Actively maintaining your dental health

By: Dr Keith Hengpoonthana

It was the usual morning peak hour traffic on the way to work. I heard on the radio there was a broken down car that forced a temporary lane closure, the cars were bumper to bumper creeping ever so slowly. At the bottle-neck of the traffic, I saw a car with hazard lights on, the driver clearly in distress standing outside waiting for some help to arrive.

The thought in my mind was how unfortunate that driver was, I’d hate to be stuck in this predicament, and I’m sure it happened at the worst possible time… perhaps on the way to work? Having to wait for a long time for a tow truck to take the car to a mechanic, having to pay for emergency pick up and perhaps a costly repair bill at the mechanic?

I’m not a mechanic and I haven’t the faintest idea how to fix cars. I know that if my car gets me from destination A to B, everything must be ok. I do however get my car regularly serviced, and sometimes I get advice from the mechanic that minor rectifications may be needed to avoid costly damage. To me, I think I would rather seek regular services and avoid the stress of a break down in the middle of a highway, and have to incur more to repair extensive damages.

Dental treatment is expensive. Dental preventive care is far less in cost. Just like the car analogy, you don’t want to wait till there is trouble before you seek help. Tooth aches and broken teeth are an inconvenience to yourself, sometimes the discomfort is so intense you can’t sleep or eat, it may require time off work and having to find an emergency dental appointment. From a treatment point of view, once there is pain, treatment options become more complex with higher costs and more appointment required.

My mechanic recommended that my car be serviced every 6 months or at a certain mileage. We use our teeth far more than we ever use our cars, and all of us don’t have the luxury of replacing our teeth with a brand new one like we do when a car becomes old.

Do you wish your mechanic shows you how to maintain your car? Little small things you can do that can perhaps prolong the life of your car’s engine at home? I sure do. That’s why we aim at NDC to provide you with information on how you can prevent and maintain your dental health. We provide the 6 monthly preventive care for you, we call this “Active Maintenance”, we also want you to be active by providing advice on self home care and regularly scheduling professional preventive care.

It’s no big secret…. avoiding costly and complex dental treatment is a matter of scheduling regular preventive care and following advice on how you can care for your dental health.