Dental Education Lecture: Motivation

This website shows too much of ugly side of our mouth.  It may scare the readers.  Probably every single bad thing (including disease and poor oral hygiene) surprises the writer beyond imagination.  The doctor sincerely hope that the readers will take better care of them after knowing the ugly and bad so that the bad things will never happen again.

Equally surprising is to see extreme care about oral health by my patients.  Last week, a 19 year old girl returned to my office for cleaning.  She has been our patient for a year.  What she has wanted is to have braces, particularly white ones.  Finally she started braces in other office.  

Oh, my goodness, her oral hygiene is perfect (figures on the right).  With magnified glasses, I cannot see any plaque or stain in her teeth, braces or wires.  Her gums are very healthy.  Why do you do so meticulously?   Because I do not want to have any white spots most kids have after braces.  Am I going to have those?  No chance at all.  You can see white spots associated with sweet teeth.

She tells us that whenever she has a chance (probably after every meal), she brushes twice and flosses in between.

Although she is a full time student, she has a teaching job in college.  Her mother has told us that she will pay half of the expense for braces.  It appears that this girl has to work hard for the other half.  Nothing comes easy, including beauty.  But it is worthy.  She is not going to have any dental problem if she keeps trying hard on her oral hygiene.  If we do not try hard every day, we will pay big price later.

Most of my younger patients start brace at the age when they have low or no motivation.  They have braces and brush teeth just for their parents. 

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 11/27/2009, last revision 12/04/2009