By Dr. Scott L. Rose
I am not sure who came up with that saying, but whoever did is probably partly responsible for a lot of pain and misery. The human body is an amazing thing, but one perceived flaw is that when something is wrong it may not always cause pain, illness, or discomfort. I don’t think this is a flaw, but really part of a very well thought out design. If every time something hurts we would just react to that situation, there would be little reason to do otherwise. No pain can be a dangerous illusion. Understanding this should lead one to be an active participant in their health. We should always be working towards leading a healthier life with the key words of “working towards.” Health is not a destination, it’s an ongoing journey. And one of the best things you can do for yourself is preventative care.
Concerning oral health, there are so many things people CAN do, but unfortunately don’t. Many people think that absence of discomfort is absence of dental issues, until something painful happens. By that time, treatment options become limited, more expensive, and more time consuming. It’s sad, but I see this every day. What I suggest to patients is an Oral Wellness Plan. A plan that sees what is good and builds upon that; a plan that looks for potential problems and stops them from beginning. And a plan that takes existing problems and fixes them before they become larger issues.
Choose a dentist/healthcare provider who is willing to work not only on you, but with you; someone who will take a holistic approach and a wholistic approach is an important step in the right direction. I think a good ending to the opening phrase would be:
“If it doesn’t hurt…it’s a good time to make a plan to keep healthy and pain free.”