Keeping Teeth In Order...

Keeping Teeth in Order…

            Somewhere in high school physics, I first learned about the concept of entropy. As a refresher, entropy is the tendency for the physical world to naturally move towards disorder.

            It takes a lot of energy to keep our world organized, on time, and tidy.

            I often tried to explain this concept to my mother when she harped on me to straighten my bedroom or to put away dirty clothes. Disorder was normal and expected. It should probably just be excused.

            She was never really impressed with my physics knowledge.

            A few weeks ago, our two kids had some friends over to play. The concept of entropy was well represented that next morning. Our house and yard were covered by an explosion of Nerf darts, blankets, pillows, Barbie clothes, socks, shoes, fruit peels, empty drinking cups, and assorted sports balls. Sleepovers are certainly a demonstration of natural chaos phenomena.

            Teeth also succumb to these natural laws. Entropy is all around our mouths.

            I had braces in high school and my teeth are back crooked again.

            Research shows that nearly 80% of our population has some type of malocclusion (crooked teeth). This crowding can cause worn down teeth, gum disease and cavity problems through the years. Fortunately, in the U.S, many of these crowded teeth are straightened during the teenage years. Unfortunately, many of these cases relapse (get crooked again) in adulthood.

            Why? Entropy, it’s hard to beat Mother Nature. Fortunately, we now know that lifetime retainer wear will keep that perfect smile perfectly in place.

            When a tooth is lost, chaos ensues.

            Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but changes do begin to occur when a tooth must be removed. Over time, the adjacent and opposing teeth shift around a bit. Sometimes, they move a lot. This can lead to anything from an annoying food trap to gum disease or a cascade of lost teeth. If a tooth must be pulled, it is a good idea to ask your dental team how to prevent future problems.

            It’s been a while since I’ve had my teeth cleaned.

            Life happens. As a general rule, we only notice our own teeth when we don’t like the way they look or when they begin to hurt. The best way to keep our teeth shiny and unnoticed is to see your dental team for regular check-ups, cleanings, and preventive care. When these visits fall behind, entropy ensues. Tartar builds up that causes gum disease. Cavities start and grow undetected, causing more expensive and extensive treatment down the line. Teeth wear down and shift around and cause a cascade of long term problems. Without professional care, entropy happens.

            It takes energy to keep a healthy mouth.

            Until next week, keep smiling.

-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at