The ‘To-Do’ List…
How are you all doing!? I can’t believe we’re into Autumn already – where have those long summer days gone? I’m still trying to adjust to waking up in what feels like the middle of the night, I forgot how dark it stays in the mornings! Still, there are plenty of positives to take from the change of seasons – I am a sucker for a nice thick jumper, cosy nights in and those gorgeous autumnal walks where the leaves are all crunchy and the sun is still warm.
It’s been a busy few weeks for us here at The Briars. We are still lucky enough to be welcoming lots of lovely new patients, which means we’ve increased the clinics we offer our patients, allowing wait times to be reduced as much as possible for routine dental care. The Christmas rush is fast approaching, and we are (as we always do this time of year) encouraging patients to get booked in for their routine appointments, especially if they have any treatments in mind to be carried out before Christmas and all the fun events that come with it! Remember, dental treatments such as crowns and even creating tooth whitening trays involve time being manufactured in the lab – so we have to allow 2-3 weeks between appointments for this, which goes quite quickly this time of year! If you’re wanting to consider a specific dental treatment, but are not sure about the processes or time frames involved, the appointments with our Treatment Coordinator (me!) are still free of charge – so always worth booking in to have a chat if there’s something on your mind!
I thought it was worth taking the opportunity to discuss the current ‘doom and gloom’ financial climate we’re in. News bulletins with the ‘cost of living crisis’ at the forefront, recommendations to try doing your washing at 4am to benefit from ‘off peak’ energy costs – it’s scary stuff, and miserable reading. I won’t dwell on it too much, because frankly, I spend my life trying to be a ‘glass half full’ kind of person, and believing in the power of optimism and keeping things light – so talking about the heavier, more anxiety inducing things just doesn’t gel well with the vibe of my usual blog. However. I do need to talk about it in relation to teeth, and oral health and why it is so important to not push Dentistry to the bottom of the to-do list. We do get it, teeth, when they feel good, are an easy thing to push to one side. Pushing the check-up back by a few months can seem like the right thing to do, and an easy cost to cross off the list – right? Short-term it will seem right. Long-term it may not. When we see you for your 6 month check, or your annual check, we are assessing every part of your mouth. We’re checking that fillings are still intact, that there have been no changes to your teeth in the time between appointments – and if things are not right, why are they not? We are checking your gums to make sure that there are no signs of gum disease – and if there are, then why? We’re carrying out what we’ve known to be life saving Oral Cancer screenings. Changes to teeth and soft tissues happen quickly – routines change, diets change, bad habits form. We’ve seen cavities form in the space of 6 months because a patient started sucking polos in the car. We’ve seen signs of gum disease rear their head because the electric toothbrush broke 3 months ago, and hasn’t been replaced. Teeth that were healthy can show signs of wear within a few months of a grinding habit starting off the back of a stressful period.
The mouth can change quickly, and it’s important for us to keep on top of these changes with routine appointments. Without regular maintenance, we cannot intervene at the stages where intervention is minor and often less costly. We can identify early signs of decay and stop a polo sucking habit before it has chance to cause cavities that need fillings. If that habit is allowed to develop over a year, two years – we’ll have several fillings to do. If we can change your brushing technique before inflammation, bleeding and soreness stops you from wanting to brush – then we can get on top of gum disease before it turns into something more serious. If we spot signs of grinding, we can get protective guards in place to help prevent that molar from cracking. These seem like extreme examples – but we’ve seen them, and we’ve seen them happen time and time again when taking care of yourself and your oral health gets pushed to the side. Remember, we do have our in-house plan in place to help spread the cost of our routine check-ups and Hygiene appointments throughout the year. We have finance plans we can set up for larger treatment plans. We have ways to help – just ask.
I feel like I should finish up with something way more positive than broken teeth and sore gums…shall I go back to talking about Christmas? I’m going to need some sort of outlet to pour out my inner Christmas elf soon, as it’s a banned subject at home until at least mid-November…
Look after yourselves, and I’ll catch you all soon.
Amy xGo Back