We’ll get to relaxing your face in a moment. But first, let’s talk about work.
You are so busy, you barely have time for lunch. That probably means you’re not taking care of yourself.
Do you do a lot of talking or smiling? You probably want to make sure those pearly whites are gleaming and Dr. Nammy Patel wants you to know “no matter how crazy your days are, you deserve excellent oral health and a beautiful healthy smile.”
The dentist is the author of “Age with Style: Your Guide to A Youthful Smile and Healthy Living.” Patel warned that constantly neglecting our teeth and gums during long days at the office can be costly – both from a health and a financial standpoint.
Patel has shared his five on-the-go dental health tips with us:
Keep that water on standby: “Water neutralizes the acid in your mouth in addition to keeping you hydrated,” Patel said. “Too much acidity leads to enamel erosion, decay, cavities and gum disease.” She recommended drinking eight 8-ounce glasses per day and keeping a water bottle or water glass on your desk as a reminder.
Stock your purse or desk with oral essentials: “After any meal or snack, our teeth and gums require attention to remove bacteria, and keeping these dental tools on hand will ensure you’re readily equipped,” Patel said. “Too many people go an entire work day without any oral care.”
Did you know there are naturally cleansing foods? Patel advised us to pack healthy items such as apples, carrots, celery and almonds. “Not only are these foods full of great vitamins and minerals for your teeth and body, they also naturally cleanse your teeth,” she said. “Crunchy snacks, like these, help scrape away food or plaque stuck on your teeth.”
Think when you sip: Patel said it’s not just what we drink at work that affects our teeth, but how we drink. “Whenever you opt for a beverage, use a straw to help limit the chance of tooth decay and staining,” Patel said. “Place the straw toward the back of your mouth to keep the liquid from coming into contact with your teeth.”
And finally, for the big finish, relax your face! The stress of a long busy day creates tension in your head, neck and jaw and that could lead to temporomandibular joint disorders. “Take time at your desk to relax your jaw and face muscles,” Patel said. “Use your fingertips to gently massage your jaw, open and close your mouth a few times, and stretch your tongue forward to the top front teeth and then up to the roof of your mouth.”
“Taking moments here and there for self-oral care, throughout your busy day, can make a big difference,” Patel said. “It just means a little more planning and taken individually they are small things that can prevent major problems.”