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Optimal oral health can’t start until we begin listening for it!

Optimal oral health can’t start until we begin listening for it!

Sometimes life is smooth as stardust. No-wait lattes on a Monday morning rush, the perfect fit of your favorite autumn coat.

Sometimes life is smooth as stardust. No-wait lattes on a Monday morning rush, the perfect fit of your favorite autumn coat. There are other moments, though — call them intervals of fate — where it can feel like the weight of a planet at our backs.

Coincidence? It might not be! Starting Monday, September 27th, the planet Mercury will retrograde (i.e. “reverse” its orbit) for its third and final time for 2021 before correcting on Saturday, October 23rd.

Of course, Mercury isn’t reversing physically. It’s an optical illusion! Still, for many out there including astrologers, a retrograding planet isn’t anything to wink at.
Mercury is said to govern communication, technology and reason — pretty much the essentials in today’s world. During retrograde, each of these get knocked out of balance. The more notorious effects include:

  • Communication breakdown
  • Scrambled electronics
  • Upended travel plans
  • A bad case of mind fog

It’s a time where many opt to take life from a slower, more careful track.

Some use healing crystals to manage retrograde. Others turn inward, seeking out wellness through meditation and universal kindness.

In many ways, maintaining mind-soul wellness is at the heart of weathering Mercury retrograde effectively. And to do that, those who partake are tapping into something less often considered in the world of physical care: mindfulness.

As it turns out, being actively thoughtful is an immensely beneficial practice for mental and physical wellness alike: making mindfulness in our care regimen an excellent way to address existing health needs.

A body and its care signals

How we physically feel is more than the random chatter of nerves. It’s our body’s primary mode for sharing wellness in real time. Whether we’re hungry, dizzy, chilly or just “meh” — these are all signs of our body opening a dialogue with us.

And like many other parts of the body, the mouth is constantly trying to let us know how it’s doing. Thinking about mind-body communication this way, the reality is that there's a wide galaxy of signs our mouths might use to share how they’re faring at any given moment.

A dry mouth might be a sign to hydrate, for example.

The filmy feeling of plaque on teeth? That’s a signal to get brushing.

So what are some of the bigger care signals our mouths use to communicate issues?

For teeth:

Any and all pain or sensitivity — repeat episodes especially! A tooth’s response from something hot, cold, sweet, or simply from biting down are all potential signs of a tooth not feeling well.

Take care to walk through the symptoms with your dentist, so they’re aware of what your mouth’s trying to tell you.

For gums:

It probably isn’t the hygienist's heavy handedness that’s making your gums bleed during checkup…

Sore, puffy gums that bleed are a consistent sign of plaque overstaying its welcome, leading to inflammation. And it’s something that a quality flossing routine (alongside proper brushing each day) can go a long way to correcting.

For cheeks, tongues and all the rest:

They are tricky organs, mouths. And while they might do plenty of talking, the signs and signals they’re giving us aren’t ones we’d instinctively know to look out for. That’s where dentists come in!

At the end of the day, you know your mouth should feel. It’s yours after all! So when something seems “off,” like a sore that hasn’t healed after multiple weeks, it’s best to get things examined sooner rather than later.

Mindfulness gives greater agency in how we’re feeling and how we respond to what our bodies tell us. And each tie in directly with our actual health. By taking time to be more thoughtful around our oral health, we ensure the mouth’s care signals aren’t getting lost in transmission!

Find out how we’re going below the gum line to shape oral care.

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