Diabetes and oral health problems run in both sides of my family. I have learned from decades of observing and caring for my family members that when you’re diabetic, you have to take extra care of your body, because your defenses just aren’t as strong as non-diabetics.
That includes your teeth and gums. Diabetics are twice as likely to develop gum disease as non-diabetics. I’ve had people in my family succumb to periodontal disease and lose their teeth because of their diabetes. It is very heartbreaking.
So it was a personal mission for me to head to my local Walmart Neighborhood Market to purchase Colgate items for use in an oral care gift package for my mom. Mom’s had diabetes for nearly 20 years, and new developments in care and maintenance for it are constantly changing.
Last year, my mom and I attended a Diabetes Expo, where we learned that Colgate Total is endorsed by and has partnered with the American Diabetes Association. It is proven as a toothpaste to fight gum disease, and thus is extremely important to mine and my family’s health.
In this mission, I learned a bit about how to manage my oral health to protect and preserve my teeth. The Colgate Total web site has a wonderful and informative page on Diabetes and Oral Health, where you can watch videos and download an informational pamphlet about how to care for your teeth and gums, and what changes to watch out for.
This is what I learned from Colgate:
Keeping your gums healthy and free of plaque is crucial. You must do this by flossing, using a good toothpaste like Colgate Total, and brushing twice a day using a good toothbrush like the Colgate 360, which has specially designed bristles to get down to your gums and get out what causes plaque buildup and eventually gum disease.
If you are diabetic, see the dentist every six months. That’s quite a difference from the normally-recommended annual checkup.
See a dentist if you notice changes including bleeding gums, loose teeth, and any difference in how it feels when you bite.
I have a few tips as well:
Use a plaque-loosening rinse before brushing. You won’t believe the difference this will make in your teeth.
Change out your toothbrush every three months. Your toothbrush is exposed to your mouth and whatever else is in your bathroom on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the bristles weaken. An easy way to mark when to change your toothbrush is to get a new toothbrush seasonally. For instance, give the kids new toothbrushes in their holiday stockings, in their Easter baskets, on the last day of school, and on the first day of school.
Use a tongue scraper. A lot of toothbrushes already come with these, but you can also purchase oral care items for tongue scraping. These help remove plaque from your tongue and help get rid of bad breath as well!
I made my mom a gift basket with all of these items and some extras. She loved her package and was really appreciative of the products and information she received.
Look in specially-marked packages of Colgate Total for a $15 coupon booklet that includes savings on products from Colgate, Palmolive, Irish Spring and a number of other brands.
Also, look in the November issue of All You magazine for a Colgate Total coupon, as well as lots of information on diabetic health.
For more information, visit the following sites:
You can also check out my Google Plus album, which features more photos and information on my shopping trip.
From me and mom, here’s to you and your beautiful smile!