We want our patients to know what is happening, whether it's an important life event with our staff, new techniques we are using, or new training. Check back periodically to see what's going on!
I hesitated before entering the hygiene room to check on a patient. It was “Joe”, who now was 10 years old. Joe and his family had been patients since Joe was about 4, and it was always a pleasure to see this great family. Today was different though - a couple months ago Joe’s father had unexpectedly died, and his mother was now left to raise Joe and his three younger siblings on her own.
At social gatherings, after exchanging the usual “so what do you do” answers, I am often then asked which toothpaste is the best. I usually mutter something about fluoride and the ADA Seal of Approval, and then move the conversation to more important issues, like did the Mets win or not. It’s not that I don’t want to say what I think of some gigantic corporate manufacturer, it’s just that I don’t care all that much about their toothpaste. I do care about healthy teeth and gums, but the big secret is that toothpaste is, in most cases, very overrated.
I know, I know, I too have seen the constant barrage of toothpaste ads. The right toothpaste, we are told, will prevent cavities, arrest cavities, whiten teeth, freshen breath, create instant sex appeal, prevent gingivitis, form a protective shield of some sort, and make the gums 65% stronger (whatever that even means). So I should start by asking, what is toothpaste really supposed to do?
Years ago, my wife worked in computer software. She was mostly in the development end, but interacted regularly with those in the sales force. She would sometimes comment about what they in development called vaporware. That was their term for software that was promoted and sold by sales people under the gun to sell, that wasn't quite ready yet. Sometimes it was not even written yet, just a great idea software. That would invariably lead to the software programmers and development analysts pulling all-nighters to develop, test, and debug to meet some impossible deadline, all the while cursing at the sales force. At the end of the day they all were friends, but it could get testy at times.
We had a new family in for hygiene appointments today. The mother and her two kids are great people, but sadly the three of them presented with a boatload of cavities. After breaking the news to Mom, I cringed when she explained that it was hopeless because soft teeth just ran in the family. I couldn’t help but notice that the 9 year old boy left his Mountain Dew in the reception room, his 3 year old sister carried a juice-filled Sippy cup wherever she went, and Mom set her Mocha Frappuccino cup on the hygiene counter. I surmised that I wouldn’t need to order any fancy genetic testing to determine the causes of the soft tooth syndrome here.
Finally! I have been promising my staff, my web and social media folks, my business partner, my wife and my kids that I would start a dental blog. Now, after several years of “its coming soon!”, I have run out of excuses and am about to embark on this mission of mercy. Mercy because I have spent many a wasted lunch hour reading various dental blogs that are overly-sanitized, homogenized, and often more about marketing than sharing useful information. I hope to spare you all from death by dental boredom, and will try to discuss some of the real truths about what dental health and care is all about.