Is Your Nursing Career Affecting Your Smile? 3 Strategies to Care For Your Teeth When Working 12-Hour Shifts
Your smile is one of your most effective tools as a nurse, and you know that flashing those pearly whites is often all it takes to calm down a patient. Yet, you never expected that working such long shifts would get in the way of your oral hygiene. While you know that proper brushing and flossing affects the health of your whole body, it sometimes feels impossible to even do it once a day, let alone twice. Fortunately, you can use these tips to preserve your smile even when you work those half-day shifts.
Choose Tooth-Friendly Snacks
Dentists often recommend foods for people that help brush away plaque and tartar for the times when you cannot brush right after lunch. For instance, fresh apples are less likely to stick to your teeth compared to a snack bar, and their firm flesh helps to scrape away food residue that could lead to cavities. You may also find it helpful to avoid sugary sodas when you need a boost since these create an acidic environment in your mouth that leads to acid erosion. Instead, opt for water or swish with some after you indulge in a caffeinated beverage.
Carry an Oral Hygiene Kit
Talk to your dentist about your struggles with oral hygiene since you are strapped for time. This way, they can help you put together some strategies such as carrying an oral hygiene kit with you to work. While you might not be able to brush for the full two minutes, even brushing for a few seconds during your bathroom break is better than not at all.
Keep Up With Your Dental Exams
Typically, those 12-hour shifts mean that you work for several days on with the following one or two days off. Try to arrange visits to a dental clinic on one of your days off so that they can keep an eye on your oral health. For example, professional cleanings at your family dentistry clinic can help to make up for the times that you skip during a hectic day, and your dentist can watch for early signs of problems such as gum disease so that you can treat problems before they get worse.
You know that a proactive approach to better oral health influences how you look and feel as you manage your nursing responsibilities. By taking the right steps to preserve your oral health now, you can stave off the major problems that arise when teeth get neglected during busy times.