Saturday, December 8, 2007

Floss is your friend!

People don't think flossing is important...but folks, I hate to tell you, that silly little minty string could save your life...or at least your ability to eat yummy foods and smile without feeling embarassed.

I've been working in the Oral Diagnosis clinic at school. This is the first real appt a patient makes at the College of Dentistry. Usually this means that the patient has not seen a dentist in years. And when I say years, I mean YEARS, like maybe 10. Sadly, these are people who should be very best friends with their dentists.

Anyway, after you see patient after patient who has less than 10 teeth, you realize that oral hygiene may not be a hoax after all. And sadly, the few they have left are often so loose I wonder why I am scheduling an oral surgery appt to get them out when they could save some money eating an apple.

On a more serious note, it is very sad to see someone come in after years of neglect only to find out they have to have all of their teeth pulled, anyway. One patient sadly told me yesterday, "It's pretty uncommon for people to have any molars these days, isn't it? I feel pretty lucky I have even the one." What a sad mentality but when you work at the dental school I may even start thinking that.

And dentures are no quick fix. You have to suffer through surgery to remove any remaining teeth as well as bony recontouring. Then, you need 6 weeks of healing and then you go through about six four hour appointments and lab time for the dentures to be fabricated. If everything goes well and you keep your appointments, about 4 months later you finally get your teeth. Remember, this is 4 months without case scenario. This is eating soup and yogurt and trying to go about your business and social arrangments...without teeth! Once you get your denture, you have appointments to reline and remake them, they are often floppy and you can say goodbye to many foods like apples or corn on the cob and replace them with new friends like fungal infections! Wahoo. You will also have to see your dentist every 6 mo to a year, just like before and will need it replaced about every 5 years. So much for forgetting the dentist forever!

So, this long post is really to say, "Please take care of your teeth." They may not seem important now, but there are a lot of people who are wishing they could go back and spend some time with a toothbrush and some floss now!


brenna said...

I floss every night and my dentist always tells me what amazing teeth i have. I think you are right on this one.

Bob said...

I have 3 perfectly good teeth and I have not flossed a day in my life! You don't know what youre talking about.