I went last week for my dental cleaning. The procedures I put in place last time worked wonderfully. The assistant avoided wearing any extra personal care products, worked quickly, and used only plain powder pumice to polish my teeth, rather than a flavoured paste.
You may remember that I stopped using nylon dental floss, toothpaste, and even toothbrushes. I had begun to use only a wet cotton washcloth (update) to clean my teeth, and was personally quite happy with the results. Tooth sensitivity dropped and my teeth actually felt cleaner, probably because I was more consciously cleaning each individual tooth on all sides. I did try using licorice root as an alternate tooth cleaner, but I was unhappy with the results. My mouth got dirty again much faster, and the flat surfaces of my teeth felt disgusting. I switched back to the cloth, and my mouth felt clean again. What remained was to see what the dentist would say about my new, minimal tooth cleaning regimen.
When I first saw the dental hygienist, she asked about my allergies and began to clean my teeth with her picks. I told her about how I had been cleaning my teeth for the past two months, and she told me that I had only low levels of calculus on my teeth, so I was doing an effective job of cleaning my teeth. When she got to the two sensitive teeth at the top back, scraping did cause pain. She told me that that was the problem with not using toothpaste – that I needed the toothpaste for sensitive teeth in order to reduce the tooth sensitivity. I responded that my tooth sensitivity was almost nonexistent while at home (whereas it had been moderate before, when I used toothpaste and toothbrushes), and that only her picks were causing pain.
When I told the dentist about my new cleaning regimen, he responded that he always tells his patients that what’s important is that you clean your teeth at all, not what you use. I had some minor decalcification between two back teeth where I haven’t been flossing enough, but the general opinion from the dentist and hygienist was that my teeth are in great shape. They recommended that I return every six months for cleaning rather than every year, a recommendation that was partially driven by my alternative cleaning habits, but that is a common recommendation they make to all of their patients.
Overall, I am incredibly happy with my tooth cleaning methods, love the reduced tooth sensitivity, and now have justification that my method works. I love when things I try work as hoped and actually improve my life.
Have you tried alternative tooth cleaning methods to avoid allergens? Comment below.