Is greater oral health possible in 20 minutes?
Yes and no.
You see, while you can’t undo any ill health in the mouth in 20 minutes, you can accomplish the first (and most important) step in 20 minutes!
In this first step toward greater whole being health and OraWellness, we have to cover the beginning. Here is the bottom line.
If we don’t know where we are, how can we expect to get somewhere else?
Simply put, we have to know the current state of health of our gums and teeth. Most of us trust the dentist to care for our dental health, however, there’s only one person that can really care for our dental health. Yep, ourselves! It’s true, a well trained, aware dentist can be a tremendous expert resource to support us in our own oral health. However, each of us is responsible for creating whatever health we desire.
The Most Important Action You Can Take to Improve Your Oral Health!
Step one to creating greater oral health is to have an accurate understanding of where we currently are. After all, without knowing our current location, how can we judge whether we are making gains on our health or losing ground?
So, how do we accurately assess where our oral health really is? Surely a recent dental chart from your dentist would provide you with much of the necessary information to accurately track the progress of an oral hygiene protocol. However, we have found that doing the dental chart on your own mouth provides the individual with a tremendous amount of information that empowers each of us to be able to create greater oral health in our own mouth.
There is simply no way around getting to know what’s going on in your own mouth if you want to create positive change in your oral health, period.
Exercise: Get to Know Your Mouth!
We highly encourage anyone really looking to create positive change in their mouth to take 20 minutes and completely fill out the mouth map.
Filling out the mouth map will empower you with current information about the condition of your teeth and gums. An added benefit of getting to know your mouth is you will notice when you make a positive change!
We are going to take two passes through the mouth looking for signs of redness, swelling, spots that bleed when (gently) flossed or brushed, any tooth sensitivity, spots where the gums are receding, etc. The first pass we will go tooth by tooth with our finger, toothbrush or gum stimulator. We are looking to gently rub the tooth and gum surfaces while looking for any signs above. Remember to explore both the outside and inside surfaces of each tooth! The second pass, we are going to do the same exploration, only this time with floss to ‘look’ what’s going on between the teeth.
Step one: Download the mouth map and print it out.
Step two: Gather together the following: toothbrush, floss, mirror, gum stimulator (if you have one), pen and OraWellness Mouth Map.
Step three: Start by marking today’s date in the bottom right corner. Also X out any teeth on the mouth map that are no longer in your mouth. (Note: teeth numbers 1,16,17 and 32 are wisdom teeth. If you had your wisdom teeth removed, X them out.
Step four: Using a toothbrush, finger, or gum stimulator, go tooth by tooth looking for redness, swelling, bleeding when probed, gum recession, or tooth sensitivity when touched. Mark it in the appropriate spot on the mouth map using some type of notation. (the mouth map gives examples)
Step five: Floss consciously. What we mean is floss and after flossing each contact, check for the following: blood on the floss, discoloration on the floss, foul smell on the floss. If any of these are present, mark it on the mouth map. (note: be sure to use a fresh space of floss for each contact so you can really see/smell anything going on at each contact)
Congratulations! You have completed the OraWellness Mouth Map! You now have a record of what’s going on in your mouth today! This record helps in two main ways. First, you now know what spots in your mouth that needs more care and attention. Second, you will be able to see for yourself whether your oral health protocol is helping or not over the course of the coming weeks and months. There’s nothing like seeing for yourself how a spot that used to bleed when flossing no longer does! That’s taking control of your oral health!
As always, please holler with any questions, we’re here to help.
Thank you and Aloha!