Do you ever forget to brush your teeth? With our busy schedules, it happens to all of us occasionally. But what if you didn’t brush your teeth for 20 years? While this sounds impossible, a young British man somehow went for 20 years without brushing his teeth. On a television program called Embarrassing Bodies, “Jay” (not his real name) claimed that his parents never told him to brush or floss his teeth, so he never did.
Bad Diet + Bad Hygiene = Bad Teeth
Now 21 years old, Jay explained how he ate the wrong kinds of foods, such as “fizzy drinks,” in addition to not caring for his teeth. When he finally allowed a dentist to have a look inside, unsurprisingly his teeth were caked in tartar. Only after a hardcore blasting away of tartar and debris was the true extent of the damage revealed. The young man was then taken for a CT scan, and it was revealed that the dentist would have to remove 11 of his teeth. Fortunately for Jay, even though the rot in his teeth had travelled through to their roots and his gums, by some miracle the underlying bones in the gums were still strong and healthy enough to accept implants. This isn’t always the case, but the tooth gods must have taken pity on this hapless man.
As part of the show, they provided the young man with a dentist who would fix his teeth. However, before he would do the necessary work to restore Jay’s oral health, he had to promise that he would change his lifestyle to include a healthier diet (or at least fewer sugary soft drinks) and proper dental hygiene. He explained that he was adopting a routine so that he would find time to brush his teeth. This terrible story has a happy ending, as Jay walked away with a fresh set of tooth implants, a beautiful smile and some newfound wisdom.
A Lesson for Us All
Although the TV episode was originally aired in the U.K. in 2011, the picture of Jay’s rotten teeth has spread throughout the internet, as a reminder to everyone exactly what can happen if you don’t watch your diet and take good care of your teeth. It was thought to be a good lesson for school children during the holidays, but it’s equally important for their parents and everyone else. You may not think you have enough time to brush, floss and rinse your teeth twice a day, but you can’t afford not to!
Helpful Tips for a Healthy Mouth
- Limit your intake of sugary foods such as candy and soda. Starchy foods (and sticky foods) can also become a breeding ground for bacteria, which in turn creates acids that cause tooth decay.
- If you eat any “tooth-unfriendly” foods, brush immediately afterwards or at least rinse your mouth with water.
- Brush your teeth twice a day (at least), after breakfast and before you go to bed. Floss regularly and rinse with mouthwash.
- See your dentist regularly for a more thorough cleaning and a complete examination.