Our Access to Basic Dental Hygiene
Cleaning your teeth is something that you’ll pretty much never fully neglect, even if you are one of those people who go days on end without brushing them. Yes, there will be a few rare people who never brush their teeth at all, but those are extreme anomalies in our modern society. First off, the social pressure alone to have cleaner or presentable teeth is one that pushes most already to keep up with their dental hygiene.
Even still, the idea that not cleaning your teeth and letting food and all other sorts of bacteria pile up on your teeth and end up rotting them is another one that will push the rest of the stragglers into brushing often. Who would want their teeth to rot by their own accord?
Still, it makes me wonder about the resources, the hygiene, and the tools available to less fortunate societies. Do other countries that are less developed have access to drinking water? Do they have access to even somewhat clean water? Do they have fluoride and toothbrushes, no matter how cheap or used? Do they have doctors or dentists that can extract rotten teeth and give them somewhat regular cleaning?
This is one of those things that I think Americans definitely take for granted. Of course, there are so many other aspects of life that we probably take for granted in general. But when it comes to basic hygiene and basic rights to life (like water), there are some major discrepancies in our culture compared to others.
This is why I cannot help but acknowledge and praise the people who make trips to third world countries, who donate to causes that help out these peoples, and who end up designing technologies that help the less fortunate, not those of us who already have it made.
This is why I will never fault political parties for helping out the poor more than the rich. To me, that comes down to a matter of selfishness. I’ve got a few friends and family who only vote to directly benefit themselves, and I wouldn’t mind that if they were poor or minorities in general. However, none of them are, and I can’t exactly see why they eschew the people who truly need assistance.
That’s neither here nor there, however, and everyone has a right to vote and believe exactly what they want, and I can’t fault anyone for that. All I can say is that everyone should support lesser developed areas, especially if it means they have better access to things like basic hygiene, healthcare, and dental hygiene.
Taking care of your teeth while you’re pregnant
Pregnancy impacts so many things in a mother’s body. Hormones get all crazy, her belly gets big and organs even move around internally to make room for the growing baby. But did you know that even your teeth can be impacted by pregnancy? Here’s some tips for keeping your teeth in tip top shape during the 9 months of pregnancy.
First off, if you’re planning on getting pregnant soon, try to get a dentist appointment beforehand. There’s a few benefits to scheduling a dental visit before pregnancy. First, it allows the dentist to clean your teeth, apply fluoride, and address any cavities or other dental problems without having to worry about any of those procedures impacting a baby. Once you’re pregnant, things can get a bit more complicated because the dentist needs to ensure that any treatments or medicines they prescribe won’t impact the health of your unborn child. And once you are pregnant, make sure to let your dentist know. The presence of a baby is important medical information that your dentist should know before doing any work on your teeth!
Interestingly, with all of the hormone changes that happen during pregnancy, your gums can actually be impacted! As a result, they are more susceptible to gingivitis which leads to bleeding and tender gums. Even if you didn’t get a dental check up before getting pregnant, you can still go to the dentist while pregnant so they can make sure your teeth stay clean and your gums gingivitis free. Additionally, it’s extra important to brush your teeth multiple times a day and to floss to prevent plaque and other buildup from getting in between your teeth. Having a baby is hard enough, you don’t want to deal with a cavity in the middle of pregnancy!
Early on in the pregnancy, morning sickness and nausea can be pretty common. If you’re suffering from nausea, brush your teeth frequently. Not only will it help prevent bad breath, but a minty, fresh-tasting mouth may help reduce some of the nausea. Unfortunately, even the taste of minty toothpastes can lead to nausea for some women, so if the scent or taste of your toothpaste is making you feel sick, don’t hesitate to switch to a more bland tasting brand. Your dentist can probably recommend some good brands or flavors.
We get it, there’s already a lot of things to think about with any pregnancy: where to deliver the baby, what clothes, diapers, toys and products to buy, and what to name the new addition! But, in the midst of all of the busyness and decision making, don’t let your teeth go ignored. Your post-baby self will thank you!