7 ways to make oral hygiene easier at the office
You spend most of your day at work. Be sure to bring good habits and the right supplies with you
How to Make Oral Care Easier at Work
Oral hygiene is important throughout the day, not just in the mornings and evenings. That means paying attention to your teeth and gums even while you're at work. It may not seem that easy to keep up with your oral care at the office, especially when you're busy with multiple tasks, or working long hours. But there are many ways to make oral care more convenient while you're on the job. Look after your teeth with these seven workplace tips.
1. Consider your smile
Think about the number of co-workers, clients and managers you come face to face with in a typical workday. That just might be the motivation you need to look after your mouth at work! Wouldn't you want your smile to be at its cleanest, and your breath at its freshest? Perhaps there's never been a deal killed because of onion breath or a shred of lettuce in your teeth, but the bottom line is it still might not be the good impression you hope to make.
2. Get over yourself
Are you too embarrassed to brush your teeth at the workplace sink? Let it go. "I think there's nothing wrong with going into a public washroom to brush your teeth," says Jacki Blatz, a dental hygienist and owner of Dentique Dental Hygiene Centre in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. "It's part of your everyday routine for oral care, just like fitness may be part of your everyday routine."
3. Stock up on supplies
Keep a toothbrush, paste and dental floss stored in your work station, not in your purse or briefcase. An Academy of General Dentistry survey found that you're 65 percent more likely to brush your teeth at the office if you use this strategy instead of carrying your supplies around with you.
4. Eat for optimal mouth health
Try to avoid frequent sugary snacks at work. When you've got the munchies, fruits and vegetables make for good choices because they can scrub your teeth somewhat. Cheese is also a great way to finish your meal or satisfy a snack craving, because it increases saliva flow and helps to clear sugar from your mouth.
5. Chew gum
If you're unable to brush right after a meal at work, pop a stick or two of sugarless gum. "It will actually pull bacteria and food particles from your teeth," says Blatz. Gum sweetened with xylitol will stimulate the flow of saliva, which also helps to cleanse your teeth.
6. Remember that water is wonderful
Stay hydrated at your desk by sipping water, not sugary pops and juices. And if you don't brush right after eating, you can try doing a few swishes with water as well as drinking it. "You can remove as much bacteria by vigourously swishing your mouth with water as you can by vigourously swishing with mouthwash," notes Blatz.
7. Be a good boss
If you're an employer or manager, you might help to raise awareness among your staff about the importance of good oral hygiene and disease prevention. A study in Japan showed that this kind of workplace strategy actually led to a decrease in the cost of dental care among the employees.