Do you have unhealthy teeth and think that you’re just unlucky?
Are other people just blessed when it comes to great teeth?
While it’s true that genetics do play a role in the size, shape and alignment of our teeth, the saying, “The grass is always greener where you water it” couldn’t be truer when it comes to having healthy teeth.
Unfortunately, by the time a person realizes that they should have paid more attention to the health of their teeth, they have already had a history of issues with their mouth. They may already have a mouth full of fillings, root canals and missing teeth. Perhaps, gum disease is already making it’s way through their mouths. They may already have a lifetime of dental maintenance ahead of them because of past neglect and that is really unfortunate.
The equation TIME + EFFORT = RESULTS can really be used to accomplish many things in life. The message, as it applies to health, needs to be taught at a young age, so that by time a person reaches adulthood, routines and habits are already established and engrained. While we all know that it’s harder to teach, “An old dog new tricks” and try to change habits later in life, it’s not impossible. The concern, however, is that a mouth full of repair is more difficult to manage and it’s health harder to sustain than one that has always been diligently cared for.
What’s Your Dental Lifestyle?
It’s important for us, as parents and caregivers, to model and promote healthy lifestyle habits to set examples that our children can follow. We are often told that that the way we take care of ourselves and our health is likely to be the way our children lives. When it comes to adopting good dental hygiene and healthy eating habits at home, the payoff is huge in terms of “Healthy Teeth for Life.”
We have a patient who is an elite runner who has pursued his sport since grade 4. At 26, he is now a 2016 Rio Olympic hopeful. Another patient of ours is working hard towards her PHD in chemistry, while the daughter of another is a well-known singer. We can only image the amount of hard work and dedication it has taken for each to get to their level of game. We’re sure that they have had their share of obstacles, and mistakes and doubts, but there must also be motivating factors that constantly reinforce their resolve to continue with their individual pursuits, despite the setbacks they encounter along the way.
As dentists, we consistently reinforce the message of establishing inexpensive, healthy dental choices at home in order to avoid the cost of dental neglect. However, we still see many non-compliant people who complain about the cost of healthcare while simply refusing to put any effort into brushing and flossing their teeth – let alone making any healthy food choices. Some just shrug off the state of their mouth with a joke, blame it on genetics or consign it to being their “lot in life.”
The Pay Off
Because we have over 30 years of experience, we have seen what dedication to care can do for a person over the years. Very happy indeed are those patients who, day in and day out, set aside the time it takes to clean their teeth, make wise food choices and see us regularly.
It’s the time and dedication that we put into our small, daily, health routines and grooming rituals that pay off over the years. “Nothing ever worth having comes over night nor without some effort.”
There’s a another quote that comes to mind and it has been attributed to the singer, Willie Nelson. “If I had known that I would live so long, I would have taken better care of my teeth.” Only someone who is experiencing this type of grief or the dentist who hears this type of lament often, can truly appreciate the pain of regret in this quote.
Wise to Resolve, Patient to Perform
It may only be the beginning of December, but we’re going to jump on the New Year’s Resolution thingy a little early this year just so you can get prepared ahead of time.
Not all teeth are straight or arctic white in colour, and not all nice looking teeth are healthy – but they can be! Resolve this year to put into practice just a few good habits ~ one for each month! Begin by making an appointment to see your dentist for a check-up and cleaning.
If it’s been quite a few years before you’ve seen a dentist, you probably need a thorough assessment of your teeth first. This way you can get an understanding of the current health of your teeth and gums and what can be done to help you on your way to a more dentally healthy you – something your overall health will thank you for also!
When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, most of us hate starting over and over again each year. Our advice is, “Stop Quitting!”
We think that’s enough quotes of wisdom for one blog. See you all in the New Year!
Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team