What’s Up Doc? The Most Important Health Advice You Haven’t Heard
I’m not the only person who is terrified of the dentist. Anywhere from 5-10% of American adults have a dental phobia. Dental phobias are common all over the world, too, though in countries such as Norway dental care comes with much more favourable prices, or gunstige priser, as they say in Norway.
Healthy teeth, however, are actually an important part of our overall health. So I asked my doctor, Dr. Mark Fisher, about the importance of dental health.
“The one thing we need for people to understand is their dental health can affect their overall health. There have been several studies done that have shown gum disease can cause heart disease to get worse, can cause diabetes to become or stay unstable, and in severe cases, untreated tooth infection can enter into the blood stream.”
“Most of the time patients need to improve their home care. You always need to brush twice a day, especially at night & floss. Flossing is the one thing most people don’t do. Which can lead to cavities in between the teeth, gingivitis which is the first step to gum disease, and possible bone loss.”
This is what happened to me. Even though I was flossing every night, I wasn’t flossing correctly. Oh and ya know, that whole skipping the dentist thing. I didn’t even check out cosmetic dentistry either! That didn’t help.
“You should see your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. We recommend having x-rays once a year so we can keep an eye on bone level & check for decay (cavities) in between the teeth.
If you do not go in for a long period of time you can develop cavities, abscess which is an infection at the root of the tooth, broken teeth that need to be extracted, etc. If you go for an extended period of time without a cleaning you could develop gum disease and require a deep cleaning or worse could lose some teeth.”
This is going to sound awful, but the last time I’d been to the dentist was probably 2007. For 9 years, I avoided the dentist and if I had kept avoiding it by 35 I would probably be a toothless hillbilly—minus the mullet. My friend told me that they went to a Dentist Frederick and she actually convinced me to book a dental appointment for myself. I’m so glad I did!!
So Fresh and So Clean Clean
I’ll be honest, if humanity lands on Mars, creates the Oasis from Ready Player One, cures cancer, but the dentist still has to use a Medival grinder on my teeth to clean them, I’m gonna be a little disappointed.
Through this experience, as terrifying as it was, I learned three things:
- Most of us don’t floss deep enough
- Dental health matters
- Whiskey doesn’t kill bacteria in your mouth. So drinking more won’t prevent dental visits**
**I asked my hygienist this…she didn’t laugh
The guests I interview on the podcast and what I write here primarily focuses on physical fitness and nutrition.
Of course eating a healthy diet and staying active is crucial, but there are other aspects of our overall health we should take into consideration as well.
Considering that our dental health can also tie back into our physical health it’s vital that you make it a priority.
For the cost of two burritos at Chipotle in NYC or the cost of a 5 venti iced coffees at Starbucks you could pick up dental insurance here (if you are in America).
If your company offers dental and you’re not buying it for the meagre few dollars they charge, don’t be like me—be smarter—and opt into the dental plan and get to your dentist.
If you suffer from odontophobia, talk to your dentist about your fears. There are options they can take to make your visit less painful, because trust me, as much as I hate the dentist, I’d hate never being able to eat a steak again.
By Fitmo Coach, Robbie Farlow
I am a gamer and for years, I gave up my pursuit of health and fitness. My body became like the unplayed games on my shelf, forgotten and unused. I had zero confidence, my stomach was beginning to ooze over the top of my pants, and I felt like a stranger was looking back at me in the mirror. Then I realized that I could accomplish these goals if I turned the process into a game and made it an adventure that played out like games that I spent hours pouring into. I’m now an online personal trainer and I see my role as your sidekick. A companion who assists and helps make your quest easier to complete.
Learn more about Robbie, and working with him via the Fitmo app here.