Recently I was reading one of those annoying pop-up articles from my Facebook newsfeed about how celebrities seem to have it all but there has to be something wrong with them. It was then that I was reminded of this lovely scandal from a few years back:
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I really am not a fan of Jessica Simpson.
Never have been. [Sorry, Tosha, and anyone else I may offend!]
Maybe it's how she's acted on two Cincinnati trips that I know of.
Maybe it's the fake baby voice she uses combined with the dumb blonde act.
Maybe it's the creepy father-daughter relationship she and her dad have.
Maybe I'm just confused as to how she got Nick to marry her.
Or why she sold her marriage to gain fame from a TV show.
Regardless of all of that, as a hygienist, I actually have a reason to dislike her.
Jessica Simpson doesn't brush her teeth daily.
    Wait, what was that excuse?! "My teeth are too white! .. too slippery!" ?! There is one thing to not be ashamed of: she flosses daily [usually the issue is the other way around with patients]. BUT there's a reason we recommend brushing twice daily as well as flossing every day. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "If you don't floss your teeth you're missing 1/3 of your tooth's surface" - if that's true [trust me, it is] she's missing 2/3 by not brushing. Maybe you're not good at math, but that is over a majority of the tooth that doesn't get clean.
    Some people would argue:
  • "But she is removing debris with a shirt or washcloth" - other than the fact that this is gross.. there's a reason we have toothbrushes! The bristles on toothbrushes are formed to go slightly under the gumline to clear debris from the cheek and tongue sides of your teeth [if you're brushing correctly]. A t-shirt, sweater, or washcloth isn't going to provide this same level of clean around the most important part of your teeth: the gumline. Plus, where has that t-shirt been?! This may be enough to keep the visible teeth and gums clean, but is not likely sufficient around the larger back teeth.
  • "But she rinses with Listerine.. that kills all the bacteria" - Yes, Listerine does kill all of the bacteria. By all, it means all, even the good bacteria. Any mouthwash containing alcohol should not be used more than 3-4 times a week or you'll end up killing most of the good bacteria that you need. That being said, maybe she uses Listerine Zero? Either way, here's what she's essentially doing: imagine you have a baking dish with baked on food, you spray it with Lysol then rinse under water while lightly rubbing your fingers over it for 30 seconds. Would you think it's ready to use again for the next meal? No. Sure, you may have killed the germs sitting on top of the baked on food, but there's still old food on the surface! You have to use detergent [toothpaste] and a sponge [toothbrush] to truly clean off the debris or it will continue to pile on.
  • "Her teeth are white, they must be healthy" - the color of your teeth doesn't always reflect the health, it's the color of the gums that really matters! It's sad how often I've had patients who haven't been to the dentist in years and come in requesting whitening. Some practices will do the whitening despite underlying problems as long as there isn't too much build up on the teeth, and most all will at least remove the visible "gunk" before applying the whitening, ergo, a person could have perfectly white teeth without having healthy teeth. Someone could also have perfect oral hygiene yet have slightly darker teeth due to habits such as drinking a lot of coffee, tea, or red wine. In reality, Jessica's teeth are probably as white as they are due to the fact that she can afford to get them whitened frequently - this has nothing to do with the health of her teeth or the "slippery feeling" she refers to.  Since she flosses, it is unlikely she has a gum color that would be considered "unhealthy" in areas that are immediately visible when she smiles, but I would be interested to see the gumline around her back molars. This is an area that even patients who do brush daily have difficulty keeping clean so it could present a big problem in someone who only brushes maybe 3 times out the the recommended 14 times a week.

    What I would recommend: I don't know anyone who doesn't like that squeaky clean feeling on their teeth. As Jessica's dentist told People after hearing her revelation, "People pay us a lot of money for that slippery feeling. It’s kind of the best part." Obviously I want everyone to brush and floss daily. If, like Jessica, you feel your teeth are already "too slippery" so you've chosen not to brush, I'd recommend dry brushing [brushing without water/toothpaste]. If you try that and it's still too much, dry brush at least at the gumline. This combined with flossing ensures that the gums stay healthy enough to do their job of keeping your teeth in place without making the teeth completely smooth like toothpaste will do. Ensure you are flossing daily, drink plenty of water and do "tongue sweeps" throughout the day [especially before and after meals] to help keep debris from sticking.
    When it comes to your teeth, don't be a Jessica Simpson! Her teeth may be white, but it's not likely her gums are a healthy color!
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