My daughter has been trying to “work” with the family to make us healthier. While, in my opinion, we, as a family, have not done badly. We don’t eat out often. We attempt to have sit down meals more nights per week than not. And, rarely do we neglect vegetables and/or fruit with our meals. We have tried to work with her to make this a reality for our family meals.
I thought my breakfast was immune to the healthier options – toast with peanut butter and 2 cups of coffee. On my own, I have attempted to only toast “healthy” non-white bread. Little did I know chia seeds were a necessary part of my healthier options. Beginning last summer, I began sprinkling a couple of pinches of chia seeds on each of my slices of bread. (Occasionally a bagel) If I chose to neglect the chia seeds one day and my daughter noticed, she would volunteer to “help” me out. In almost all cases since then, toast w/peanut butter is accompanied by chia seeds.
Last fall, a visit to the dentist didn’t go well. After letting me know I had a few cavities or near cavities, he kindly lectured me on my need to limit my drinking of sweet tea and eating of sweet items. I accepted his assessment. I didn’t give up sweet tea, but I did dilute it more. I didn’t give up sweets entirely, but the yummy gummy bears and other sweets that like to adhere to teeth were eliminated. I flossed with more commitment (I made sure the floss fully circulated in all of the areas between my teeth). I brushed with more attention to the areas where the decay seemed to be the most consistently showing up.
Just a few months following this visit (not the 6 months typically seen between visits), my teeth (one tooth actually) decided they needed some additional dental TLC. At first glance, I seemed to be imagining the pain. An x-ray confirmed I would be the proud parent of another filling. This cavity, as many of the others from a few months ago, was right in the area between my teeth – it was not on the top or sides.
With the most recent visit less than two months in the past and my 6 month checkup only a few weeks in the future, I was finding my teeth beginning to rebel again. Yesterday, a “filling” (really a covering for the exposed lower tooth due to my receding gums) came loose and was nearly swallowed. As I sought to see the partially naked tooth this morning in the mirror, I realized how the gaps between my teeth (not all , but 5 or 6) were still the “proud” owners of there very own chia seed wrapped in a bit of mostly chewed bread with a little peanut butter on the side. It is then I recalled a comment I made to my daughter earlier this week, “The great thing about eating chia seeds is you get to taste them throughout the day.”
As I played detective and assembled the evidence and the comments of my dentist, “I don’t know if I have ever seen decay this rapid.”, I can’t help but blame the chia seeds. Since I do have some gum recession, the chia seeds have a nice snug place to hide for a few hours until my tongue finds them every day. While they hide in the comfort of my teeth and the bread, every drink of semi-sweet tea and every other sweet thing that enters my mouth is easily absorbed by the bread. The chia seed keeps its “family” tucked tightly into my teeth gaps until my tongue sets it free. But, while there, it is giving everything sweet that enters my mouth and is absorbed by the bread a license to damage my teeth in any way possible.
I know the chia seeds visit my various teeth randomly. I know they are not being vindictive–just a little ornery. I cannot judge all chia seeds in everyone’s mouth, but as for me and my mouth, chia seeds are not their friend.