A little over a month ago I had my traintrack braces removed (after almost two years) and was fitted for a retainer. To get my teeth on the straight and narrow (literally) I had 6 teeth removed (all in one go - so not pleasant!) to end the overcrowding and stop my wisdom teeth from getting infections due to impaction and then the braces were fitted.
The freedom of having those metal prison wardens removed is fabulous. I can eat an apple without having to cut it up, I can eat walnuts and almonds without having to spend a hour picking them out of my braces and I was able to keep all my natural teeth (kudos to those who go the route of the veneer but I'm not a fan myself) and they are as white and straight as I hoped they would be.
A couple of weeks later I had all my amalgam (silver) fillings removed and replaced with white composites. And from now on, may I never see a dentist again unless it's for a routine check up!
The best part of all is being able to grin as much as I want and love that my teeth are showing, instead of covering them up with my hand or trying to smile with my mouth closed. A confident smile really does make a difference.
My MIL and other family members stayed with us over Christmas and she told me when she was in her early 30s (40 years ago) she asked her dentist for braces in order to fix the crowding and crookedness of her teeth. "You can't get braces!" he told her. "You're too old." So she didn't.
Thankfully, those days have long gone and now adults account for more than one quarter of orthodontic care. Some because they stopped using their retainers and their teeth shifted again, and others because they never got the braces they needed as youngsters.
Additionally, we now know that dentists can spot signs in our teeth, gums, mouths and throats that can indicate possible pregnancy, diabetes, certain cancers, eating disorders and halitosis amongst other conditions.
As well as the medical care, dental and orthodontic offices and their environments are also changing. Soft music is piped, or patients are handed iPods and remote controls to flat screen TVs in order to relax.
Eco-dentistry is also on the rise. Billing and reminders are done via email to avoid using paper, bills can be paid monthly via on-line credit card payments, paper bibs are recycled and non-chemical sterilization is used for instruments.
A major turn of events is the use of digital imagery, rather than Xrays. This cuts down on radiation being emitted to a great degree. Added to this is the safe disposal of old mercury (silver) fillings.
The Eco Dentistry Association was formed in 2009. Their vision?
" ...A dental industry that combines stewardship of client health with stewardship of planetary health. We provide the training, assistance, connections, products and services dental professionals need to be leaders in the transformation of the industry. "
Their mission of recycling, using technology to cut down on paper, and increase sustainability in an industry that contributes to vast waste is catching on.
You can read more about eco dentistry here : http://www.ecodentistry.org/
Have your heard of eco dentistry? Do you see changes in how dentists and orthodontists are viewed?
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