I don’t want to get to the end of my life
and find that I lived just the length of it.
I want to have lived the width of it as well.
This came in the mail yesterday.
Again, it may be something every orthodontist does (and I was secretly hoping it was going to be before & after closeups, or even better x-rays) but now that the honeymoon period has worn off, it was a nice reminder of how grateful I am to be able to learn to smile.
The best thing, after the whole straight teeth/nice smile business, about getting the braces off is being able to really brush and floss my teeth. I hated how hard it was to effectively brush and floss with a mouth full of metal. It was hard enough before, when my teeth were all crammed together and standing at odd angles; I was inevitably tearing up my gums and worrying about gum disease. (Because as carefully as I brushed, I was all too aware that it wasn’t enough: flossing is the #1 most important thing for dental health.) It was just another thing to add to my long list of things to be super self-conscious about.
So now, I revel in the oral hygiene. I really do. Don’t make fun.
My latest ally in the war on mouth bacteria? The Complete Care Water Flosser system from WaterPik.
HOW I WISH I HAD THIS WHEN I HAD THE BRACES ON. The water flosser would have been so much more better (in probably 1/5 the time) at getting between my teeth and around the brace boxes. And the Sonic Toothbrush— 159% more effective than manual brushing— gives my teeth that “just stepped out of a dentist cleaning” feel. Combine the two and it’s like the best way to start and end my day. A simple, everyday luxury and victory.
It’s such an easy way to be better— a well-maintained mouth has benefits for the rest of your body. By keeping up with good oral hygiene, you stand to live a longer and healthier life, reducing your chances or severity of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Premature birth
Cass has been using the Water Flosser for Kids (up to 3x as effective as flossing and 1000x more fun!) and she asks if it’s time to go brush and floss now. This is a kid that normally has to be dragged to the bathroom and supervised to make sure she isn’t just in there reading when she’s supposed to brush. I am not exaggerating when I say this thing has made the back-to-school bedtime routine about 30 gazillion times easier; my setting an example and the memory of the cavities she recently had filled (she has very tight back teeth) probably doesn’t hurt either.
(She and her father may or may not have water flosser duels while flossing. I may or may not have issues with this, but hey, it’s only water and at least they’re flossing!)
Coupons are available for both Flosser systems!
SO. I know you’re wondering:
What am I gonna do with the extra years I get from my new & improved healthy mouth?
I’ve been thinking about that after running a Twitter chat about goal-setting this week (for FitFluential). What do I want to make sure I’ve done to live the width of my life? The things I know I’m capable of doing if pushed, even if the person doing the pushing winds up being me?
What am I working towards? How will I convince myself to keep soldiering on with running, strength training? To buy that bike, sign up for swimming lessons? (I actually looked up times & costs for swim lessons this session at the Y— there was nothing available that fit my schedule, but this is the first time I’ve ever gotten as far as checking. That’s progress.)
There are personal and writing goals too, of course. But this is…
My oral-health-inspired fitness bucket list
With my added, healthy time I want to:
- take aerial classes at circus school (we have one in Philly)
- go rock climbing in Colorado (we have a rock-climbing gym nearby, and I really want to return to Colorado)
- swim with sharks (I’ve always wanted to do this)
- run the Disney Princess half-marathon
- relearn some ice skating moves
- bike the coast of California (like the Wakefield twins did in one of their Sweet Valley High Special Editions, only without all the drama of Todd and Courtney).
Basically, I want to go out and do all those things I’ve always said I’d do someday… like getting braces.
What’s on your fitness bucket list?
How fastidious are you about brushing and flossing?
What are your simplest pleasures?
Disclosure: I received Waterpik flossers in exchange for this post. All opinions are entirely my own.