Monday, August 10, 2009
To Paste or Not
Leon Nelson, dentist and mega-avid backpacker, recently shared a few thoughts about toothbrushing, and I found them highly informative--and interesting. When thinking of your teeth, start by remembering that the source of all gum disease and tooth cavities is plague, a film of bacteria that forms on your chompers. Healthy teeth and gums require you to disorganize the plague at least once every 24 hours. To do this you do not need toothpaste--but you do need to brush, says, Leon, for at least four (4) minutes. And you do need to floss once a day. Brushing should be with a regular toothbrush, and you should clean the cheek side of your teeth for two (2) minutes and the tongue side for two (2) minutes. Flossing, continues Leon, should be up and down and not back and forth. But, hey, is it okay to use toothpaste? Sure, but leaving the paste at home you save weight, attract no bears with your minty white stuff, and the paste, according to Leon, does not make your teeth cleaner if you follow Leon's Dry Brushing Plan. He does further suggest, however, that a 30-second dry brushing now and then removes food sticking to your teeth, undoubtedly to some benefit--at least socially.