I’ve heard on more than one occasion a dentist say something akin to “I’m just a dentist”. Think about that – just a dentist. Aside from all the talk about oral-systemic links and references to the dentist as “physician of the mouth”, that phrase is ridiculous. It is also a little disheartening.
As I went for a walk with my dog this morning, I thought about this. At the simple core of the matter, dentists help us to take care of, preserve, and keep our teeth. The only “just” to that is… it’s just awesome! So here are a few major aspects of our lives that are affected by our teeth and therefore by our dentist friends:
- Eating. Without your teeth, eating becomes much more difficult. Sure it’s simple, but you can’t deny it. Healthy teeth are essential to eating, chewing, and therefore getting the right nutritional elements from a healthy, varied diet.
- Talking. Communicating with others is greatly influenced by teeth. This isn’t limited to just talking – singing, whispering, rapping, and screaming at the top of your lungs are all included.
- Smiling. Your smile is your “welcome” sign to the world. It’s one of a few ways to make that vital first impression.
- Facing the world. Teeth help to maintain the bone in the jaws. Lose your teeth, and you start to lose that bone. Over time, your visage changes. The world will never see you the same way again.
- Showing affection. OK, this may be an “off label” use, but who doesn’t enjoy a good nibble every now and then?
- Opening things. Again, another “off label” use, but at one time or another almost everyone has torn into some packaging with their teeth.
Sure, it’s not an exhaustive list, but these things are just important. I know there are others I’m surely missing. I look forward to hearing how important you think our teeth and dentists are.