The first step towards dental self-empowerment15 Jun 2022
How to know for sure that you’re heading in the right direction
Is greater oral health possible in 20 minutes?
Yes and no.
You see, while you can’t undo any ill health in the mouth in 20 minutes, you can accomplish the first (and most important) step in 20 minutes!
In this first step toward greater oral and whole being health, we have to start at the beginning.
Here is the bottom line.
If we don’t know where we are, how can we expect to get somewhere else?
Stated another way, if we don’t know our current location, how can we begin to chart a course to a new (more positive) destination (with our oral health)?
Bottom line, we have to know the current state of health of our gums and teeth before we can begin any course correction to create positive change.
It’s true that a well-trained, aware dentist can be a tremendous expert resource to support us in our own oral health. However, each of us is responsible for creating whatever health we desire.
The person looking back at you in the mirror when you brush your teeth is the MVP (most valuable person) on your journey to optimal oral health.
Here’s the most important action you can take to improve your oral health
Step one to creating greater oral health is to have an accurate understanding of where we currently are.
After all, without knowing our current location, how can we judge whether we are making gains on our health or losing ground?
So, how do we accurately assess where our oral health really is?
Surely a recent dental chart from your dentist would provide you with much of the necessary information to accurately track the progress of an oral hygiene protocol.
However, we have found that filling out a map on your own mouth provides the individual with a tremendous amount of information that empowers each of us to be able to create greater oral health in our own mouth.
There’s a vast difference between believing what a professional tells you and knowing what you know from having seen it with your own eyes.
In the oral health world, there’s simply no better way to accomplish this than looking in your own mouth…
If you want to make a massive positive change in your oral health, take 20 minutes and get to know your mouth.
Getting to know your mouth…
Here is the OraWellness Mouth Map. It is designed similarly to a dental chart.
Benefit #1… Knowing what areas in your mouth need your focused, loving care.
Here’s why… You’ll see with your own eyes the state of health of your gum tissue around each of your teeth.
- You’ll notice if a certain area is red and swollen.
- You’ll take note if it bleeds when you floss between certain teeth.
- You’ll finally see the exact state of health in your own mouth.
With that ‘current location’ known, you can bring more attention and mindful care to those areas that are in distress.
Obviously, knowing where in your mouth to put your caring attention will go a LONG way toward creating positive change.
But there’s another powerful benefit of getting to know your mouth.
Benefit #2… Having a dated record of your findings
By having a date on your Mouth Map, you can, for example, decide that you’re going to practice oil pulling every day for a month to see if it will help you navigate to greater oral health.
Sure, we all believe that oil pulling daily (for example) will help.
But unless you have a dated record of what’s going on in your mouth AND look again after that 30 days of oil pulling, your belief will stay a belief and you won’t know.
However, by doing a ‘before and after’ Mouth Map, you will know that you created a positive change in your oral health.
You’ll see it with your own eyes.
That, friend, is dental self-empowerment.
Seeing with your own eyes that you created to change with your efforts empowers us in a very big way.
How to get to know your mouth…
We are going to take two passes through the mouth looking for signs of redness, swelling, spots that bleed when (gently) flossed or brushed, any tooth sensitivity, spots where the gums are receding, etc.
The first pass we will go tooth by tooth with our finger, toothbrush, or gum stimulator. We are looking to gently rub the tooth and gum surfaces while looking for any signs above. Remember to explore both the outside and inside surfaces of each tooth!
In the second pass, we are going to do the same exploration, only this time with floss to ‘look’ what’s going on between the teeth.
Step one: Download the Mouth Map and print it out.
Step two: Gather together the following: toothbrush, floss, mirror, gum stimulator (if you have one), pen, and OraWellness Mouth Map.
Step three: Start by marking today’s date in the bottom right corner. Also X out any teeth on the Mouth Map that are no longer in your mouth. (Note: teeth numbers 1,16,17 and 32 are wisdom teeth. If you had your wisdom teeth removed, X them out.
Step four: Using a toothbrush, finger, or gum stimulator, go tooth by tooth looking for redness, swelling, bleeding when probed, gum recession, or tooth sensitivity when touched. Mark it in the appropriate spot on the Mouth Map using some type of notation. (the Mouth Map gives examples)
Step five: Floss consciously. What we mean is floss and after flossing each contact, check for the following: blood on the floss, discoloration on the floss, foul smell on the floss. If any of these are present, mark it on the Mouth Map. (Note: be sure to use a fresh segment of floss for each contact so you can really see/smell anything going on at each contact.)
Congratulations! You have a first massive step toward optimal oral health!
You now have a record of what’s going on in your mouth today!
This record helps in two main ways.
First, you now know what spots in your mouth need more care and attention.
Second, you will be able to see for yourself whether your oral health protocol is helping or not over the course of the coming weeks and months.
There’s nothing quite as empowering as seeing for yourself how a spot that used to bleed when flossing no longer does. That’s taking control of your oral health! Welcome to dental self-empowerment