Superman Syndrome is the idea that men think of themselves as invincible, so they tend to not worry about their body and oral health. Some men are too prideful and will ignore the warning signs in hopes that their problems will simply go away.
This may be no surprise, but when it comes to oral health, men are falling behind in comparison to women. Here are five oral health tips to help men stay on track to healthy, happy smiles:
Ease up on alcohol consumption. This may be a lot to ask for, but reducing your drink number by one or two will help your enamel, the top layer of your teeth. Some alcoholic drinks contain a lot of acid, such as white wine, beer, and cider. The acid can lead to dental erosion, the breakdown of your enamel, and can ultimately lead to increased sensitivity.
Don’t use your teeth as pliers. We all love a good party tick, but let’s keep your teeth out of it. Using your teeth as a bottle opener is all fun and games until you chip or even lose a tooth (making you look like Ed Helms from The Hangover when he lost his front tooth!). Not only will a beer cap chip your tooth, but it will also scrape away at your tooth’s enamel.
Go to the dentist regularly. Seeing your dentist on a regular basis will improve your oral hygiene for the short and long term. Regular check-ups will help your dentist identify arising problems before it’s too late. An extreme, yet serious example of the importance of routine visits is mouth cancer. By having regular check-ups, your dentist will be able to detect early signs and give you expert advice going forward with treatment.
Chew sugar-free gum. Who knew that chewing sugar-free gum was actually good for your teeth? The sweeteners found in sugar-free gum doesn’t cause tooth decay and can help reduce the acid levels in your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum also helps your mouth produce saliva. Saliva helps to replace the minerals that were lost on your enamel’s surface after a meal or drink.
At home oral cancer checks. As mentioned before, routine dental visits allow your dentist to check for mouth cancer. In between your visits, performing at-home oral checks could potentially save your life. Here are some common signs to look for:
-Ulcers that don’t heal within three weeks
-Unusual red or white patches in your mouth, specifically your tongue
-Any lumps or swellings in the mouth, head, or neck area
If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.
So men, although it's fun to imagine yourself as this crime stopping, invincible superhero, don’t ignore the signs your body is trying to tell you. If the little problems are left untreated for too long, then those little problems will turn into bigger problems leaving you with more than just a toothache.