The Similarities between Finding Nemo & Oral Care
“Just keep brushing, just keep brushing, just keep brushing, brushing, brushing.”
When you read this line, you probably mentally sang it in the tune that the delightfully forgetful fish Dory sings “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep -” (you know how the rest goes; just replace the word ‘brushing’ with ‘swimming’). Unless of course, you haven’t seen the animated movie ‘Finding Nemo’, in which case you’ve probably been hiding under an especially large and sound-proof rock in an especially large and isolated desert since a while.
When you read that line, you probably thought “Ah… This article is about the importance of brushing!” while patting your back and congratulating yourself on your extraordinary powers of derivative thinking.
Well, that’s exactly what this article is NOT about.
That’s not to say that it’s against brushing in any way. Go on, brush. Brush well and brush regularly, twice a day, for at least two minutes. It’s extremely important.
What this article is about: dispelling the notion that one should “just keep brushing” and end oral care right there.
An oral care regimen should consist of three parts: Brushing, Flossing and then Rinsing with a mouthwash.
We’re all well acquainted with the first part. Everyone does it. It’s almost as if it were an unuttered yet universally-adhered-to commandment: “Brushing shall be done by all of thee; ye that are scrupulous, ye that are perfunctory and ye that that are slovenly.”
Flossing, the next part that comes next, hasn’t quite got the popularity that the first has garnered but through no fault of its own – it’s extremely important as well. It’s meant to remove the bits and pieces stuck between your teeth and gums, along with the bacteria and germs that get attracted to said bits and pieces.
Now we get to the Rinsing – the part where you swish 20ml of a mouthwash like Listerine for a good 30 seconds. Sadly, this part fares pretty poorly in the popularity level – worse than Flossing. The Slovenly don’t touch it, a certain percentage of the Perfunctory indulge in it and only the most scrupulous of the Scrupulous perform it diligently. An especially sad case of ignorance, because it’s popularity right now is inversely proportional to its importance.
Why? Why use a mouthwash?
Well, think about your mouth. No, really just take two minutes to ponder over your mouth and all the elements in it. We have our teeth – brushing & flossing attend to them. We have our tongue – brushing the tongue/using a tongue-cleaner (which is very important to avoid bad breath) attends to that as well. Now, what about the rest? What about the pallet? The inner cheeks? The back of the throat? Under the tongue? Everything in between?
“In one mouth, the number of bacteria can easily exceed the number of people who live on Earth (more than 6 billion),” notes Sigmund Socransky, associate clinical professor of periodontology at Harvard. (Source: http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/08.22/01-oralcancer.html)
Think all of these bacteria exist only on the teeth and tongue? You know better than to assume that. Even Dory would’ve known better to assume that – or even forget it (it’s something one can’t forget after finding out about it, no matter how bad a case of amnesia one has).
Why use a mouthwash?
The teeth account for just 25% of the entire mouth. Rinsing with Listerine accounts for the destruction of bacteria and germs that are busy making homes, friends and families and forming communities in the remaining 75%.
Why use Listerine?
It’s the best mouthwash there is. I could give you reasons such as it not only prevents bad breath but also fight the germs that cause it (instead of just giving you a temporary gift of fresh breath), and that even cause plaque and gum problems, because of its active ingredients.All of the above would be true – and valid enough.
The real reason I love Listerine and think it’s the best mouthwash? The way that the mouthwash makes me realise I’m actively destroying my mouth and the way it wakes me up. It makes me want to quote Marlin the clown-fish and say “You’re about to eat at my bubbles!” to all the unwanted settlers in my mouth before engulfing them with 20ml of Listerine.
So, to sum up, here’s why there’s more to oral care than just brushing and why we should floss and why we should use a mouthwash: while regular visits to the dentist are needed every six months, it’s nicer not to be in the dentist’s chair undergoing a root canal while some fish in an aquarium look on and take note.
Related Topic : Getting rid of Oral Problems