As you and your partner reach middle age and beyond, oral hygiene may fall by the wayside somewhat. Many people attribute this decline to ageing, but many of the issues that arise are entirely preventable.
Moreover, one’s oral health can get more important as a person ages, so it’s not the time to apply the breaks here. If your spouse has already done so, then you mustrealign their priorities and take their oral hygiene more seriously.
Of course, some degree of tact may be required here. You naturally won’t want to ruffle any feathers, but at the same time, you shouldn’t abide by your partner’s poor oral hygiene methods any longer.
Here’s what you should do when your middle-aged spouse has bad oral hygiene.
Identify the Turning Point
Has your spouse’s oral hygiene been poor throughout your relationship? What has their general attitude been like lately?
Think hard on these matters. Remember that the pandemic put a great deal of strain on marriages and that some people are still yet to revitalise themselves. Could your spouse’s neglect for their oral hygiene stem from there?
There could be other causes to their poor oral hygiene too. Have they neglected a trip to the dentist for too long? Do they have dental anxiety? Are they regularly consuming food and drink that’s acidic and bad for their teeth? Could they be depressed and let other aspects of their physical health fall by the wayside? Do some digging into the cause behind their poor oral hygiene.
Looking out for symptoms of bad oral hygiene in them may also be useful. Bad breath is the most commonly associated side effect. However, gums may appear to be inflamed, and they can also bleed after brushing teeth as well. Keep a sharp eye out for plaque buildup too. All of these factors indicate poor oral hygiene.
Analyse Their Routine
Maintaining one’s oral health primarily takes place in the mornings and evenings. During these times, it may be worth greatly tuning your senses to your spouse’s behaviour.
It may be worth looking into their nighttime and morning routines. Do they floss? Does your spouse use mouthwash for the correct amount of time? Are they brushing thoroughly back and sides? If you don’t like what you see, you can always gently raise the issue and recommend they spend longer looking after themselves.
Being more subtle first might be for the best. For example, if their toothpaste is too weak, switching it out for a mintier brand might help things. You could also sneaky switches with their mouthwash and more often stock things like gum and mints in the house. After that, your spouse may fix the bad odour side of things themselves.
It could be a good idea to merge your routines so that you can inspect their habits more closely and suggest changes as needed. For example, some people will brush the tops of their teeth but neglect the back and sides. If you’re present, you can remind your spouse about the recommended 45-degree toothbrush angles and focus on outer and inner surfaces too.
Work on Your Own Oral Hygiene
Your point of view will resonate more if you adhere to a robust oral hygiene schedule yourself. That way, your partner cannot use any hypocrisy to justify their inaction.
Make sure that you are also brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily. Use a fluoride toothpaste that a dentist has recommended for optimum cleanliness. Though two minutes is generally seen as a good amount of time to clean your teeth, try not to focus on timing yourself too much. Instead, be thorough in your approach and only stop once satisfied that your mouth is completely clean.
Don’t forget to use a tongue scraper too. Gently rake it along the surface of your tongue to remove any food debris and germs that have built up throughout the day. When you’re finished, refrain from rinsing your mouth with water straight away, as you’ll wash away the fluoride from the toothpaste and reduce its potency.
After being so thorough with your oral hygiene, you’ll be leading by example. Your spouse may also view you as somebody knowledgeable and informed on these matters.
Once you’ve done all your research, it’s time to present your findings. If you’re going to discuss these matters, you should do so with the facts at your disposal. That way, you can be more persuasive and compelling with your point of view.
While you should never go looking for an argument, there will inevitably be some degree of conflict at some point in your marriage. If you are going to pick your battles, your spouse’s oral hygiene should certainly be one of them.
Remember that some people say that ‘conflict is information’, so keep that in mind during your discussion. If your spouse’s bad oral hygiene means you need to deal with smelly breath or a poorer quality of intimacy, then you have every right to voice your displeasure.
It would help if you tried to refrain from being cruel. You undoubtedly love your spouse, so hold onto that as you kickstart this discussion. Be direct and stick to the facts, and resist the temptation to deliver harsh insults. Be patient and calm, and if you are met with resistance, reaffirm your position and practice patience.
Recommend a Private Dental Clinic
There is no oral hygiene problem that can’t be put right. You can gently recommend an expert dental service to help things along here.
For instance, this dentist in Brisbane uses all the latest technology and high-quality materials to provide the best care possible for its patients. Pure Dentistry provides white fillings, teeth whitening measures and offer any emergency dental work needed. Additionally, Invisalign is also available here, allowing your spouse to straighten their teeth over time. If they’d prefer braces, then those are available too.
Services such as these can be life-changing. If your spouse’s bad oral hygiene is a subject they’re sensitive about, then they can surely get things fixed here. There are many payment plans to choose from, so clinics such as these can be very flexible to your needs.
Moreover, Pure Dentistry also offers honest advice. If your dialogue with your spouse was lacking somewhat, then hearing hard truths from the experts may be enough to motivate a change of heart.
Know You’re Helping Them
Few people take pleasure in critiquing someone. In particular, addressing the issue will be doing them a favour when it comes to bad breath.
Something like one’s breath can be important in daily life. If it’s bad, your spouse may be the subject of many private murmurings among their friends and colleagues. Nobody wants to be talked about in that fashion, so getting ahead of any bad oral hygiene issues early will save them from that embarrassment.
Think about all the other ways bad oral hygiene could impede their prospects. Will they excel in a job interview if their mouth is dirty and smelly? Will extreme toothache disrupt various areas of their life? Would they be able to deal with the eventual trauma of tooth loss? Know that bad oral hygiene can progressively get worse, so fast solutions are wholly necessary here.
Make sure the discussion you have is a private one, too. Your spouse won’t appreciate being called out and humiliated in front of other people.