Changing Habits

I used to wonder how other girls wore those cheap plastic flip-flops from Old Navy, all through the summer, without their feet looking like they had been eaten by something horrible.  Because whenever I wore cheap plastic flip-flops, I got blisters on my feet and between my toes from where the straps rubbed me raw.  It wasn’t until I was talking to a friend and asked her how she avoided blisters that I realized what the problem was.  Because she, and several others confirmed, “I don’t get blisters.”

The problem, you see, is me.

It turns out the same is true of canker sores.  I thought that everyone experienced canker sores on at least a semi-regular basis.  We certainly all did back in high school when we had braces and needed to use that awful dental gum and carry around ambesol so we could play in band class.  As an adult, I get canker sores about once a month, but lately, it’s been much more regular.  Like, weekly.  And they last for a week.  So it’s been kind of awful.  I didn’t realize until my husband and I were talking though, that the problem is me.  And that normal people don’t get canker sores on a monthly basis.  My husband gets them, “almost never”.  So…what is up with me?  I don’t know, but I do know that prevention is going to require some new habits.

I did a bit of research and came up with the list of Everything I Like which is also Everything that Causes Canker Sores.

The list includes tomatoes, vinegar, citrus fruits (contrary to what my mother told me about vitamin C preventing canker sores), cola, and chocolate.  Or, as I prefer to say, what I eat every day.

I mean, I don’t understand how I’m supposed to eat “plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables” and “raw onions” without being able to use vinegar!  (Yes, that is the thing on that list that I am the most upset by. I need to kick soda anyway.)

However, there are a few painless canker sore remedies: eating yogurt, and changing toothpastes.  Apparently, changing to a toothpaste that doesn’t use Sodium Laryl Sulfate (as mine does) can help reduce canker sores by up to 80%.  (I can’t find the website that said this, but it wasn’t one of the many ones run by non-SLS toothpaste companies that comes up when you google.)  So I will be switching to Toms of Maine or some other hippie toothpaste to see if that takes care of it. I’m also going to be eating a lot more yogurt (since it’s good for you anyway), and eating a lot less citrus fruits so I can still eat vinegar.

Anyone else canker-sore prone? Have you found anything to be the source of them/prevent them?



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4 responses to “Changing Habits

  1. Kelly

    I also eat a lot of the foods that induce canker sores, so I get them too frequently. I think that changing my toothpaste did help. Also, when I would get them as a kid, my great grandmother would have me swish my mouth with milk of magnesia, because that coats them and keeps them from hurting as much. I thought that was the purpose of milk of magnesia until I got to high school and found out what it’s really for after I recommended it to a friend with canker sores. Yeah, that was embarrassing.

  2. I don’t get a lot of canker sores but I do get the blisters from flip-flops! I find that if i power through it, my feet adjust after a week or two and the blisters go away and don’t come back the rest of summer.

    Not sure what to say about canker sores but I HATE Toms of Maine toothpaste. And I’m from Maine and would like to love everything natural that comes out of it, but Tom’s is not my favorite company (their deodorant is awful). My sister however, swears by the toothpaste. It just takes some getting used to after you’ve been using the normal (chemical-y) kind.

  3. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, start taking Lysine supplements!!! I am prone to canker sores (not as bad as yours tho), and even though I don’t take them regularly, even just popping one when I feel a sore on the horizon helps. Also, I know that mine are exacerbated by (a) alcohol and (b) sugar. Hope this helps! Canker sores suck!

  4. ka

    It’s not just you! I get them a lot too. Recently *knockonwood*, it hasn’t been so bad, but I used to get them as part of PMS every month, like clockwork. I thought that was incredibly weird, but they are actually listed as symptoms on some lists. They don’t tend to manifest on their own anymore (I credit everything to cutting back on sugar), but if I bite my lip, or the inside of my cheek, or go to the dentist and they “injure” the inside of my mouth, it will immediately become a canker sore. I think I might try the Lysine tip-I’d love to be able to do something proactive when I can feel one starting.

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