Friday, October 28, 2011

Health Tip: Tooth Brushes, Oral Care, Etc...

It's Friday, and I'm ready for a break from the week and the awful news coming out of Thailand. There's no doubt some may say "well, that's lame" and click away from this, but for those who haven't traveled much today's post may be a help. I'm willing to take the risk if you are, and it does provide a break from the breathless flood updates that seem to be taking over some Thai-oriented blogs.
Vee doing his "rabid dog" impression... with his own brush, thank you.
Past the age of 40 or so most of us stop getting cavities, and the main reason we lose teeth after that is gum disease of one kind or another.  Ask your dentist the next time you have the tartar scraped off of your teeth - let me know if they tell you anything different.  While it's true you can get health care in Thailand that's as good or better than where you hang your hat most of the time a sore mouth can put a real damper on a holiday.

The good news is that even if you forget your toothbrush while packing, any and all sorts of oral care products are available in Thailand -for less than you'd pay for the same brands back home; even  the ever-present convenience stores carry a variety of brushes, pastes, floss and the likes.

[As a side note, my doctor flies often enough to have a more than generous luggage weight and count allowance, and he likes to stock up on things before leaving Bangkok to bring back home.  He's partial to BigC, I tend to be more of a Tesco/Lotus guy, but either of those will do. Carrefour used to be part of that mix, but they've sold their Thailand stores to the BigC folks. There are packing tips for your trip here, if you're interested.]

Voy with his fashionable faux "braces" and teal elastics
Braces were a fad in Thailand about a decade ago. Honest to God. Real orthodontics that actually do something can cost in the general neighborhood of Bt60,000 in Thailand (about $2,000USD) but those with the disposable income could have faux braces glued onto their teeth that did nothing more than look like you had the money to afford real braces, and I met a couple of people who did just that... one of them is above this paragraph. He'd change the color of the elastics on them to fit his mood or wardrobe. Amazing Thailand!

For those of you who have friends you visit regularly - especially those who have braces or other problematic orthodontic or tooth concerns - consider buying them a power toothbrush at Big C or Tesco there. It's not going to set you back much, and from my experience it's been an appreciated gift. I've been told they're somewhat of a status item, as personal grooming products go.  Go figure.

Getting back to oral health, though: proper brushing and gum care can help prevent infections of various types, and you're likely to be exposed to different things away from home. Those of you who proudly wave the Sex Tourist flag might especially wish to take note of the importance of keeping one's gums healthy and "tight".  Flossing and/or vigorous brushing before hopping into bed with a stranger may be good for the breath, but bad in other ways.

Speaking of rented admirers, be advised that if your lady or gentleman du jour doesn't have a toothbrush (or other toiletries, for that matter) when they go into your hong nam to freshen up after arriving they may well just use yours.  If you're going to have that sort of visitor, be smart and put out a new brush for them.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I read all your blog. I like it. Thanks for sharing.

John Moran

Edited to omit a commercial link, but thank you for the comment!

Aghabeigi Birmingham said...

Using a soft brush is so much importance to protect your teeth to be harmed and with the video you describe so well that how hold the floss.