Getting Things In Order...
One of the first things a newborn teaches it’s parents is that babies appreciate consistency and order. To this day, I remember the schedule well. Up at 7:00 for bottle, diaper dirty by 7:45, playtime until 10:00, quick nap, then bottle again at 11:00. Repeat until 11:00 at night, or sometimes 3:00 am, depending on their mood. The more consistent we parents were, the smoother things went. Changes in schedule led to sleepless nights.
At five and seven, our kids still do best when kept on schedule. Ask any teacher what the school day is like the day after Halloween and you’ll know what I mean. When dealing with kids, schedules prevent chaos.
When it comes to teeth and oral health, there’s also a natural and logical way to schedule from start to finish. Ideally, dental teams strive to help patients find and follow their personalized path to health.
A healthy mouth starts with the treatment of any acute (immediate) pains or problems. To do this, your dental team needs a variety of x-rays, pictures, and possibly models of your teeth to evaluate pressing concerns. Initial treatment can be as simple as gum therapy (a prophylactic cleaning). For others, removal of infection may involve treating severe gum disease, root canal therapy, caries control (cavity removal), or removal of hopelessly diseased teeth. For any treatment to last long term, a strong foundation of healthy gums and reduced oral bacteria must be established.
After disease is removed, the next step is to re-enforce and strengthen the remaining teeth. This often includes new fillings to replace defective, corroding silver mercury fillings. Often, a few teeth should be protected with crowns or onlays to splint cracks and fissures that develop over the years.
The third step is where the fun begins. That’s when we dentists get to make beautiful, white, straight, healthy teeth surrounded by pink, healthy gums. Tooth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, tooth replacement with implants, cosmetic dentures and partials, and orthodontics all fit in here. There are many ways to the perfect smile.
Finally, after all is said and done, the real at home work begins. Most every dental treatment plan will include a lifetime of maintenance to help that beautiful smile last as long as possible. Nighttime appliances, routine cleanings, fluoride delivery, and impeccable home care will all help to make things last as long as possible.
Even with teeth, a tight schedule can prevent chaos. Until next week, keep smiling.
-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.