“Herbie doesn’t like to make toys!”
That’s a line you might have heard on the TV this holiday season. It’s a line from one of the most famous holiday specials of all, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” This came out all the way back in 1964, and it’s a classic.
There is a moment in the special when Herbie is struggling in Santa’s workshop. It turns out that he doesn’t want to make toys at all. He wants to be a dentist! He spends his time reading up on dentistry in hopes of one day going to dental school and having his own practice. It’s a small joke and side story in the show, but it has stuck with me for obvious reasons.
So, in the Christmas spirit, and the spirit of Herbie, today I want to review some dental facts and myths. I think Herbie would agree that following bad dental advice, while it will not get you on the Naughty List, can destroy an otherwise great smile.
1. You don’t have to be in pain to have a dental problem. I can’t stress this point enough. Waiting around until you’re in pain is a bad idea. Small cavities can turn into large problems that infect the root, and that must be treated with root canal therapy or extraction. You can have cavities or even problems like gum disease and feel almost nothing. Cavities can be painful and gum disease can be painful, but do not use that as your only measurement. The only true way to know that you’re free of dental pain is to visit a dentist.
2. Speaking of pain, your visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Whether it’s the procedures, the environment, the drill, or the injections, patients can be weary of the dental chair. To help with comfort, our office offers nitrous oxide, laughing gas, and can deliver pain-free injections. I use a tool called DentalVibe which uses vibration to block the pain of the injection.
3. Braces aren’t your only options. We dental professionals have used conventional braces for decades. They achieve great results, but they are not your only option. Some patients, understandably do not want uncomfortable metal brackets or wires on their teeth. This is where the treatment Invisalign comes in. Invisalign is a system that uses clear aligners to move teeth into a better positions. The aligners can also easily be removed for eating and cleaning.
4. Extractions are not an alternative to root canals. Root canal therapy is seen as one of the most undesirable treatments in all of dentistry. Patients sometimes believe that teeth should be extracted instead of having root canal therapy. I don’t recommend that. Root canal therapy has a 98 percent success rate and will keep the tooth functional for years to come. An extraction leaves a gap in the teeth and may even cause alignment issues with your remaining healthy teeth.
5. Teeth whitening is not harmful to your smile. We dentist have used teeth whitening treatments for decades now. Whitening gels can improve the brightness of your teeth by 8 or more shades — sometimes in a single dental visit. However, the whitening cannot strengthen your teeth. It also will not damage your teeth. Whitening is not recommended for teeth with cavities or if the patient has signs of gum disease, but that’s one of the only big barriers when it comes to whitening. If your mouth is healthy, you’re probably a candidate for whitening treatments.
I hope these five facts have helped you out. And I hope Herbie would approve of them! I love writing to you about dentistry and dental tips. If you’re ready to speak with me and my speak in person, call our office today at 513‑823‑2575 or use the online form to book an appointment.