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I don’t have time!

Last week’s blog post was entitled ‘Now that you have time…’, but what if you don’t?

Here at Growing Smiles we realise that lockdown hasn’t meant an abundance of free time for everyone. You may be a nurse, who’s days have gotten longer, needing extra time to add and remove PPE before and after shifts, a postie who is working longer hours and wider areas due to staff illness or a parent with a young child or children who demand all of your time and attention.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, we are all in very different situations which impact our daily routines. Some of us are exhausted when arriving home from work and the last thing we want to do is start interdental cleaning before brushing our teeth and going to bed. Others may only have time to grab a quick bar of chocolate to keep us going when we haven’t had time for lunch.

We understand that, although spending time brushing your teeth at night and one other time of the day for two minutes, as well as daily interdental cleaning is ideal (and recommended), we don’t always have the time. Life can be hectic and doesn’t always go to plan and we certainly aren’t here to judge – in fact, we are here to support.

Growing Smiles has put together some suggestions to help care for your mouth when time isn’t on your side.

  • We recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day, but, if for some reason this isn’t realistic for you right now – make sure you at least brush your teeth at night before going to bed. Use fluoride toothpaste and spit out after brushing – but don’t rinse. Let the power of the fluoride work for longer.
  • Chew sugar free chewing gum (ideally with xylitol) throughout the day. This helps with saliva flow, which acts as a buffer to neutralise acids that can cause erosion and cavities.
  • Keep your diet in check. Try not to graze throughout the day on sugary snacks. Keep your sweet treats to mealtimes and avoid them before bed.
  • Keep hydrated – drink plenty of water. Good for your saliva flow, your brain and helps manage snacking. (Often our bodies need water, not food!)
  • Eat ‘mouth friendly’ foods such as fruit and veg or low fat cheese. Find out more about diet and oral health here.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption  and/or swap sugary mixers to sugar free/diet options instead
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco products

Please remember these are suggestions for damage limitation, to keep your oral care afloat on those manic days. It is not recommended that you follow these long term or regularly.

For more information on oral care, take a look at the Growing Smiles tips page. Alternatively, if you wish to discuss your situation and get tailored advice on how to care for your mouth, take Time Out For Teeth – a virtual, personalised coaching session with LeighGS that can be done at a time and place that suits you.

Finally, to those of you who ‘don’t have time’ – we’d like to THANK YOU for all of your hard work, whatever you do. A special thank you to the key workers – those collecting and delivering our Growing Smiles shop parcels, emptying our bins and working on the front line in health and social care. In our eyes, anyone who has their hands full during this time deserves a socially distant high five.

Keep smiling.

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