Carmageddon; it didn’t happen

By now just about everyone knows that the feared traffic nightmares of Los Angeles did not materialize because the city did such a good job of warning people of the great consequences they might have if they drove while the 405 freeway was shut down last weekend. The big question my patients have been talking about is what will happen next year when the freeway is closed once again. Will the public head warnings again and keep the roads empty or will they ignore the warnings since it was so empty the first time around? What do you think will happen?

I think the Carmageddon episode shows that if people are given enough reason why they shouldn’t do something they won’t. Fear of sitting in a car for hours for what should be a short ride got everyone off of the roads I am trying to figure out in my mind how does this work with health care and prevention. I guess the public has not been given enough information about the dangers and high costs of disease for the public to take any action. We are still living in a country that has reactionary medicine, where people hope the doctors can make everything better for them as opposed to adopting healthier lifestyles to help prevent disease.

This brings me to a series of conversations that I have had with patients over the last few weeks. What is the single greatest convenience that dentistry has provided over the years to make oral health simpler??? In my mind, without a question, the answer is the electric toothbrush. And in particular I am talking about the mechanical brushes that have two minute times on them. The two major manufacturers of these brushes are Sonicare and Braun Oral-B. These brushes do all the work for you; all you have to do is walk them around the gum line. They have a way of letting you know when 30 seconds is up so you can go to another quadrant of your mouth. I have been using these brushes for over 10 years and when I travel or brush at lunch time with a manual tooth brush I find it more of a chore.

The mechanical toothbrush is just one of the many devices or systems that have been created over the last few decades to help you keep your mouth healthier.

We know that with enough info from the city Carmageddon did not happen. How much more information do you want so that you are willing to practice preventive health care? Feel free to let me know what other tips I can give you on dentistry to help you make the decisions that are right for you regarding your health.

On a closing note I know there are no words I can say to help those affected by the tragic events in Norway. I will continue to say a prayer for all.

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