Here at OraWellness, we commonly reference each of our ability to create optimal oral health for ourselves as a journey.
And for each of us to find our way and successfully navigate this journey to optimal oral health, we have to have a good map and educate ourselves.
That’s why you’re here reading this.
In your quest for optimal oral health, you recognize the importance of continuing education, of learning about more of the pieces to the puzzle so you can better navigate your path.
Today, we would like to share a current news event that highlights the critical importance of each of us accepting the responsibility of being the MVP (most valuable person) on our oral health team, the captain on our journey to optimal oral health and the potential risks if we don’t educate ourselves.
At the end of this article, we will share six simple, helpful actions you can take to increase your dental self empowerment and reduce your bill at the dental office.
While this discussion can be applied in many areas of our lives, for the sake of this discussion, let’s narrow to just our oral health journey.
Why increasing our knowledge base could save you more than money…
What happens when we don’t accept this burden of responsibility of us being the MVP of our oral health team?
- Do we feel out of control?
- Do we feel like we’re left in the dark?
- Is it even possible that we could have dental procedures done in our mouths that may not be necessary?
The fact is dentistry is not an exact science. What one dentist would determine needs a filling, another dentist would label a ‘wait and see’. Unfortunately, another dentist may suggest even more work be done to ‘fix’ the problem.
Who is ‘right’?
How are we to know who to trust?
Dentist whistleblowers expose unnecessary procedures…
In this article from CBS news, dentists blew the whistle on a corporate children’s dental group, claiming that they were instructed to perform dental procedures that weren’t necessary from their professional opinion.
Therefore, it behooves us to increase our knowledge base so we can make more informed decisions.
While we still may have to rely on our dental team for an accurate assessment of their findings in our mouth, we don’t have to blindly accept their suggested course of treatment.
How to find a helpful team…
That’s why it’s so important to do your due diligence on your dental team.
A good dental team is a real gem and in some cases, can even be a lifesaver.
Here are some resources that may assist you to find a dental team qualified to help you.
Also, you may want to take a critical view of how your dental office ‘does dentistry’.
If the office has one dentist on staff and more than 2 rooms operating at a time, this makes me a bit nervous as the dentist’s attention is spread thinner than I would appreciate. If you’d like a deeper dive on fresh ideas of what we consider a great dental office model, check out ‘7 components of a dream dentist’ as well as the article ‘What’s the difference between biological, functional and holistic dentistry?’
Actions you can take to up your dental self empowerment…
Here are 5 simple action steps you can take to raise your awareness and greatly reduce the risk of you finding yourself in the role of the victim in a dental office.
Step one: Get to know your mouth
Nothing compares to increasing our own knowledge and awareness of what’s going on in our mouth. That’s why we have always considered ‘getting to know your mouth’ the first step of dental self empowerment.
Step two: Educate yourself on questions to ask your dentist
We don’t know what we don’t know. This is particularly dangerous when we are going to assess if a dental office has the training, office structure, safety equipment, and ‘helper’s heart’ required to insure they are optimally positioned to help you and your family. Here are questions we like to ask dental offices before we agree to let them in our mouths. Download the Free OraWellness Guide to Safe Dentistry
Step three: Get a second opinion
If you receive a diagnosis and suggested course of treatment that doesn’t feel right, it’s definitely worth the cost to get a second opinion.
But what you want is as unbiased of a second opinion as possible.
So, it’s important that you go to an office that is not affiliated with the office that gave you the diagnosis.
Explain to this new office that you’d like a routine assessment. Yes, this will most likely require more x-rays, but there are actions you can take to protect yourself against the risks of x-rays.
And given that you are attempting to avoid some potentially unnecessary, permanent dental work, it’s worth the exposure.
Step four: Increase your knowledge base
The 5 steps videos are short and engaging. Many families have chosen to use this series as part of their ‘home school’ education. Whether your kids go to school or not, we all benefit from having a better understanding how to avoid the two most common diseases in humanity, tooth decay and gum disease. Sign up to receive the 5 steps series here.
Step five: Prevent the need for dental work
‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.
- Learn how the mouth/body relationship works.
- Take steps to balance your oral flora, your oral microbiome.
- Use products that take the whole body into consideration. (Here’s a good place to start.)
- Learn preventive steps to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
There’s nothing quite as awesome as going to your regular dental check up only to hear, “Whatever you’re doing, just keep it up” or hear from your hygienist, “You’re boring to work on. There’s so little for me to do.” (Like our over 150 ‘after the dental visit’ customer testimonials here. :))
Bottom line, the goal here is to understand how to care for our oral health so well that there is no need for dental work.
What do you do to insure your family has the best dental care possible? Please share your ideas in the comments below so we can continue to learn from one another.
Helpful, Related Resources:
How to stop tooth decay and remineralize your teeth [Free resource guide]
The OraWellness Guide to Safe Dentistry [Free resource guide]
The First Step of Dental Self Empowerment [article]
Helpful resources to find a qualified dentist to assist you [article]
7 key components of a ‘dream dentist’ [article]
“What’s the difference between biological, functional and holistic dentistry?” [article]
How to nutritionally protect yourself from the risks of dental x-ray damage [article]
OraWellness Free expert interviews [expert interviews]
OraWellness video tutorial library [Free video tutorials]
How to balance your oral flora [article]
OraWellness Healthy Teeth & Gums Starter Kit [[product solution]]