Girl in dentist office

You Only Have One Set of Teeth – Keep Them for Life

Unless you’re a small child, your teeth are all you have. But as human nature has it, we often don’t treasure those wonderful gifts until they’re at risk…or are gone. A perfect example is a teen who never had a cavity and had great brushing habits but not so great flossing habits. Lo and behold, a cavity appears between the teeth. Suddenly, that teen is trying to make up for the lost time by flossing like a maniac. The moral of the story is that you can’t always erase the damage once it appears; you can lessen its severity, but what is done is indeed done. 

Thankfully, you can keep what you’ve got for the long haul and save money to boot. Here’s why you should care about keeping your choppers healthy for life.

  1. Eating is essential for survival…and talking is necessary for everything else. Teeth are critical for our ability to eat and talk. You can’t absorb nutrients effectively if you can’t chew your food properly. Your teeth are essential for function and long-term health and wellness. 
  2. If you ignore a problem, it worsens. True story. If you wait too long to fix a problem, it only becomes a bigger (and more expensive) problem. Here’s a prime example, a woman came in with an abscessed tooth and asked to have it pulled as this was the cheapest option. And while almost any dentist can remove a tooth, an honest dentist who cares about your long-term health will advise against that choice. Dr. Andy did just that – he consulted with her and provided a glimpse into what her future would hold if she had the tooth pulled (cue suspenseful music). When a tooth is removed, something is needed to maintain the integrity of the now-missing tooth. Otherwise, the bone can collapse and recede, and the gum tissue follows suit, leading to sensitivity. This then begins to impact neighboring teeth. That one tooth that needed to be removed now turns into three. The way out of this scenario is to get a bone graft or an implant. The intelligent patient in our example (true story, by the way) decided to get a bone graft to maintain the volume that the pulled tooth provided. The bone graft provided her time to decide how she wanted to treat it permanently. 
  3. Your mouth is a petri dish – but so are your gums. Gum health is critical to oral health. It is estimated that nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have gum disease. Think about that. 1 out of every 2 people you see on your next venture outdoors may very well have gum disease. Now let’s break that down even further. Either you or your partner may have gum disease…eek! If you aren’t maintaining your teeth properly by flossing EVERY DAY (before you brush your teeth, by the way), you are setting yourself up for trouble. Bacteria in your mouth – from decaying food, sugars, or other sources, solidifies on the teeth. Once it hardens, you can’t remove it unless you see a dental hygienist for a cleaning. If you ignore the hygienist, your gum tissue will slowly pull away from the teeth. This is called recession and is a slowly degrading disease that is painful and requires more frequent dentist visits for cleanings. Now, if you like more frequent dental visits, that’s great. But we’d rather see you every six months rather than every three. No offense, but it makes us happiest when our patients are happy and healthy.
  4. White teeth are a sign of health. There have been countless studies into how a person’s smile impacts their attractiveness, and research continues to prove that people prefer healthy smiles. Not only can it help you land that amazing job, but it makes you more attractive and healthy-looking too. If you aren’t proud of your teeth, chances are you’re holding back on sharing your authentic self with the world. People who are proud of their smile are likelier to share it with others. Smiles are one of the best things you can get and give. Don’t hide yours.

Your health truly is your wealth. If you haven’t been the best at caring for your teeth, don’t fret. You can change the future. Our recommendations for the best oral health include brushing with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes (Sonicare toothbrush preferred) and flossing every day. Then visit your dentist and hygienist every six months for a cleaning and exam. Before brushing your teeth, wait 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything but water. Limiting sugary and carbonated beverages (water is best), and don’t smoke! 

Take care of your teeth, and they will serve you well. And if you are due for an exam, call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andy. He misses you.

Living Dental Health