“You know about meth mouth?” he asked.
Oh yes, I’d heard of it. I’d seen it. More than I cared to, really.
“In the dental world, we have a saying called Mountain Dew mouth.”
I tried to answer, but it’s hard when the dentist has his hands all up in your grill. He was right. I loved Mountain Dew. I still do. I still “do the dew” but it’s very infrequently these days. I knew I needed to stop drinking so much soda, pop, Coke, whatever you call it. Most likely, so do you. It not only rots your teeth but is loaded with a crazy amount of sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. People drink a lot of soda. Good for corn farmers, bad for the people drinking it.
So I stopped. And I drink coffee. And while coffee won’t rot your teeth like soda, it will stain your teeth. So how do I keep my teeth from being stained? I don’t. I trust that you’re staring at my gold tooth instead of the rest of my coffee-stained teeth. But also, I follow my dentist’s recommendations for keeping my teeth clean and unstained. And I have to confess, it’s taken over a year for me to become a believer.
The toothbrush. At the time my dentist recommended a toothbrush, it seemed to me that he just wanted to add another product to the dental bill. That bill was pretty high already because I hadn’t visited the dentist in… 3 years or so. But I gave it a shot and started using the Phillips Sonicare and I have to say that now, I’m a believer. For the price, you really can’t beat it. It’ll save you a ton of cash at the dentist’s office, and help keep your pearly whites actually white while you’re downing java at the rapid rate. You can thank me later.
Twice a day. Dan Jon is a famous athletic trainer and high school coach. He would probably chuckle at me calling him famous, but I guess it depends on which circles you move in. I think he’s pretty famous for serious strength athletes. If you’re into that kind of thing, check out his book Before we go. In an article he wrote for T-Nation about balance in your life, he once said: “When you make a small, easy change for the better in one area of your life, it seems to carryover into the other areas. Once you start flossing (yes, I keep repeating it), you seem more in tune with other things you put in your mouth and maybe you’ll skip the birthday cake in the break room at work.”
His recommendation was to floss twice a day. If someone couldn’t do that, Coach John figured they didn’t have the discipline to continue any other thing he may prescribe for them to make them stronger. Do it. And while you’re at it, brush twice a day as well. Preferably after you’ve had your 2-3 cups of coffee in the morning.