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(Hint: voted Best Famous Smile in Chicago by dentists)

smile key


A month, already!

  • Eating: Getting more adventurous, but bummer that fibers of oranges get stuck all over.
  • Brushing/Flossing: Getting easier all the time.
  • Movement: These Damon Braces are fascinating. Every week I think, “Well, all the movement’s stopped. My teeth feel so comfortable; this is great.” Then the next day my teeth are a bit uncomfortable; like something’s moving. It’s good to know something’s happening, even if I’m not sure what.
  • Smile: Fun to flash my tinsel smile for friends who haven’t seen me for a while.
  • Dryness: Mouth and lips are dry. Using lip balm and drinking lots of water. Maybe should be drinking lemonade?
  • Only 11 more months to go!

Healthy Options series continues

Background: I’m out of town for a few days, and didn’t want to check my luggage just for the sake of carrying my big bottle of The Natural Dentist Fluoride Rinse Berry Blast, so after I landed, I walked over to a Walgreen’s to see what I could find.

Healthy Option goal: As always, my goal was to find as healthy an option as possible. In this case, a product with the required fluoride, and minimal additional artificial ingredients. And if possible, in a small size.

Review: Tom’s of Maine Natural Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash (Spearmint)

I had high hopes for this product because a) Tom’s of Maine makes good products that I’ve liked and is a good company, committed to health and sustainability and b) because it’s an easily accessible option–it’s on sale at Walgreen’s in Chicago, after all!

Alas, I have enough discomfort with the braces, I don’t need more. This rinse STINGS like crazy. I read on a review that it’s because of the witch hazel that’s used instead of alcohol. Oy! I guess it’s a good option for people who think the stinging means it’s working (like mouthwash), but I’m nostalgic for my gentle if sweet-tasting Natural Dentist rinse.

There is a Lemon-Lime flavor for dry mouth, which might be better; maybe I’ll try it when I’m ready for a new bottle. For now, I’m going to return to my Natural Dentist rinse, as soon as I get home.

  • Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluroride 0.0442% (Anticavity). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Witch Hazel Water (Hamamelis virginiana), Aloe Vera Leaf Juice (Aloe barbadensis), Xylitol, Poloxamer 407, Monosodium Phosphate, Spearmint Leaf Oil (Mentha viridis), Green Tea Glycerite, Chamomile Glycerite, Benzoic Acid, Menthol
  • Flavors: spearmint (reviewed), peppermint and lemon-lime for dry mouth
  • Size: 1 pint. Also available in 2.06 oz, which you can carry onto planes.
  • Cost: $5.99 (at Walgreen’s); also available online

We know that phrase almost always elicits a smile. So how do you organize and share your photos/videos of smiles?Found this web-based photo/video org service, SMILEBOX, through this blog where the founder describes the service. I haven’t tried it, but will check it out.

chesirecat.gif“Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,” thought Alice; “but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!”

smile key

Happy Spring!  Google brought me this spring smile, and the following poem. 

The Spring of a Smile by Mahmud Kianush

Your smile
A red rose,
Musically bloomed
On a branch of light;
In me
The shining heart
A vase of crystal:

How mystically are adorned
The windows of my eyes
By a glimpse
Of this divine Spring.

Healthy Options series continues

Background: Fluoride rinse is one of the special requirements for dental care while wearing braces. You’re supposed to use it every day. There are a bunch on the market; many with flavors to appeal to kids. The sample I got at the orthodontist was from ACT, bubble gum flavor. Yuck. (Active Ingredient: Sodium Fluoride (0.05%)(Fluoride Ion 0.0226%). Inactive Ingredients: Cetylpyridinium Chloride, D&C Red No. 33, Dibasic Sodium Phosphate, Edetate Calcium Disodium, Flavors, Monobasic Sodium Phosphate, Poloxamer 407, Polysorbate 80, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Saccharin, Sorbitol and Water.)

Healthy Option goal: To find an option that has the required fluoride, and minimal additional artificial ingredients.

natural dentist fluoride rinseMy pick (for now): The Natural Dentist Fluoride Rinse Berry Blast

I thought the bubble gum was bad. The flavor of this one is almost worse because of the concentrated fruit flavor. However, it claims not to have alcohol, artificial sweeteners, dyes, or harsh chemicals, so I’m sticking with it.

  • Contains xylitol, a naturally occurring substance derived from birch tree pulp that has been clinically proven to help fight cavities. Xylitol’s antimicrobial properties also protect teeth from the bacteria that cause the buildup of dental plaque.
  • No alcohol, artificial color or synthetic perfumes
  • Full list of ingredients here
  • flavor: Berry Blast (only flavor available)
  • 16 oz.
  • Cost: $13.39 (Whole Foods special ordered it for me); also available online
  • Eating: much easier, but I’m longing to crunch
  • Teeth pain: none that’s noticeable
  • Smile: metallic!
  • Inside mouth comfort: much improved, read below

I’ve been surprised by how many adults I know who have had braces. One friend told me that because of where he was living, it was difficult to get regular care, so he resorted to adjusting his braces with his leatherman tool. Yikes.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to resort to that last week when I diagnosed the source of major irritation inside my mouth. One of the bracket doors was still open. All I had to do was pop it closed with my finger and voila! Ahh, relief!

Doors? I have Damon braces, which have little doors on the brackets. Pop the arch wire in, and slide the doors up. Done. None of that cranking-the-wires that I blocked from my memories of wearing braces as a teen. This system (passive self-ligating braces) is supposed to allow for faster movement with less discomfort. At the least, I was able to alleviate some discomfort by just sliding that door up. Hooray!

smile key

  1. Teeth pain: much better.
  2. Inside mouth discomfort: still about 7 on a 10-point discomfort scale when I eat.
  3. Eating: mushy foods but foraying out to mushable foods, too. 
  4. Smiling: easier, both physically and emotionally.