Dentist, I’m sure that word brings negative images into your mind of a person with a mask on, holding a drill over you. Maybe you are reminded of the old “yanking the tooth with the door and string” story (was that Three Stooges?). Rest assure, I’m here to allay your fears (won’t talk about myself in the article but if you’re interested take a look below). Over the years I’ve helped a lot of wary patients that walked into my office and helped them understand the complete picture. This article is mainly for those of you sitting in front of your computer to take action and visit your dentist! Without further ado let’s begin the list starting from number 10.
10) I don’t need to go to a dentist; I’ll just read and buy DIY articles and products! – 15 years ago I would have laughed at the fact that people are trying to figure out dentistry on their own. It’s not a laughing matter anymore!! Thousands of sites as well as products are available claiming to help you with your problems. Although the internet is the information super highway, there is a lot of misinformation spreading online. It’s hard to trust everything that you read because any person with a computer and a couple bucks can create their own website. As far as books and products that you buy online, it’s all predatory!! At the end of the day those guys want to make sales and they will make any tall claims and exaggerations to get you to buy their products. In some cases, the products are dangerous as they may not be FDA approved or selling you the wrong concentration of a solution. I’ll admit, I’ve tried ordering some of these things and they just don’t live up to expectations.
9) I use anti-cavity and whitening tooth paste, what more do I need! – A lot more than the type of toothpaste you use is going to help you. Toothpaste is mostly made up of filler material and agents that give it the taste and consistency that you come to expect from toothpastes. A very small percentage of the ingredients are “active.” Using an electric toothbrush is just as important as flossing and using fluoride toothpastes.
8) I can’t have a great smile like the celebs on TV, that’s all fake! – A lot of celebrities that you see on TV. have great looking teeth but almost all have gotten some form of cosmetic dentistry done, some more than others. Whether its veneers, bleaching, orthodontic treatment, crowns, tooth/gum recontouring or snap on dentures, you can find all those services at your local dentist (you’ll pay less than those celebs did, I’ll guarantee you that!)
7) Dental Insurance is far too expensive! – Most employers provide their employees with basic HMO plans. The employee has the option of upgrading these plans to PPO. It’s definitely worth it!! With PPO you can get coverage at any dentist and the coverage is also much better than HMO. HMO dental offices are always packed with patients and you won’t get the same quality of care because the doctor can’t afford to spend more time with you. Each insurance company has an open enrollment period every year where you can upgrade from HMO to PPO. Ask your company HR Department or Employer for more information. Make the change, it’s worth it!!
6) If I brush and floss my teeth twice a day, I won’t have any problems! – False! Quality vs. quantity, that’s what it boils down to. The number of times you brush is less important than how you brush. The proper brushing techniques if learned can be more effective than any number of times you brush in a day. Think of your dentist as your ally in your fight against cavities. The truth is, no matter how well you maintain your teeth; there will have a certain amount of plaque that needs to be cleaned up by the dentist.
5) I have to get a Root Canal/Deep Filling so it’s better just to get the tooth pulled!- With advancements in technology, as well as research in the health field, the average life expectancy is going to keep creeping towards the century mark. The burden then falls on you to take care of your teeth. If your tooth falls out at 50 do you want to go through the hassles of dentures for the next 50 or so years? I didn’t think so! Every tooth that you can potentially save (with root canal, crown, deep fillings), you want to. You want to save. There is no perfect substitute to a natural tooth (yet). So it’s important to not be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to spending a little more money to save your tooth.
4) I can wait till my kids get older so they aren’t afraid of the dentist anymore!- According to newer American Dental Association Guidelines, a parent should bring their child in for the first dentist visit at the age of 1 year and then every 6 months hence forth. You may be thinking that they barely have any teeth, what’s the point! I’ll give you two good reasons! Firstly, any developmental abnormality or potential oral problems that may occur may possibly be diagnosed and early action can be taken to treat them. The more important reason is that a child needs to develop a trust of his dentist which will make sure that he isn’t afraid of the dentist as an adult and is regular with his check-ups. If the child sees that his/her siblings are getting treated, parents are getting treated and no harm has been done to them, they will be more comfortable getting the procedures done themselves. The child should feel that the dentist is a fun and safe environment and that will create a positive mindset they will carry into the future.
3) My tooth and gum problems are not as important as other health concerns! – Many people dismiss their oral health and maybe put more emphasis on their overall health. While maintaining overall health is priority, I cannot stress enough that all the systems in our body are inter related to each other. Neglecting one can cause you problems in other parts of your body. The oral cavity is the gateway to the body. Bacteria that enter through the oral cavity can spread infection to other parts of your body. Periodontal disease (gum disease) has been linked to higher risk of stroke . Trust me; I am not trying to use a scare tactic to get you over to the dentist’s office. I would just like you to consider how neglecting your oral health can impact your overall health.