So what exactly is “healthy food”? And exactly when, if ever, should we be spending our hard-earned money on it? Let’s start with the definition of healthy food.
Now you might be wondering what I’m even talking about. What’s the big deal about acid on your teeth? Well, it’s a dentist’s best friend. Or at least a great way for him to pay for that new boat he’s always dreamed of.
Some facts about tooth acid
Many of the foods you eat and things you drink are acidic. That means after you’ve finished eating or drinking, a layer of acid may stay behind.
And that acid can eat away at your enamel, your body’s natural guard against tooth decay. As we are reminded every time our dentist gives us the bad news “You’ve got cavities!” … prevention is well worth the effort.
Chewing your food really well can help, since saliva can neutralize the acid. Also, rinsing with water is a quick hack, especially if you’re away from home and can’t easily get to some baking soda.
So how can baking soda mouth rinse help?
Although I am not a chemist, as I understand it there are acids and bases. Basically (although I’m simplifying it), they’re on opposite ends of something called the pH scale. So combining the two, one can help cancel out the other.
Alkalis are a type of base that form solutions when dissolved in water. So an acid and an alkali together can often neutralize the effect of each other. Not too acid; not too base.
And now we get to baking soda. It’s nature is alkaline and does a great job at neutralizing acid. Years ago, baking soda was one of the most used remedies for relieving acid stomach.
People still use it for indigestion, although you need to follow the instructions carefully. And if you have high blood pressure, please talk to your doctor before using it for that purpose.
How to use the baking soda for tooth acid
Just a little bit of baking soda can help neutralize the acid clinging to your teeth after a meal. Some people dissolve it in warm water, and rinse carefully right after eating. Even a snack can leave acid behind.
I actually just wet my finger and VERY gently (not to be abrasive) massage a tiny amount on all my teeth. Then I rinse with water a couple of times, knowing that I’ve helped remove harmful tooth acid.
Can’t I just brush my teeth?
Yes. You could do that. BUT there is one problem dentists have warned me about. Right after eating, the acid can actually soften the enamel. And brushing may do more harm than good by damaging your enamel.
Although most people would find this inconvenient, you should wait at least 15 to 20 minutes after eating before brushing. Meanwhile, it’s good to rinse your mouth with water anyway, to get rid of that sneaky acid.
For me, baking soda mouth rinse is an easier solution. (Pun intended for the chemistry nerds out there.) You can do it right away after eating, and get on with your life. And it’s easy enough to carry some with you in a baggy or small container, for those meals away.
A bit of caution & advice
Just to emphasize some things I already mentioned — and add a few more thoughts just to be extra cautious:
- If you use my moist finger method, apply the baking soda very gently to your teeth. You don’t want to create exactly what you are trying to avoid … damaged enamel.
- Make sure you are not ingesting the baking soda, especially if you have high blood pressure. But even if your blood pressure is fine, it is not healthy to swallow plain baking soda. As your dentist might say, be sure to rinse, spit, and repeat!!
- In case you do have any special health issues like kidney disease, it’s probably wise to check with your doctor. In my case, just to be sure, I took my blood pressure after starting to use baking soda mouth rinse. Luckily, even after several weeks, there was no change at all.
NOTE: Checking with your doctor is also a good idea for any new supplements you start using. Or at least doing a thorough, quality-source online search. You might be surprised at the side-effects and interactions even for things considered “safe”.
4. Get into the habit of doing this baking soda mouth rinse after every meal to help minimize tooth acid. It’s actually an easy habit to get into, once you give it a chance!
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Extra: Cash flows and budgets
Always looking for ways to recycle and reuse, I started saving my old toothbrushes about a year ago. And since then I’ve found a number of ways to use old toothbrushes — after they’ve lived out their initial purpose.
8 uses for old toothbrushes
- Plastic combs — Simple as it may sound, old toothbrushes are great for cleaning between the teeth of plastic combs of any size. I used to try getting inside using Q-tips or a scrubbing cloth. But it wasn’t easy. Then I tried using an old toothbrush, and now it’s a snap.
- Drain strainers — My bathroom and kitchen sinks have drain strainers. And they like to collect bits of black stuff that I did my best to scrub clean. Old toothbrushes to the rescue!
- Bathroom sink drains — The same is true for the bathroom sink drain. I used to find this black goop deep inside, that my cousin assured me was normal. But it led to clogged drains. Now I hold the end of an old toothbrush and swish around. Then I clean it well, and use again. But be careful to hold the handle tightly or it will get stuck!!
And if you do get a clog:
- Bathroom sink faucets & handles — Yup. You another one of the many uses for old toothbrushes is simply cleaning those hard to get into areas of your faucets and handles.
- Refrigerator splotches — Had some hardened spills in my refrigerator and just used my old toothbrush to get them off. (First placed pieces of wet paper towel on them to loosen them up. )
- Bathtub stains — With the help of a little baking soda, your old toothbrush makes a great targeted cleaning tool.
- Can opener — As with the other items, some good old toothbrush power will do the trick. Wet it first with hot water to help lift the grime.
- Portable fans — Also found my old brushes good for cleaning fan blades and corners. Probably best to do this in your tub, though. A lot of old dirt and grime can splatter.
Need more? Other uses for old toothbrushes include any nooks, crannies, and corners. Let your imagination run wild!
One caution – test first!
Check to see if something you’re using it on might get scratched. You don’t want to find out afterward that the bristles hurt more than they helped.
And remember to clean the toothbrushes afterward
If you do plan to reuse them, please clean them before putting away for next time. You don’t want anything growing on them while they rest.
And I actually isolate the brush that I use for the black sink drain sludge. Not sure you have to, but just felt right. And figured it can’t hurt.
Feel free to add your own tips!
More posts to help
I have neck issues that pretty much make my continual search for the right pillow into a sacred quest. And far too often, I’m disappointed. You know … it’s the Goldilocks thing. This one is too soft. This one is too hard. But when will the just right pillow finally arrive?
My Goldilocks pillow
Need help with a clogged bathroom sink drain?
Well, not THAT kind of clog.
What worked for me
I’ve only tried this on my bathroom sink. But with just some cheap shampoo and hot water, my clogged bathroom sink drain was running clear within minutes. And, in this case, I didn’t even need to add the pot of hot water that I had prepared.
I just poured about two tablespoons full of shampoo right down into the top of the drain, and stepped away to heat up some water. By the time I returned a few minutes later to check on the progress, the clog had disappeared!
Maybe fixing your clogged bathroom sink drain will take longer
I’m assuming that a more aggressive clog would take longer. But, in that case, I think you can use about the same amount of shampoo, at least the first try. And then wait about 10 – 20 minutes. Then add a potful of very hot water (not boiling water to avoid accidents).
Hopefully that will do the trick. But if it’s still clogged, just as you would when shampooing your hair, repeat and rinse. (You might wait a little longer if the first time didn’t work.)
Cheap is the name of the game
Since this is one of my posts to help you save money, first you will be saving on one of those pricey (and toxic) decloggers. But I also recommend you don’t waste your hard-earned money using expensive shampoo to try this.
Instead, go get yourself a big economy-sized bottle of any cheap shampoo. And then keep it around for the next “unclogging your bathroom sink drain” adventure. Please let us know how it works!
BTW … this works great for toilet clogs too. Just add a little extra shampoo, wait 10 – 20 minutes, and prepare two pots of hot water to top it off after the time has elapsed.
This may also take a second try, but it’s always worked for me. And with minimal effort!
I’ve also used this method: How To Unclog Your Drain (Without Toxins)
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The holidays are a wondrous time when thoughts can’t help turning to shopping. And lots of spending for the holidays. I’ll be taking a few weeks off, but in the meantime, I thought I’d leave you with just a few words about spending.
As good as it feels in the moment, your budget will take a hit for a looong time to come. So have fun … but it’s ok to tell yourself “Maybe I don’t need everything I see!” 😉
Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season. See you in 2018!
People often tell me that they feel so deprived when they try to go on a financial diet. Much like real dieting, saving money is really hard. The effort alone can leave you in a what feels like a psychological state of deprivation. Also like a diet, you long to get back to normal times again. But when you’re feeling deprived, each day can feel like forever!
Add to that the idea of doing this for the long haul, since old habits need to be broken. Just the thought of it feels like more than you can bear. Watching every penny? Denying yourself the very things that make life worth living? Feeling deprived forever??? That’s not what you want YOUR life to be. Nor should it have to be.
Waiting can feel like deprivation
When it comes to money affirmations, I want to be careful not to tread on any sincere beliefs. So let me say up front that I think the power of positive thinking and affirmations that aim your brain in a direction of abundance rather than poverty can be a helpful thing. At the very least, if it’s NOT all you do, there’s probably no harm.
I’d also like to add that very wealthy people who are all about the money as an end goal, feeling they never have enough, may not be as happy inside as poorer people who go through life in an abundance state of mind, no matter how much money they have. In the bigger picture, we can always find something to be thankful for — even if it’s simply the chance to begin anew at any time. Or a community of supportive people online who understand what you’re going through.
Where money affirmations may not work for you
A cash flow spreadsheet helps you track the amount of real money coming in and going out. Things like your salary or savings account interest are examples of money coming in. Your expenses (whether one at a time or regularly scheduled) are money going out.
Why should we even care about creating a spreadsheet to track every single dollar? Isn’t that something only a boring accountant would want to do? Probably yes about the “want” part. But it will help give you a full picture of your finances. So I’m hoping I can get you to want to do it too.
How to create your own cash flow spreadsheet
Budget plan spreadsheet. The words alone have such an awful sound. Boring! And then you think what those words might mean for your life — like setting up “limits” to your spending? Ugh!! Nothing there to get excited about either. In fact, “budget plan” sounds like a real nuisance.
But what if I tell you those “limits” can eventually help buy you freedom? And the ability to buy things you really want down the road. Or help you retire one day without relying on cat food lunches. Or simply help make it possible for you to be able to sleep late without credit vampires waking you up.
Why a budget plan might be a good thing
I’m guessing you already have some idea of why you might want to create a budget plan for yourself. Maybe you don’t have any savings. Or maybe you see everyone else around you with a lot more savings. And you want to do that for yourself.
Perhaps you’re dreaming of a house some day and want to be able to truly afford it. And you don’t want to be swamped by debt while trying to live the good life. Or maybe you simply worry that you’re spending is out of control. And you can’t imagine what being in control again might even look like.
So a budget — our new best friend — might be exactly what’s needed. First, it helps you get a handle on what you’re really doing with your money over time. But also the things you learn can help you develop new habits that become second nature to you.
How to create your budget plan spreadsheet
Are they all earning salaries in the hundreds of thousands? Did they win the lottery? Well, for some people … yes. But for the rest of us who have managed to save our money even in tight times, you might be surprised at the tricks we use to build up those all-important savings accounts!
Tips to help you save money to invest
No matter which brand of dishwashing liquid you buy, you know that more often than not when you squeeze the bottle a lot more of the soapy liquid comes out than you need. Well … you can save money by simply adding water to the container as you use it.
I know that doesn’t sound like major savings, but why waste your hard-earned money that way? You’re only making the manufacturer richer. And even if you tell yourself “I’ll be more careful next time,” it happens again. And again. Money down the drain — literally!
What I do instead
My solution (no pun intended) is not to work to remember, but to make it easy to forget. By watering the dishwashing liquid down a few times as you go along, you’ll see you can get more than enough soap with the same amount of liquid — and wind up saving some money at the same time. Lasts longer too.
I usually add at a little right away before using, just to top it off (you still need to leave enough room to be able to shake it). And then after I use up about an inch, I add some more water and shake again.
Close cap tightly, and shake bottle well to get liquid evenly distributed.
You can probably do this a couple of times more as time goes on – up to 1/4 or even a 1/3 of the total. You’ll get the hang of what works for you. But of course you don’t want it all to be water! 🙂
Want to know more?
Judy H. wrote to ask me about her Medicare coverage. She says she’s confused by all the information and choices out there. She’s not alone! Should she stay with her Medicare Advantage vs Medicare Supplement (Medigap)? Or should she just do straight Medicare and pay the 20% on her own?
While I’m not a Medicare expert, I do understand some of the basics. I also did some online snooping to hopefully help guide her to finding an answer that’s right for her Here is her question and my response: