Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Open Wide

For many years my half-yearly dental cleanings have been easy and quick.  Since I started using an electric toothbrush there has been a minimum of scraping and poking necessary to keep my teeth clean, but not this time.  Nothing really bad, but in one spot I have two crowns next to each other that create a cozy pocket for stuff to get into and be hard to get out, even with floss.  I have noticed lettuce and nuts are the two worst offenders - both something I eat a lot of.

Kristine, my favorite hygienist at Dr. Zimmer's office, asked if I use a Sonicare and when I said no, I have an Oral-B toothbrush, she recommended switching.  She and her colleagues feel there is a great enough difference that it is worth buying a Sonicare if possible.  I was happy that she told me about the different models and that unless I need a lot of settings, which I don't, the least expensive would be fine.  They also have a dual kit, with two brushes on one charger, but I sort of like how Stan and I are set up now, with a personal sink and bit of counter space for each of us.  No sense meddling with what works, right?

So, here's my new gadget.  It has a few features my old one didn't - times the brushing for two minutes and turns off automatically, and beeps to signal each 30 seconds so each quarter of one's mouth gets equal time.  It has three levels of intensity, which would be useful if I were a new user.  It also comes with a nice travel case and cover which will be handy.  I always had to put a small plastic bag over the old one when traveling.

 Here's the old Oral-B.  Must say it has served me well.  It has the original battery and it lasts fine through a 2-week vacation without needing to be charged.  I think I'll store it for awhile, just to make sure I like the Sonicare.  I had a Sonicare a long time ago, and it seems to me my reason for switching was because it stopped working.

btw - I did look online for comparisons and found opinions both ways.  I think Sonicare may have been the better brand some years ago (at least according to a PubMed article from 1997), but more recently the Oral-B has been found better.  Here's a study from the American Journal of Dentistry from 2012 that says "The novel multi-directional power brush consistently produced significantly superior anti-gingivitis and anti-plaque reductions relative to pre-treatment versus the sonic control brush."  I didn't understand what the part about pre-treatment means, but it just means compared to each study participant's condition at the beginning of the study.

I think the best comparison is this one at Best Electric Toothbrush Hub.  It points out that most of the studies have been done by one of the two brands and there is really no definite winner.  Both are excellent and some people prefer the feeling of the sonic vibrations and others prefer the oscillating brushing motions.  Bottom line for me:  I have already bought the Sonicare and I trust the advice of my dentist's office.  A new one of either brand would surely be more effective than my old one, and after having used it a few times, I like how it feels.

Kristine also recommended actually using the mouthwash I bought after my last checkup, but don't always remember to use.  And she gave me a variety of extra-thick floss and other items to help in the difficult spots.   Just watch as my teeth begin to sparkle in the coming months  : )

Hmmm, kind of a boring post after all those Russia photos...  but this is important stuff.

In an effort to make this post more interesting, here's a book I read while I was sick that I really liked.  It takes place in 1946, when World War II had ended and the last soldiers were being returned home.  Apparently there were about 600 Australian women who had married British soldiers and were still in Australia waiting for passage to join their husbands.  The aircraft carrier Victorious became their home for 8 weeks as they traveled to England on its last official journey as an aircraft carrier.  According to Wikipedia, there actually was an HMS Victorious and it did travel from Sydney to Portsmouth with war brides.  This was a good story set into an historic event.

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