About a week ago, I went to the dentist for the first time since I was diagnosed with celiac disease. As a side note, I know that is a very long time to wait between dentist appointments, but that is another story.
Any savvy individual with celiac disease knows that gluten can be found in many things – not just bread, pasta, cake or other obvious foods. So, we are accustomed to mentioning it pretty much everywhere we go. But, have you ever asked about it at your dentist? If not, you have probably been glutenized without realizing it.
I was at that point in the teeth cleaning with a hygienist asks what flavor of toothpaste I would like to have been used. She listed off a long assortment of flavors including bubblegum, cherry, cinnamon, and chocolate mint and my response was, “As long as it’s gluten-free,” In a singsongy, half-joking tone, because we had already talked about my celiac disease during the appointment. (And, I have gluten intolerance listed on my file at this particular dentist, and there are multiple employees there that are also gluten intolerant.) Much to my surprise, she said “oh, you can’t have any of these, ill get you the gluten-free one.” My brain was screaming, but I remained calm. I had honestly never thought that the toothpaste would contain gluten, or after everything leading up to this point she would not automatically offer me only the GF choice.
In reality, this woman has the same conversations with eight different people every single day and she was just going through the motions, but it was still a little disconcerting. The moral of the story? Always bring it up. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for what you need. Even if you are sure they already know, better safe than glutenized.
Does your dentist even carry gluten free toothpaste options? Have you ever asked? What other shocking gluten discoveries have you made?