Dr Bianca Piscioneri
DO: Cultivate rituals in your life
All societies have rituals. This is manifested in cultural festivals, language, celebrations of important events, food, or changes with the seasons. Like Hanami, the Japanese cherry blossom festival in the spring. In fact, it is deemed that human beings need rituals to feel balanced in their lives. Rituals are the common thread that connect all of humanity from prehistoric times. Rituals provide us with a sense of security, consistency and structure. They add a sense of predictability in our lives, optimism and something to look forward to.
At GGDS we have created a disciplined approach to Self Care to help distress our patients, help them be self aware about their teeth clenching habits and remind them about the importance of having rituals in their live in order to balance their optimum oral health and general well being.
"It's important to cultivate rituals for optimum Self Care..."
Do you have fond memories of community or cultural festivals you routinely attended in your childhood? These events often came with special ritual foods to be enjoyed. Think carefully about cultivating your own personal rituals or family rituals unique to you. Or do you already have some rituals but don’t appreciate them as being rituals?
DON'T: Go a day without mini moment rituals
In our busy frantic lives, how often do we forget to think about how much we enjoy our rituals? Don’t forget to build into your day mini moments of happiness. Start your day well hydrated with a glass of warm water. Go outside at exactly the same time (no excuses!) and take in some daylight to replenish your vitamin D and catch some serotonin to help cultivate good feelings in your brain. Even if you are working at home, take the time to have lunch and take breaks at designated times. Never work through lunch and make a habit of not eating at your desk or walking around while you are eating.
"Make time to stop and breath 3 times a day for 5 breaths at a time..."
In French culture, lunch is almost always at 12:00 noon, lasting for 2 hours and sitting down. Our perfumer who lives and makes the Parfums de Provence in the South of France - much more relaxed than Paris - tells me that people rush through their lunch in Paris. He say they only have 1.5 hour for lunch! The irony here is that culturally, it seems, the French have a long lunch every day all over France.
DO: Pay attention to the toothbrush you use
Yes, we do think we have some basic knowledge about what is important to look for in our toothbrush from television toothbrush advertising or dental education. The toothbrush is a tool we use every day at least twice a day and like all tools, it needs to be efficient and efficacious.
You should change your brush every 4 to 6 weeks. Look for toothbrushes which have multiple soft bristles (more than 5000 bristles). These have a more sweeping action against plaque rather than a scrubbing action. In this way, with the correct angulation of brushing, you minimise the damage to your enamel and reduce the cause of the recession of your gums and subsequent toothbrush-induced tooth sensitivity.
DON'T: Use a medium or hard toothbrush and avoid brushes with sparse hard bristles
Brushes which are sold with these labels are really dangerous. Consumers have been exposed to choices like these for far too long, even though we have had the knowledge on damage caused by these type of brushes for decades. Avoid brushes with sparse bristles. These are highly ineffective at cleaning the teeth. Our brain can feel this in the actions of our hands and may be compelled to scrub harder in order to get the feeling of cleaning better.
DO: Take the time to read the labels of your lip balm and remember that we eat the lip balm we apply
Many people apply lip balms either to treat dehydrated lips or because they love the comfort of a lip balm on their lips and use it routinely everyday. Many coloured lipsticks, including high end couture lipsticks, dehydrate the lips, generating a feeling that we need more hydration from a lip balm.
"Little known facts about lip balms: we will consume all the ingredients in it into our bodies."
Every ingredient in the lip balm we will eat as soon as we apply it on our lips. Also, the skin on our lips are thinner than the skin elsewhere on our body, and so easily absorbs the undesirable ingredients directly into the blood stream. Look for hydrating ingredients and ingredients which help to keep the moisture in, preventing it from rapidly evaporating. Look for protection from both UVB and UVA rays.
DON'T: Use lip balms with ingredients such as derivatives of petroleum jelly or even too much of a natural ingredient such as shea butter
These will occlude or block the lips' natural rhythms of function, resulting in the lips' natural mechanism of replenishing moisture and oils from glands to become lazy and inefficient. This means the lips will tend to make less of all the natural substances needed, including the beneficial saliva, and generate the feeling of dryness, constantly needing more lip balm.