Featured How to live like the experts

How to live like the experts: Checking in on Dr. Eleanor Weitzner’s oral health routine

Written by Monica Matys

Ever wonder if your doctor or specialist follows their own advice? Sunnybrook experts get candid with the approaches they take in their personal lives.

Dr. Eleanor Weitzner is a Doctor of Dental Surgery in Sunnybrook’s Department of Dentistry.

Do you remember who first taught you to brush your teeth?

My mother was the first person who taught me how to brush my teeth. When I was younger she would brush my teeth for me, and I remember feeling so mature when she told me that I could brush independently. I also have memories of my childhood dentist demonstrating a brushing technique on a dinosaur with very large teeth and an oversized toothbrush. She would let me brush the dino’s teeth to show her I knew how to properly brush.

As a doctor in this field, do patients ask you about your own oral health routine all the time?

Yes!  Patients want to know what type of toothbrush and toothpaste I use. I get asked about which mouth rinse to use and how often to come back to visit the dentist. I also get asked if a water flosser is better than traditional flossing.

I brush twice daily; once when I first wake up in the morning and once prior to going to bed. I use a fluoridated toothpaste and an electric toothbrush with soft head on the sensitive function for two minutes per brush. I make sure to pay extra attention to brush where my teeth and gums meet. I am conscientious about flossing and try to floss after each meal. I’m currently using string flossers.

Has your oral health routine changed over time?

It has. I used to brush with a manual brush. When I went to the dentist and had multiple cavities that needed to be filled, I started using an electric toothbrush.

What is the single best thing you do for your teeth and gums?

I drink lots of milk and eat cheese. Dairy products contain casein proteins that protect the hard outer layer of our teeth (enamel) from decay. They are also rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are minerals that repair damage to our teeth when acid made from bacteria and food break down our enamel. Dairy products are also mostly pH-neutral which neutralize the acid in our mouth from the foods we eat. I stay away from acidic foods which could dissolve my enamel and I chew gum or eat candies sweetened with xylitol to help stimulate my salivary flow and prevent cavities.

Is there any part of your oral health routine that might surprise people?

My children and I have a dance party while we all brush our teeth together every morning.

About the author

Monica Matys

Monica Matys is a Communications Advisor at Sunnybrook.

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