Often I get asked “what is it that you do”; but sometimes, that question throws me off a bit. My standard go to is that “I help people understand what oral health is in their mouth and how to obtain and maintain it outside of the dental office”……the problem with that statement is that the little imaginary ah-ha light bulb above peoples head usually doesn’t light up. More often than not, it’s more of a confused look as they somewhat try and decipher what it is I’ve just said. Sure, in my mind it makes perfect sense, however, it seems as if my years in dentistry have numbed me to the honest realization that most of the population isn’t overly concerned about their oral health unless there is an issue.
Sure, like any hygienist I can help with problems like bleeding gums, bad breath, plaque and calculus build up, sensitive teeth, etc, but the way I go about it is where the difference lies. When you visit the dentist for a “cleaning” there are certain procedures that take place. The scaling, the polishing, the discussion about what you are or are not doing, but what I have found time and time again is the things that matter most, are the things that seem to get the least amount of time if any.
Have you ever had anyone really help you understand what your mouth is saying to you and about you? Have you ever looked in there with detail? Has anyone ever explained why the gum tissue is going away there, and how that may correlate with the way the tooth is wearing down, or how an area on your gums is really healthy in one spot, but inflamed in another spot? Do you know what dry mouth really is and what happens to the teeth and gums without enough moisture? Do you buy name brands simply out of marketing tactics? Have you ever asked a question in the dental office and just felt like a standard answer was given? Has anyone ever really helped you to know what healthy gums and teeth FEEL like to your tongue and how to angle your toothbrush a specific way to get that one area that just always “builds up”, or where you always seem to have “stain”?
That is the gap I bridge, these are the questions we get to answer together. It is my wholehearted belief that once you unlock the mysteries of your mouth you gain a better insight into your overall health. Science and medicine are finally catching up to what we in the dental world have known for years. Your dental health is correlated to your oral health and when your mouth is healthy your body is much healthier! YOU can take care of YOUR mouth at home, outside of the dentist’s office. You can be in control of your oral health; you may just need to really understand what to use and how to use it. Now if someone out there could only help me put that into an “elevator pitch”, I’d greatly appreciate it!!