve applied deodorant to 70% of my underarms! Don’t even think about it with regard to toilet paper. As the old cliche goes, if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
Toothbrushes - First things first, you don’t want a toothbrush that is super firm. It sometimes feels more thorough and like you are getting more bang for your buck, but in reality it is similar to using steel wool to clean your car. As I found out, one fateful day in the late 80s, this doesn’t work as well as you hope. More gentle bristles are more pliable to get into those hard to reach places. Your toothbrush has got an expiry date. You shouldn’t wait until the bristles are all at a 90 degree angle from where they started. They should be placed every three to four months to make sure that they aren’t a) covered in bacteria and b) worn and frayed. They don’t cost you much, but you will end up paying a much greater cost if your brushing is ineffective.
Sensodyne - I actually can’t live without it. My dentist says that I have receding gums (and hairline, but I told him to stay in his line), and so I have really sensitive teeth. Even a brisk breeze which catches me off guard can send shooting pain into my gums. Sensodyne adds a protective layering over the sensitive areas so that I’m not debilitated by a room temperature glass of water. I don’t often give my personal endorsement to products, but whoever invented Sensodyne is a personal hero of mine.
Electric toothbrush - There are very few things in life which start with ‘Electric’ that aren’t better than their analogue counterparts. Electric cars, electric lights... And the toothbrush is no exception. This is mainly because most people have a very lousy technique when using an analogue toothbrush. I supposed you lose some zeal for a task which has to be done twice a day every day. The electric toothbrush means that you can be a little bit lazier, which seems to be a big tick in most people’s books! A review found that people who used an electric toothbrush had a 21% reduction of plaque and a 6& reduction in gingivitis after three months of use. That’s not a bad return.
Mouthwash - About fifteen years ago, Listerine lost a massive PR battle. The claim was that mouthwashes with a high alcohol content contributed to oral cancers. Listerine moved incredibly slowly to counter the claims and even though no clinical data ever showed a strong correlation, some people had already made up their mind. In reality, it simply helps remove plaque from your teeth (used in conjunction with brushing and flossing), reduces your risk of gingivitis and halitosis (bad breath). Even better are the products that contain antibacterial agents, because these hit the areas you probably aren't brushing: your cheeks, tongue etc.
Whiteners - Now, I put this one last because it probably matters the least in one sense. Whiteness is not the only measure of the strength and health of your teeth. Everything listed above has been clinically proven to give you a healthier set of chompers. Whiteners don’t do anything quantifiable. However, there are people who feel embarrassed about the shade of their teeth. This is compounded by the photoshopped images of stars with their implausibly white teeth, or the mega wealthy who have veneers (false caps installed over their actual teeth - google the current Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp for an example). Teeth whiteners work by using a whitening agent like hydrogen peroxide to get at the discoloured molecules within your teeth. They break down these molecules and bring your teeth back to a more pure shade of white. It sounds fancy but they are easily available from online chemists Australia. Don’t go too nuts. Blinding white teeth can actually look a little unnerving!
The good news is that dental hygiene in Australia is on the rise. Partially it is because of the fluoride which is added to our water (this is actually a god send), but it is also because of better education, and better access of these kinds of things. And it has never been easier to get your hands on them. They are just a click away in online chemists Australia.
Floyd - Senior Pharmacist