James Brown and Ben Franklin...

James Brown and Ben Franklin…

“Hair is the first thing. And teeth the second. Hair and teeth. A man got those two things, he’s got it all.”  -James Brown

She laughs at everything you say. Why? Because she has fine teeth.  -Benjamin Franklin

                I doubt that many history books connect the “Godfather of Soul” and the “First American” in any way, shape, or form. One was an entertainer who flourished during a time of civil unrest and struggle in our country. The other, he helped to establish our country in the first place. James Brown created a style of music that led to modern day rap and hip=hop. Benjamin Franklin contributed to the discovery of electricity and the concept of social giving referred to as “paying it forward.”

                They both had quite an effect on modern, American culture.

                And they both have been attributed quotes about the importance of teeth.

                How odd? Two men, living in different times, succeeding in totally different ways, expounding on the vitality of oral health.

                Maybe they were on to something. Maybe some concepts are universal.

                Benjamin Franklin lived in a time when teeth were a valuable commodity. There was no such thing as oral hygiene and the prevalent solution to most any toothache was to simply remove the offending tooth. Most adults were lucky to have teeth at all and the options for replacing them were few, far between, and ineffective.

                James Brown grew up poor in the 1940’s in rural Georgia. In reality, the oral health care and education that he received was probably not much better than that of Benjamin Franklin. The solution to a toothache was still probably removal. The options to replace teeth were probably still not very effective.

                We get to live in a time of explosive healthcare and technological advancement. Modern dentistry can effectively repair and replace teeth in a variety of ways. Today’s least effective options for fixing teeth are light years ahead of where we were, even fifty years ago. Comfortable and effective dental care have come a long, long way.

                All of our technology and, yet, the one best option for your health and your teeth remains the same. Maintain what God gave you. Make them last as long as possible. There’s nothing any dentist can do that will beat what we were born with. Brush two minutes twice a day. See a dentist regularly to catch problems when they are small. Floss. Eat a sensible diet. Avoid sugar sweetened drinks, acid, and sticky foods. Take care of yourself.

                A nice smile, healthy gums, and the ability to eat what you want are all goals to strive for.

                Until next week, keep smiling.

-Questions and comments can be sent to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.