Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dental care

Yesterday I broke a tooth.  What was I doing?  One of the grandkids gave me a jolly rancher candy.  Anyone familiar with this candy knows its a small hard candy that you suck on.  If you bite it you could chip a tooth.  I didn't bite it.  In fact, when girl gave me the candy I popped it in my mouth, took one suck, said I didn't like it and spit it out.  Somehow while spitting it out it broke my tooth. 

There was nothing wrong with my teeth.  Last week I went to the dentist and got a clean bill of health.  How could this happen?  Freak accident.  I'm going back to the dentist tomorrow to see if it's something that needs repair.  I'm not so vain that I need it to be repaired because it looks funny.  I'd rather spend my money prepping for the future.  Anyway to the dentist I will go to see what he thinks.

When I was at the dentist last week I was asking question after question about dental tools and how to properly use them and if you can hurt your teeth using them, etc.  It's not that I want to put the dentist out of business but rather if there wasn't a dentist available what could I do myself?  I've up until now been pretty fortunate that I haven't had a lot of dental issues to deal with.  According to the orthodontist, one of the grandkids needs braces in about six month but it's not a life threatening problem so if he doesn't get them, he will survive.  I plan on getting him the braces because anything to keep the teeth in good shape is the proper thing to do, as long as I can afford them. 

I'm convinced that one of the reasons for shorter lifespans in older days was due to inadequate dental care.  You don't eat or can't eat properly if your mouth is in too much pain. 

Back to my dental visit last week; I was told that the tools they use for cleaning plaque and tarter won't hurt your teeth if used properly.  What was improper, I asked?  If you use the tool to drill a hole, then you are going to hurt your teeth, but if you use the tool to scrape stuff off your teeth you won't hurt the tooth.  If you dig too far under the gum you can irritate the gum but you won't go too far to irritate the root because the pain will stop you prior to damage that you can cause doing this work yourself.

I'm not talking about full blown dental work, just keeping the teeth extra clean.  Brush them two or three times a day for two minutes each time.  Use an egg timer for the kids so they know what two minutes is.  Use floride toothpaste and get floride tablets for the younger kids if you are on well water.  If you change your toothbrush every six months then you need to have twenty if you want them to last ten years.  That's not too hard to do.  Buy floss.  It will last forever and can be used for other things as well.  Using floss is as important as brushing your teeth. There are websites that have dental tools available for not too expensive of prices.

If you want to read the publication Where There Is No Dentist, you can download it free from Hesperian. 

1 comment:

  1. Wrote about the same thing myself-went to the dentist to get the exam and cleaning after putting it off for a year. Asked the hygienist a bunch of questions about proper flossing and avoiding gum disease. Sorry to hear about the broken tooth-except for the cavity issue, who knew the jolly rancher candy can be so hazardous!