Good Teeth Gone Bad

So how does it happen? You start with good teeth. Your teeth come in pearly white, your gums are healthy, all is great. Then one day you wake up and look in the mirror, OMG, What happened to me? Those teeth are no longer so pearly or so white. How did I ignore this for so long? Where did I go wrong? I don’t like to smile. I am embarrassed by my smile. I have difficulty eating, I actually avoid eating foods I like because I can’t chew. Food doesn’t even taste the same. How did I get here? I’d like to say that this is a bad dream but for many people unfortunately this is real life.

Good Teeth-Unfortunate Decisions

I have heard it all. It actually makes me sad to see these patients sitting in my chair. Good teeth gone bad.Woman with toothache wanting good teeth I see these patients as victims, as nobody ends up here by choice. They are victims of a lack of dental education, their parents often had lousy teeth and didn’t know better for their children. They are victims of poor dentists, who treated them poorly with painful dentistry that didn’t last very long. Dentists who never took the time to care,  or teach their patients how to care for their teeth. They may have felt tortured in the dental chair, and then for years after,  found the pain of a toothache  more preferable then a trip to the dentist to alleviate the pain.

A periodontist who came out to Smithtown in the early sixties (1960s) actually told me that the dentists in Smithtown, and probably elsewhere at that time, believed that patients had three sets of teeth; baby teeth , adult teeth and dentures. What are the odds of you keeping your teeth in your mouth if you were a patient of one of these dentists? Not a bet I would take. The majority of these teeth which were lost were due to gum disease. Dentists were not as aware about the ravages of gum disease as we are today. Unfortunately the effects of gum disease took its toll not only on the teeth but I would be willing to bet there was an unfortunate systemic effect as well.

Keeping Your Teeth for a Lifetime

Now for the good news. We can learn from the past. Today we know that your teeth can and should last a lifetime. I have compiled a list of stratigies to use if you want to keep your teeth

  • Brush at least twice a day, more is better, especially before bedtime so you don’t go to bed with a mouthful of food and bacteria
  • Floss or use a Water Pik to remove hidden food debris.
  • See a dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings and exams. Visit a dental practice which pays attention to the health of your gums, discusses your periodontal health and gives you tips to improve your gum health.
  • Your dentist should be proactive in dealing with small problems. Small problems mean easier and less costly fixes. The continual need for root canals, crowns or extractions should be a red flag. There are times where these procedures are absolutely necessary but prevention of disease needs to be a focus as well.
  • The goal of dental health is to get to a point where your teeth are well restored and are able to be maintained in that condition with routine care. Dental restorations do fail, but I have crowns and other restorations routinely last 15 years or more. If you always need dentistry find out why. Maybe fluoride would help make your teeth stronger.
  • Seek out high quality dental care. It will pay off in the long run. Looking for deals on body parts may not ultimately be in your best interest.
  • If you want to see where you are heading with your teeth look at where you have been, look at where you are now and draw a line into the future. If you have been plagued by dental problems and you continue to do the same thing you are doing now your problems will only continue to get worse. Loosing teeth makes the remaining teeth have to work harder. they then break down faster. Dental disease is like a snowball rolling down a hill. You need to get your situation under control if you want to keep your teeth for a lifetime.

Your Teeth-Your Choice

It is a wonderful time in dentistry. The techniques and materials we have available today are truly amazing. There is hope for worn teeth, decaying teeth and infected gums. Having good teeth should not be a dream. The problems of tomorrow are avoided by making good decisions today. I always advise my patients to listen to that little voice in their heads. Now you really know what to do. If you would like my help please give me a call.  It would be my pleasure to help you get the smile you deserve…

Keep Smiling LI…

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