So, I was pointing out the link between oral hygeine and heart attacks earlier this evening, and wanted to verify that I wasn’t hallucinating. It turns out that there is clinical evidence that the link between poor oral hygeine and heart attacks is significantly stronger than the link between elevated cholesterol and heart attacks. There is apparently also nontrivial evidence suggesting that gum disease is a good predictor of incidence of stroke.
More practically, from my own experience, Colgate Total seems to do a much better-than-average job of keeping bacterial plaque off your teeth than most toothpastes for a much longer period of time (although I imagine that the presence of triclosan or triclocarban would bring any other product up to the same level), and that a fluroide rinse or gel adds a further bacteriostatic effect which, if used at night, can be used to effectively eliminate “morning breath.” Additionally, the Johnson & Johnson brand tartar-control “woven floss” does a superior job of inter-tooth cleaning than most other flosses I’ve used (including Glide and various waxed flosses), with far less incidence of being destroyed by composite fillings. Further, recent studies that have shown that a mouth rinse with active ingredients of specific essential plant oils (thymol, eucalyptol, menthol) such as Listerine or generic versions of Listerine are “at least as effective as flossing for plaque and gingivitus” — 20% reduction in plaque, and 11% reduction in gingivitus, versus 3.4% and 4.3% respectively for daily flossing — which is a substantial improvement over purely mechanical removal. Finally, combine this with a plaque-loosening pre-rinse, such as Plax, before you begin your flossing and brushing, and you’ll find that you can spend significantly less time scrubbing your teeth to acheive the same effect. So, it may be overkill, but my bedtime routine consists of Plax/floss with Reach/brush with Total/Listerine/fluoride rinse. Sure, it takes a bit of time, but I figure I get most of that back by not dying young. YMMV.
This post brought to you by generous gin donations from Cullen and David, and all the folks who make Bombay Saphire so very tasty. I suspect that Alan may have brought my drunken mind to bear on the topic of oral hygeine, so he probably deserves equal credit. Thank you to all, and good night. I’m going to go brush my teeth now.
Edit: Total is made by Colgate, not Crest