Want to keep
Break a sweat Exercise
may lower the risk of gum
disease, says Samuel Low,
D.D.S., former president of
the American Academy of
Power up Use a high-quality electric toothbrush with a small head,
says New York City peri-odontist Greg Diamond,
D.D.S.: “They’re optimized
to remove plaque.”
Wait to brush
It takes 30 minutes to an
hour for saliva to neutralize the acids in foods.
“Brushing right after eating can brush the enamel
away,” Diamond warns.
deeper than 3 mm, you
might have gum disease.
Go beyond floss
If your gums recede (as
even healthy gums can),
which look like tiny pipe
cleaners, may work better than floss, which can
miss plaque on a root.
Get off the bottle
Many bottled waters lack
fluoride. Consider adding
a filter to your tap instead.
Watch your gums
Insist that your dentist
examine your gums with
a probe. If the gum pocket
surrounding a tooth is
Wet your whistle Teeth
depend on saliva to
remove microbes. If your
mouth is dry, a prescription rinse can help. —J. T.
teeth. In less than an hour, it’s done.
“When can I eat?” I ask eagerly.
“Anytime you want,” says Sedeqi.
In the car I rip open the pretzels and
nuts and chomp down ferociously.
The implants feel fantastic, which is to
say, they don’t feel anything—exactly
what I’ve always hoped for in a tooth.
The upper molars, on the other hand,
prove a little more boisterous. It’s not
pain, exactly, but it occurs to me that
teeth, like people, resent too abrupt a
transition from indolence to labor.
Two weeks later my whole mouth
has successfully made the switch.
I call up my twin to ask him how
his final mandibular molar is hanging. We both know it’s only a matter
of time before he will face his own
rendezvous with dentistry. For now,
however, there’s a new winner in the
molar sweepstakes: John 1, Jim 4. ;
Pennsylvania freelancer Jim Thornton
writes for Men’s Health, Field & Stream,
and Swimmer, among other magazines.