Dental analysis of the characters on 'Modern Family'
Since 2009, ABC has been charming our pants off with the three intimate, nuclear families in the award-winning show "Modern Family." Between Cam and Mitchell bickering over the color of the table setting for their wedding, Gloria coddling Manny in broken English or Phil trying to teach Luke some hilariously uncool magic tricks, each character is grounded in his or her own style.
Many people love the show because it's so relatable. You can identify with at least one of the characters, all idiosyncratic and goofy in their own ways, because they find themselves juggling challenges in separate stages of life - Alex talking with boys in high school, Luke being Luke, and Gloria and Jay handling another baby.
Family is always there when you need them, and today's modern family might need a few tidbits of advice to stay up on oral health habits. So, here's a dental take on the loveable characters of the Pritchett-Tucker, Dunphy and Pritchett families, should you ever find yourself in the shoes of the Modern Family stars.
Cam, in all his theater, is a stalwart of a man. Considerate? Yes. Oversensitive? Certainly. But at the end of the day, he's got his priorities straight, and Mitchell is there to back him up. After all, the man's got a wedding on his hands, and many of us know how overwhelming planning can be! So, our one tip for wedding-planners is take a deep breath and don't get stressed out, because besides contributing to high blood pressure and heart issues, it leads to bad breath, and no one wants that when they walk down the aisle.
As as a recent episode in season five highlighted, Mitchell is a closet germ freak. Before he leaves his office, he wipes it down with sanitizer from corner to corner, from the desk to behind the office plant, only to end up in a vent. Kudos to the brilliant writers of the show, who decided to have Mitchell vent to an intern about his concern for the wedding and how he wants everything to be perfect, tidy, spick and span. To keep your mouth as spotless Mitchell keeps his office, dentists recommend that you use alcohol-free mouthwash once a day. It's perfect if you're in a rush and need a quick freshener.
Last season, Lily lost her first tooth. Lo and behold, the tooth fairy comes and accidently leaves her $100. It appears the tooth fairy (aka Cameron) had a little bit too much chardonnay that night, so the worried parents try to settle the dust. Unsurprisingly, the tooth-loser and money-winner Lily is excited. Losing a baby tooth is the sign of becoming a big kid and for most little ones, is a milestone. When your kids are at this early age, it's important to teach them how to brush properly, scrubbing twice a day. This is especially true since studies have shown that children with cavities in their primary teeth tend to have tooth decay in their adult teeth as well.
Silly beyond belief, genuine to the point of overextension and frequently a self-proclaimed "cool dad," Phil Dunphy is always good for a laugh. He's a big kid at heart, meaning that when it comes to his own children, he can sometimes go overboard. So, to refrain from weirding away your peeps, young or old, use a minty fresh toothpaste that will keep you as cool as your self-declared status.
Claire tries to piece together the family. But despite her motherly instinct, she hides a party-girl past from college. Often, those rowdy four to five years entail a good amount of red cups and experimenting. In oral health terms, alcohol dries out the mouth, often leaving stinky breath and bacteria build-up. As Claire likely knows now, tobacco has plenty of harmful effects, including eroding gum lines and being a culprit of gum disease.
Haley may be a little slow at times, but she always knows the importance of looking good. She dresses to impress and sports a knockout smile to boys in college and at home. For a smile as flashy as hers, try teeth whitening products that remove stains on dental enamel, which will only help your chances of winning over dates.
The nerd and undisputed brains of the family, Alex aces all forms of academia. Though she may not pay much attention to how she looks, you can count on Alex to know that brushing twice a day and flossing once a day improves dental health. Getting a new toothbrush every two to three months is also important, since bacteria gathers on the bristles and handle, transferring back into your mouth when you brush. Even Alex could tell you that's no way of picking up guys.
One euphemism to describe Luke? Imagination. During Halloween, he has been known to lick the decorative cardboard lollipops in the lawn. For the actual trick-or-treaters or lads with a sweet-tooth, try to avoid snacking on products with high-fructose corn syrup throughout the day. That stuff sticks to your teeth and erodes dental enamel, often making a cavity treatment a must. Moderate the candy to once a day during a meal, since the saliva produced during that time is higher and helps rinse away stray food.
We hate to say it as much as Jay does, but the thick-skinned patriarch is growing older. And one of the biggest oral health problems for the aging population - those 60 and older - is medication-induced dry mouth. Hundreds of over-the-counter pills reduce saliva production in the mouth, drying out gums and leaving a habitable environment for smelly bacteria and pieces of stray food to accumulate. Get rid of dry mouth by drinking extra water, visiting the dentist regularly and sucking on sugarless mints.
Like many parents with two boys in the house, Gloria has some difficulty controlling her precocious little nugget, Fulgencio. Baby Fulgencio's wandering hands have already pulled in some naughty no-no's, yanking on a priest's necklace after sneezing at facetious times. Caring for a newborn can be extremely demanding, causing parents to occasionally forget about meals and dental health habits. But after running the baby bases, remember to eat a healthy dinner, lunch and especially breakfast, which helps quell morning breath and stimulate saliva flow for a smell that won't compete with Fulgencio's dirty diapers.
Aptly-named Manny has an old soul. He wears sports jackets and 1940s hats to school and speaks as though he was pulled straight out of the movie "Casablanca." While the helpless romantic may overlook his youth, he never ignores an opportunity to chat with an older girl he finds pretty. That's why anyone looking to approach a dazzler who catches your eye should bring along a pack of chewing gum. It will leave your breath fresh, and hopefully add some mint to the love that's in the air.
It's all good. It's all family.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care professional before beginning any new therapy.