Josh Durrant, DDS, Logan Peak Dental
Let me start with a confession: Dentists get cavities too. Here’s another one for you: I don’t like going to the dentist. It may be something about that high-pitched drill, the office smell (what is that anyway?) or bad memories from childhood. Whatever it is, I empathize with you.
I bet you can think of a hundred reasons to avoid going to the dentist. Maybe you have fallen prey to those negative thoughts and have been away for little longer than you realize, and are now fearful of the initial return. Perhaps you are the hard working type, juggling family and work obligations, and just have difficulty making time for personal care. Whatever the reason, going back to the dentist can seem overwhelming. But don’t give up, the benefits certainly outweigh any potential downside.
Of course I am biased when it comes to dentistry; that comes with the territory. Your teeth and mouth do some pretty amazing things, and as dentists, we strive to help you understand their function and how to care for them. That should be a big part of your visit. A quick example: saliva. Gross, right? That wonderful liquid has more functions than you may realize. Saliva is laden with all the ingredients to reverse an early cavity. It helps with digestion in both the breakdown of food and lubrication of the food as it is swallowed. It also has immune function and is a natural buffer for acids.
One more example: bacteria. Research estimates the number of bacterial species in the human mouth is between 400-700. The vast majority of these bacteria are normal inhabitants of the mouth and contribute to overall oral health. There are a few “bad guys” with names like S. mutans and L. acidophilus that act the part of the villain. There are ways to fight these bacteria, and your dentist can equip you with the tools to do it.
There may be a chance you have some cavities, or possibly some gum issues if it has been a while since your last visit. Take a deep breath: It’s a non-judgment zone in the dental office. We are here to help. Problems that have developed over several years aren’t solved overnight. Let’s start by making a game plan. We’ll address the problems, talk about options and establish a good routine moving forward.