Each morning that we wake up, there is only one thing that we have control over for the entire day. We cannot control the weather. We cannot control our kids, our boss, or the people we will meet. Despite our best efforts, we probably cannot control our time and certainly not the timeliness of others. There is truly only one decision to make each morning. That decision is our attitude. Our destiny is rarely ours to control; our attitude always is.
There exists a common misconception in dentistry that patients cannot control their dental disease. We commonly hear, “I just have soft teeth,” or “My mom had dentures, so I guess I will too.” This is simply not true.
You can control your dental destiny. Cavities and gum disease are preventable. We see eighty-five year old patients with all their teeth and no cavities. A healthy mouth is available to all, even with minimal expense and access to care. The secret is in making healthy choices.
People with good teeth have one thing in common…good oral hygiene. They brush and they floss religiously. I have seen old fillings and crowns last years longer than they should simply because they were maintained well. With fluoride treatment and good hygiene, small cavities can even be reversed…without dental visits. People who floss daily rarely get gum disease or cavities between their teeth. Step one to controlling your dental health is to brush and floss daily. No exceptions.
There are some things that even great hygiene cannot overcome. If you drink beer and eat pizza every meal, you are probably overweight. It works the same with your teeth. No amount of brushing and flossing can overcome drinking sugary drinks and snacking on sticky, sugary foods all day long. This does not mean you can never enjoy a glass of sweet tea after mowing the lawn. Just donʼt sip on that tea all day long, every day. All things in moderation. Step two is to eat well.
Even the best built truck needs occasional tune ups and oil changes. Every few years, new tires are a must. Your teeth are the same way. Routine professional maintenance fixes small problems before they become large problems. Step three to maintaining your oral health is routine preventive dental visits.
Even with teeth, life happens. A fall that breaks a front tooth cannot be prevented. Sometimes, medicines or radiation treatments can cause dry mouth and contribute to tooth decay. These might be considered destiny. The key to a healthy mouth is to control what you can control. The rest will happen whether you want it to or not. Attitude is everything.
Until next week, keep smiling.
-Please contact Dr. Parrish through www.ParrishDental.com.