Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Myth Busted: Getting a Grip for our Teeth

I was recently invited to an event for an opportunity to flex my blogger muscles, which was great, and to learn that dentures are actually not just for the grandparents. As a parenting blogger I was interested to learn that more than 53 percent of people who wear dentures were aged 44 or younger according to a survey conducted by Survata, an independent research firm and commissioned by the GSK Consumer Healthcare group, the makers of Polident and Poligrip products.

There isn’t a time I don’t worry when Sarah is playing a sport such as soccer or gymnastics or even time in the playground that she can suffer a tooth injury to her adult teeth. She has broken her wrists, why not her teeth? And, these traumatic tooth injuries can happen and do happen in kids and young adults, more often then we care to admit.

As parents we want the best for our kids. So going to this event and getting an education was my responsibility especially because dental issues can arise due to genetics, and I have a family history of periodontal disease that I would like to prevent for Sarah, as much as I am able to. The good news, Sarah has been to the dentist every year since her first year of life, getting comfortable with a dentist, learning about the importance of healthy teeth and proper care methods.

For me personally, I was often petrified of the dentist, having braces at a very young age, and then in my 20s, I experienced an abscess in one of my molars that was so painful and led to the tooth having to get pulled. I decided that instead of doing an implant I would have the bridge option.

Who would have thought that my temporary bridge was actually a partial denture.

It’s so funny the language that is used with young adults, because we are so vain. Whether it’s partial teeth or bridges, these are dentures.

So, during this time, I was encouraged by my dentist to carry along with me some adhesive cream in case my temporary bridge or partial denture fell out and needed extra support to keep it in place. I was warned by the dentist not to put too much in and following the directions to just add a few drops.

As you can imagine, the first time the bridge fell out I ignored my dentist’s recommendations and the instructions and felt I needed to add more adhesive to make sure it wouldn’t fall out. While my bridge didn’t fall out, I had to make up for all the extra saliva that developed in my mouth as result of the unnecessary excess product that was oozing out. I learned my lesson, you can be sure of that.

The thought of my bridge falling out was stressful; however, it didn’t stop me from going out and spending time with friends and family. While waiting for my permanent bridge to be ready and be placed for good, I actually made sure to stay away from some specific foods so as not to risk my bridge falling out. You can bet I was ready to use the cream, and not too much, should I need it. It came as no surprise, also from this survey, that as many as 56 percent of people who wear dentures also avoided certain foods because of concerns of getting food stuck. It’s funny how it’s not until you have these temporary teeth that you start to think about what you consume, more so, for fear of your teething falling out.

I learned, at this event that many people with dentures actually avoid favorite foods and sometimes even avoid social events fearing that their dentures would fall out. Having been in that position before, and with the right tools to help manage, I realized that these individuals don’t have to hide any more.

In two decades since my abscess, medical and health advancements have evolved. To hear about the Polident line of products and to see them used in a demonstration, had me convinced that they work, and that learning more about what can be done to manage dentures and to help avoid pitfalls, was reassuring.

There is so much excitement and joy to be had with friends, and even with meeting new people, that it’s unfortunate that people with dentures actually run home to avoid these settings.

Seeing what full and partial dentures can do for a smile damaged by disease, genetics, trauma or poor dental care in youth, I was amazed at how beautiful these smiles are. They should not be hidden but instead out for all to see. I was sad to hear that 35 percent of people with dentures don’t live their lives to the fullest, and keep walls up.

Many of us think of TV or the movies, and dentures in a clear glass on the night stand before bed. However, wearing them all day, people with these temporary teeth, need support to help them stay in, and to stay confident. It was great to hear that GSK Consumer Healthcare group has an entire line or products for all types of people with dentures to best suit their needs. Check them out at

Importantly, I learned that people who wear dentures, young and old, that we shouldn’t use toothpaste or bleach to clean them. While our regular teeth are strong, dentures are made of plastic and can be damaged as a result including scratching of the surface, discoloration, plaque build-up and so much more.

Not only was I fortunate to be a part of this event for the education, and the great eats, some of which I look forward to making soon, I want to also thank the GSK Consumer Healthcare group, as it just so happens that my town was in a blackout without power, at the time of the event, for quite some time due to a tornado-like storm. Being able to get to the City for the event, and then to bring home some vegetable goodies to our bare fridge was great, and you can bet we all had delicious salads and a great conversation, thanks to you.

Disclosure: GSK is a client for the agency that I do work with. I am so glad that I was able to go because it was a good learning experience the knowledge I gained was tremendous.  

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