and Your Teeth
By Nikki Willhite
There are few things that show as an immediate cause and effect
as not caring for your teeth and decay. Dental care is VERY expensive. Don't
brush and floss your teeth, and decay will set it. It's that simple. In most
cases, it's an unnecessary expense.
Ever thought about what might happen if you neglected your teeth
for a month? I'll tell you! My son Eric climbed Mt. McKinley a few years ago. He
made it to the summit, which was great, but it also took him almost a month,
during which time he neglected his teeth. (For those of you who aren't familiar
with high altitude climbing, you have to do it very slowly- climbing up, then
down, and waiting days at different elevations to help your body adjust to the
Brushing your teeth when you are in survival mode at sub zero
temperatures is not at the top of your priorities. However he paid a stiff
price. The next trip to the dentist he had over 12 cavities and 2 root canals
done. To make matters worse, he had cracked several teeth from eating frozen
In our case, we have great dental coverage, so it wasn't a
financial setback. Otherwise it would have cost several thousand dollars. Money
aside- the damage you do to your teeth is permanent and having dental work done
is not pleasant.
As you get older, if you don't floss your teeth, you will become
what is commonly referred to as "long in the tooth". You gums will recede, often
leaving sensitive, exposed tissue. Your smile will suffer, as your teeth will
look elongated. If it gets bad enough, you will have to have skin grafts to
cover the area where the tissue is missing.
The good news- you can avoid all of these problems (and the
expense) by just taking care of your teeth. BRUSH and FLOSS. Start your children
at a young age. If you wait until they are 7 or 8 before taking them into the
dentist, decay in their baby teeth may affect the permanent ones coming in.
Plus, it won't be a good experience for them in the dental office.
Set their habits early. Let them see you taking care of your
teeth, and make sure that they do the same thing. If they have a snack, have
them brush afterwards, even if it is just with a wet brush to save money on
There are mixed opinions about fluoride, so I'm not going to get
into that. If your children's teeth have crevices that are prone to cavities, it
is worth the money to have a sealant put in them.
Dental work is extremely expensive. Prevention is cheap.
Don't waste your money by neglecting your teeth.