Now, obviously, I hope that you actually enjoy coming in to see me every 6 months, but as a dentist, I have to be realistic. It’s probably not your favorite appointment to keep.
So aside from the personal desire to make your visits to my office enjoyable, or at the very least, manageable, I want to let you in on a little secret that would ~almost~ eliminate your need to see me entirely.
(Yes, I emphasize that “almost” because we all know that even if you have impeccable oral hygiene, you still need those regular check ups – even I have regular cleanings and x-rays, etc.)
But I really mean it when I say that 2014 could be a whole new ballgame for you if you implement this top secret information!
Imagine fast, easy, pain-free cleanings. Few to no cavities, fillings or crowns. Eliminate expensive root canals and costly treatment plans. Lessen dental decay and prevent tooth loss.
Do you want to hear the secret?
Are you sure you’re ready to accept something of this magnitude? With great power, comes great responsibility!
Ok, ok, I’ll just spit it out.
I can almost hear all the groans and scoffs. I’m sure this is something that you’ve heard at least 100 times, give or take. Well I’m going to add a few more to that count.
You’ve Got Poop in Your Mouth
Let me take a tangent in order to tell you why you should floss. I promise to get back to this incredible secret after I explain all about the poop in your mouth. And yes, it all comes down to this: Bacterial poop.
You and I are living organisms. We have to consume food in order to have energy as well as everything we need to survive. In the process of metabolizing that food, our bodies create waste or byproducts. We get rid of that stuff, of course, and I’m not going to go into that.
Bacteria is also a living organism and it works in the same way. It eats, it creates waste, and it gets rid of the waste. The bacteria that lives in your mouth isn’t necessarily bad for you. What’s bad for you is the bacterial waste, a.k.a. bacteria poop.
The byproduct of bacteria is acetic acid. And as you can imagine, acid is strong enough to break down many other materials, one of which is the enamel on your teeth. It demineralizes your teeth and that’s what creates the perfect atmosphere for tooth decay.
So how do we combat the byproduct of bacteria? Two main ways:
1) Stop feeding it!
The thing about this bacteria is that it has a very special diet. The thing it likes to eat most is sugar. Anything that we put in our mouth that turns into simple sugars (not just straight sugar but also very processed foods like white bread), is metabolized by the bacteria and creates more bacterial poop.
So, the logic here is that if we don’t give it so much food, it’ll create the acetic acid byproduct slower and in lower quantities.
2) Air it out and Scrape it away!
I don’t expect you to cut all sugar out of your diet. I sure don’t. But something that all of us can do even while we do still eat sugar is to scrape the bacteria off our teeth and open up that environment to oxygen.
The bacteria is anaerobic, and therefore thrives in oxygen-free environments. When food accumulates between our teeth, they become little pockets of dense sugar-rich and oxygen-deprived homes in which the bacteria multiplies.
When we FLOSS (yes, I promised we’d get back to that magic secret), it not only scrapes away the bacteria and hopefully gets it out of the mouth entirely, but it also exposes the space between your teeth to oxygen, killing or weakening whatever bacteria might remain there after the scraping.
And just in case you think that you can floss once and be done with it, those bacterias are plentiful and rapidly spread. In order to be truly effective, you need to scrape it away, air it out, and stop feeding it EVERY DAY.
That’s enough for now – more to come next week!