Being a closet academic I have long admired how teachers can open the eyes of their students and empower them with knowledge; how by knowing, one can make educated decisions that would lead to better outcomes. I love that. I get a huge kick out of seeing the light bulbs of understanding come on, followed by an excitement that seems to shout “I now know what I can do to improve my situation!” It is with that in mind that I start this blog.
After 23 years of education (24 if you count Kindergarten) and 11 years working as a specialty trained pediatric dentist, I have felt a call to share the knowledge and experiences I have accumulated. Truth be told I have not had much success in helping kids and families UNTIL I started educating them. Yes, I was able to clean out those cavities and fill in the holes with pretty, white resin composite. Yes, I was able to pull abscessed teeth causing pain and spreading infection. Yes, I even made their smiles prettier for all of those family portraits. However, given enough time, those same kids returned with more cavities, having more fillings done and bad teeth pulled, and it troubled me that all that fancy stuff I did for them have not brought about any lasting benefit. The disease cycle kept on spinning.
So I started digging in deep. I started asking questions to parents, grand parents, care takers. I asked them for their thoughts on why the child had cavities, or why they kept on having more new cavities. Some of the feedback froze me in my tracks — they didn’t know! I started asking more questions; what do the children eat, and drink? How often are they putting food and drink in their mouth? Do they brush at all? Floss? And are they eating or drinking something other than water after they finished their cleaning routine before they go to bed?
I heard a story once about this family that has an endearing night time routine. Details are fuzzy now but the short of it is that they had almost the perfect sequence going. Reading books, brushing teeth, saying prayers, the whole bit. However, as each child lays down on their pillow, along with a kiss good night they also get a single crisp of Pringles potato chip in their mouth. That is the last thing that pass through their mouths as they drift off to sleep.
One. Single. Pringles. Every night.
None of them understood why they kept getting cavities. They brush diligently. They eat carefully. They don’t munch on candy or sip on soda. Besides, potato chips aren’t sugar. They can’t cause cavities… can they?
In the coming days, weeks, and months and years, I hope to find time to write down what I have learned in the hopes that the knowledge and experiences I have gained would help someone stop the cycle of dental diseases. I hope you will find them useful.
For more information on nutrition and its effect in your child’s health, or to schedule on appointment, please contact 360-216-1130