A clock is sitting in a cupboard, counting every minute I devoted to spend in the washroom.
Tick tock. Tick tock. Hickory Dickory Dock.
I have to admit, I spent a lot of time in the washroom especially at night when I have to do my complete dental routine.
As a considerate person, I make sure to be the last one to use the washroom at night. I wouldn’t want anyone knocking and disrupting my ritual.
Once I’m in, I’ll never get out till I’m done. So what’s my routine that I’ve been talking about.
My Dental Care Routine: Day and Night
I’ll divide my routine into day and night. To be honest, I am lazy to do this every day but thinking of how expensive are the dental procedures in Canada is enough to keep me going. Plus I like having fresh breath.
- Brush teeth 3 times a day.
- Floss your teeth.
- Change toothbrush quarterly.
I do my best to follow my dentist’s advice. sometimes there’s a lot of hit and occasional miss. It’s OK.
- Do oil pulling for 10-15 minutes.
- Brush my teeth using bamboo brush and fluoride-free toothpaste.
- Repeat no. 2 after lunch or afternoon snack.
More About Oil Pulling
I can’t remember how I learned about oil pulling. I probably watched it on YouTube then went down the rabbit hole of reading about it. Give it a shot and completely include it to my routine.
Oil pulling is best done in the morning to remove bad bacteria in the mouth that settles while we’re sleeping. Another noticeable benefit of oil pulling is not having bad breath.
I didn’t think that I can spend 10-15 minutes of gargling oil (I use olive oil, there are other oil to choose from) every . . . day.
But I did for about a year then I stopped for a few days.
To my surprise, I had breakout on my neck which occasionally happens but not in droves. Why? I went back to oil pulling and vow to keep my promise till the end. Never again.
Have you tried oil pulling and did it do you any good?
- Floss my teeth.
- Brush teeth using electric toothbrush. I tried Waterpik Water Flosser then gave it up.
- Scrape tongue.
My night routine is more time consuming than what I do in daylight.
More About Flossing
I’m embarrassed to admit that I developed the habit of flossing when I moved to Canada. Don’t be like me. Floss your teeth wherever you are every day. It’s an important dental hygiene.
Yes it’s hard at first. Drooling is inevitable and it’s OK. Nobody is watching you wielding floss and reaching deepest corners of your mouth. Seriously, milk teeth is the hardest to reach. I lost all of mine maybe because I chew candies more often than I sing the alphabet and recite the multiplication table.
By the time I was forced to memorize the periodic table to pass the exam in third year high school, I had several tooth extraction but not the front teeth. Hurray.
Flossing prevents plaque and keeps gum healthy.
I’ll tell you more later why I use electric toothbrush (costly) and tongue scraper (cheap).
What I Use to Maintain a Healthy Dental Care
I use products that can help me achieve a superb (in my standard) dental hygiene.
The products that I use changes over time as I look for sustainable products that will not harm (or have less negative impact) the environment.
I can smile from ear to ear knowing that the earth is healing.
I’ll keep it short because I talked about flossing earlier.
What I want to talk about more is the rise of zero waste floss which I plan to buy after I use up my current floss pack in a plastic container.
Soon, I should get use to refilling a bottle with zero waste floss which I think is a great idea even for a small item.
2. Bamboo Toothbrush
This biodegradable toothbrush (except bristle) is everywhere now. Have a look in online store like Amazon and you’ll have a hard time choosing like I did.
So I ended up buying affordable four bamboo toothbrushes after reading some reviews.
- Buy four or more for an affordable price. I’m not sure if you can buy a single brush; remember change your toothbrush every three months. Here in Canada it means every change of season and not every adjustment of time (spring and fall).
- Discard and not worry about it not decomposting in a landfill. The box is made of paper with the exception of bristle that is made of nylon. Well it’s better than its plastic counterpart.
- Use it daily. Bamboo brush is durable in spite of its lightness.
- Clean it easily. With tapping, food remain drop out of the brush which does not have weird smell in spite of daily use.
- Get used to bleeding. Or it’s just probably me or because of the bristle. In first week, I found the bristle way a bit hard for my teeth and gum. But I kept using it and eventually the bleeding stopped. The next brush feels like a regular plastic brush that I grew up with.
- Be careful in choosing. It’s going to be a hit or miss. I’ve read in some reviews of issues that buyers were having like the bristle is hard, brush is too small, etc.
Once you find a bamboo toothbrush that you like, stick with it.
Mine is from Lavish Essentials. Its packaging is made of paper but the Amazon parcel comes with bubble wrap because I bought other products. If only I can buy it in a grocery or mall, there will be less waste.
In Vietnam, organic bamboos are ethically and sustainably grown and made into cutlery and straws.
3. Electric Toothbrush
I know this is not a sustainable product and it’s something that I have to accept though I’m not OK with it.
But the benefits of using an electric toothbrush is astounding. My dentist can attest my claim.
I bought an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush for $25 using the reward points I collected in Shoppers. The brush comes with a head brush.
I like it so much that I recommend it to my co-workers, friends, and gifted it to my sibling.
An electric toothbrush can be expensive like Philips Sonicare. Oral-B can also be expensive depending on the model.
Regardless of the price, an electric toothbrush wouldn’t do any good if laziness gets in the way.
The best way to use it to its full potential is to make it a habit, once every night (in my case) or any time of the day.
Note: Using an electric toothbrush requires extra work in the long run.
4. Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
I am constantly looking for vegan products or anything with mostly natural ingredients.
From Arm and Hammer (with baking soda for whitening) I switched to Green Beaver Natural Toothpaste made in Canada.
It somehow meet my criteria:
- Gluten free
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate free (like my Rocky Mountain shampoo bar)
- Fluoride free
Even my dentist doesn’t give fluoride to their clients anymore. Flouride was also removed in the water being distributed to the household in Calgary.
What is the impact of fluoride in our body and environment?
And why are there still toothpaste (eg. Colgate and Crest) in the market that has “active fluoride.”
You can most likely find vegan toothpaste in natural or organic section of a grocery store. Or buy it online.
So far, I am content in using Green Beaver Toothpaste; I wouldn’t buy an expensive vegan toothpaste in spite of good reviews. I rather spend it on head brush for my electric toothbrush.
5. Tongue Scraper
Although I’ve been told before that it is important to clean the tongue with a scraper, I didn’t heed the advice.
Not until my dentist here in Canada told me so.
I even defend myself by saying that I also brush my tongue and use the scraper at the back of a plastic toothbrush.
Isn’t that enough effort to keep my tongue clean and healthy?
No. Here’s a free tongue scraper.
That’s how I scored a free scraper and add extra task in my night dental routine. The good news is I don’t have to replace a tongue scraper. I can use and clean it. Repeat.
What Am I Missing?
I wan to try a DIY mouthwash in the future and try other products not only for oral care. Did I miss something in my routine?
Apart from my daily habits, I see to it to visit my dentist at least twice a year.
If you have health insurance from work make use of it. Otherwise, get a health insurance (for as low as $50) which usually includes travel insurance and emergency transportation.
Give attention to your teeth just as you would with your face, body, and mind.
What dental product do you like the most?