I must admit, I've been slacking on my " 34 in 2013 " list and actually, I'm pretty upset about it. After failing to do so many things last year, I entered this year with the best and most earnest of intentions, determined to conquer each task and have a completed list by December 31.
What can I say? Life gets in the way. So do finances. Or lack of.
But next year, I am thinking a shorter list is the way to go. Maybe one item per month. We'll see.
One of my line-items on the list is "Be kinder to my skin and teeth." I've actually succeeded at both but am aggravated because despite being more diligent about skin care, find that my skin is actually the most broken out its ever been. Luckily, my teeth are in fine shape thanks to more flossing and more thorough brushing; more frequent dentist visits.
And I happened to learn about Brighter.com. Their service was created to give its members the most information possible to make an educated decision on their dental care. Users can look at the price comparisons between dentists as well as their yelp reviews, credentials, images and videos, and also schedule their appointments right there on the site.
Brighter.com has partnered with over 500 dentists in Los Angeles County, and has worked (much like insurance companies do) to pre-negotiate the prices of over 400 procedures so that when members book through Brighter, they save an average of 50% on any procedure (up to 70% on preventive procedures like cleanings). Membership is free. Brighter.com covers everything from preventive care to restorative work to cosmetic procedures (including procedures that insurance does not cover like braces and whitening).
47% of Los Angeles residents lack public or private dental insurance (that’s three times as many people without healthcare insurance)—that’s 4.7 million people without dental coverage. 57% of LA residents without dental insurance currently seek no preventive care at all and 17% have been to the dentist only once or not at all in the past 10 years. Astounding statistics.
So if you don't have dental insurance (hell, even if you do), this is a FREE, SIMPLE way to investigate what's available to you. It's a way to get the best quality out there for the lowest price possible. A win-win. Darest I say -- an online, present-day "1 800 Dentist," right? (I'm dating myself!)
And because, as you well know, my fine, feathered friends, I am nothing if not a giver, and because the incentive behind my better teeth-care goal is actually whiter teeth, I found this list of foods that help with that ambition and wanted to share:
Crunchy fruits and veggies. They function as scrub brush for your teeth, and also stimulate saliva that helps plaque from forming.
Oranges and pineapples. Their acid may help to whiten and brighten the surface of the teeth, and also contain enzymes that kill bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath.
Strawberries. They contain an enzyme called malic acid that can help whiten teeth.
Dairy products like yogurt, milk or hard cheeses. Dairy is loaded with calcium which guards and strengthens bone that holds teeth in place and they can help protect teeth against decay.
Obviously, you also want to avoid thing that can stain your teeth - coffee, soda, soy sauce and tobacco to name a few.