Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toothbrushing and heart attacks!

How many of you find it challenging to brush a two year old's teeth?  I think we got the routine down but I cannot be completely sure how well a job we're doing.  I get to brush her teeth first then I let my daughter brush herself for a few seconds.  We even have the "swish and spit out" down.  Sometimes it splashes everywhere and gets on her clothes.  There is always more messy-ness when a toddler is involved!  So initially we were just brushing with plain water but since around two years old, we've been using one of those toddler toothpaste gels.  Again, I'm not sure how well I'm brushing because I have to brush fairly fast and it is somewhat awkward brushing teeth that is not your own.  But at least we are doing it!

Now I've completely dropped the ball with my second child who just turned 7 months today!  There are those baby toothbrushes that you can put on your finger to brush the gums.  I did it with the first child and somehow in all the craziness, I've completely forgotten with the second.  I kept thinking that I'd just wait until she starts solids.  Well, she has started solids for almost 2 months now!  Oops.

I'm thinking about all this because I just read an interesting study that shows toothbrushing less than twice a day increases your risk for heart attacks!  It has to do with increased inflammation which can lead to atherosclerosis (clogging of your arteries).  The article broke down risk by those who brush twice a day, once a day, and less than once a day.  Boy, I have a hard time imagining how someone can brush their teeth less than once a day.  Brushing has become such a habit that to break that habit would feel really strange to me.

Well... gotta start good habits young...