Tooth or Consequences
Some people are just born with great teeth others really have to work at it.
We have all met the guy that visits the dentist every twenty years and never has a cavity, I wasn’t that guy.
In fact as a child, I was on a first name basis with my dentist! It is imperative that your first experience with a dentist is a good one, especially when you are a child. My earliest memories of the dentist was a “Wonka-esque” type who always kept you laughing and ended your procedure with a visit to his toy treasure chest. Is it any wonder that I have no fear of the dentist office today?
Dr. Michael Krochak, contributing writer for Floss.com shares these alarming statistics:
- 50% of the American population does not seek regular dental care!
- An estimated 9-15% of all Americans avoid much needed care due to anxiety and fear of the dentist.
- This translates to somewhere between 30-40 million people avoiding dental care altogether due to fear.
This fear has a name, Dental phobia. Without making light of a serious condition, my immediate thought was, “I would be way more afraid of losing my teeth than I would spending an hour with a dentist.” This is why this month’s topic, Natural Dental Health is so important.
Even if Dental Phobia is keeping you from the dentist office, you can still fend off a mouth full of cavities with a handful of common sense.
- Diet is important. Whole unprocessed foods are best. Stay away from foods with high sugar content. Stick with fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables. If you need a sweetener, use xylitol, lo han guo or stevia.
- Obviously, brushing after every meal with a natural toothpaste is imperative. Regardless of your feelings about fluoride, many commercialbrands contain these toxic chemicals, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, petroleum dyes, as well as artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Do your best to avoid them. Try Tom’s of Maine toothpaste or Desert Essence with Tea Tree Oil and Neem.
- Use an alcohol-free mouthwash when possible, as it dries the mouth creating an environment for bacteria. Try to find a mouthwash that contains tea tree, as well.
- You can also take a quality vitamin/mineral supplement that should include, zinc, coenzyme Q10 and at least 1000mg of vitamin C.
- Don’t buy a cheap toothbrush! If you use a manual brush, replace it every month. I highly recommend the Oral B Triumph electric toothbrush. Its LCD display gives you feedback to ensure proper brushing habits.
- And finally… FLOSS! For me, flossing is the most important part. Flossing not only removes food from between the teeth, it keeps your gums healthy. It doesn’t matter how white your teeth are if your gums are bad. I remember sitting in a dentist’s chair reading a poster that hung from the ceiling that said, “Daddy do I have to floss all of my teeth?” He replied, “Only the ones you want to keep.” Floss after every meal, you won’t regret it.
The truth is, even after following all of the above recommendations, eventually you will need to visit a dentist for an exam and a cleaning from a dental hygienist. Because so many Americans are afraid of dentists, sedation dentistry has become a very popular alternative. Sedation dentistry is a method where the patient is administered a mild sedative orally, intravenously or by gas. All of the work is done while the patient is in a “twilight” state, thus relieving them from fear and anxiety. Although this may not be considered a natural approach, it is often necessary in dental emergencies.
How important is a good dentist? Let’s put it this way, I live in south Florida and my dentist, Dr. Dan Proeschel (I call him Dr. Dan the tooth fillin’ man) practices in Apple Valley, Minnesota and he is TOTALLY worth the trip.
The other day Dr. Dan said something witty that really made me think, he said, “Be true to your teeth and they will never be false to you.”
First, I had to redefine my definition of the word true in this application. It means faithful, steadfast, consistent.
Secondly, I had to do the same for the word false in this application. it means a counterfeit, having a superficial resemblance to something that properly bears the name.
Wow, how many titles have we assigned to people, places and things that don’t live up to their definitions? How about the term, religious?
We hear that word and immediately we think of zealous, pious, bible thumping church folk but how about this definition; scrupulously faithful, committed, consistent i.e.; “He was religious about brushing his teeth”
Obviously, Dr. Dan was sharing a light hearted sentiment used to encourage patients to be consistent with their dental hygiene so their natural teeth will not have to be replaced with dentures. However, I saw a much larger application beginning to emerge.
Words are only as true as the actions that accompany them. A person who says, “I floss my teeth everyday” will be exposed by their next set of x-rays and an exam by the dentist. Sooner or later, everything comes to light. A person that says one thing yet does another is often referred to as two-faced, which means, hypocritical, pharisaical, phony or sanctimonious.
I realize I may be opening Pandora’s box here, but as the saying goes, “If the cat doesn’t like the way it’s fur is being scratched, let the cat turn around!” What I am saying here is, things are NOT always as they appear. Let’s say you meet someone with a great smile and snow white teeth. You walk away thinking, “Wow, I wish my teeth were that healthy!” only to find out they were false teeth! Often, dentists cover discolored, neglected teeth with veneers which give the appearance of healthy teeth – but it is all merely a cover up.
Here is a real life example. Mohamed Atta, one of the “9/11” masterminds, was known as “a very devout, religious man, who strictly adhered to the Koran.” When he took an apartment (only 10 minutes from where I live in Florida!), he asked the landlord to remove the offensive art from the walls because it was against his religion. The art that was removed was a couple of large black and white pictures of people at Ft. Lauderdale Beach in the 40’s! There was no nudity in the art. In fact, most of the women bathers were in one piece bathing suits.
Now, here is the truth behind the veneer. Mohamed Atta lived with a stripper/lingerie model named Amanda Keller. He was very fond of pork chops, was a heavy drinker, used cocaine, was a stylish dresser, wore expensive jewelry and partied (mostly in strip clubs) nearly every night. And, finally, he flew a high-jacked airplane into the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Phonies come in all shapes, sizes, colors and creeds. In Jesus day, the Pharisees were the most esteemed religious class in Israel, yet they were brutally corrupt hypocrites who wore expensive clothes and jewelry, solicited prostitutes, loved to party and eventually crucified the Son of God!
Do you see it? If your definition of “religious” begins and ends with pious, devout or spiritual, then maybe you need to expand it to include, true, real, consistent, faithful and unrelenting. Maybe we should put our “best” face forward and stop being two-faced?
Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
It is time for us to say what we do and do what we say, for us to be genuine. Your face is your calling card, your opening statement and nothing exudes confidence more than a big toothy smile! If consistency can keep your teeth healthy and inconsistency can allow them to become false, doesn’t it stand to reason that your life should follow the same guidelines? Tooth or Consequences, a play on words yet brutally honest. A consistently honest person will never be ashamed, but even an occasional liar will be found out.
So my friends, chews now who you will serve, that you may not suffer floss. I’m not done so brace yourself.
Sorry to keep picking at you, tell me when you have had your fill. I know I can be a little abrasive at times, so I will try to scale back a little. Don’t brush me off for my lack of polish for this is the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.
Sorry it had to gum to this. Fluoride rather be serious, instead of just crowning around! Going to grab a bite, wish me bone appe-teeth….
Sorry for the pun-ishment!
Q: Which teeth should I floss?
A: The ones you want to keep!
Q: When is the best time to visit the dentist?
A: 2:30 (Tooth Hurty!)