Dad’s teeth are important too!
Dads like to chew steak they have cooked themselves on a BBQ. Dads like to smile at their family and their mates without being embarrassed and like everyone they don’t like pain and toothaches.
In this blog I would like to share what I have discovered about Dads and their teeth over the last nearly 18 years of practice. I don’t want to bundle all our Dads into one stereo-typed group because of course they are all unique but I will try to classify them for you into four main Categories: A, B, C and D. Maybe the Dad in your life could be a combination of these types. Please don’t take offence as this is a light-hearted take on some common personality traits I have observed.
Dad ‘A’ is an exemplary human at the dentist. They care for their teeth really well: they brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss and come to the dentist every 6 months to prevent major problems with their teeth. They also book their next appointment when they leave.
Their breath is fresh and their smile is clean and shiny. Dad ‘A’ supports Mum booking in the whole family regularly for preventative dental visits. They show their kids by their actions that it is ok for a man to look after his health.
Sometimes Dad A even gets some tooth whitening done as a treat and to keep himself looking spunky. At CDP we love the preventative attitude of Dad ‘A’. It’s not soft or weak to look after your body and your teeth are part of your body, remember that!
Dad ‘B’ usually brushes at least once a day with fluoride toothpaste. This species of Dad don’t believe in regular dental visits as they consider it a waste of time and money, but if something breaks they get their wife to book them in for an appointment fairly quickly after the problem develops so that we can try to fix it up. They sometimes come back for a check-up and professional clean soon after this event. Alternatively they may allow us to look at the rest of the teeth and maybe give them a professional clean ‘while they are here because you won’t get me back’.
Dad ‘B’ is also happy for his wife and children to have regular preventative dental treatment and braces or whatever is required for good health. They just don’t think they need to be proactive themselves. Unfortunately Dad ‘B’s approach can mean that every 5 years or so they need something major or expensive done like a root canal treatment or an extraction. So in a way their avoidance is false economy. Dad ‘B’ might smoke a couple a day and may be seriously thinking about quitting. He might also drink a can softdrink a day.
Dad ‘B’ may be missing the odd tooth and might have a bit of staining and tartar buildup that could be easily removed and polished with some professional cleaning. At CDP we like Dad ‘B’s attitude because although they are busy and have different priorities to us they still value their teeth and oral hygiene routine to an extent and are usually grateful for the care we provide.
Well now we have reached Dad ‘C’, a lovely man but for various reasons he is just not into dental care. He may brush every couple of days but may not have replaced his toothbrush in a while. Dad ‘C’ has the attitude that he can dull a tooth ache with a bit of rum when it flares up every few months. When his face swells up he will go to his GP and get antibiotics. He may do this a few times before he either gets fed up with it or really sick.
At this point he is at the end of his rope and he may finally consent to his wife booking him in at the dentist. At the dentist unfortunately the only option is to have an extraction. It’s a shame because over the years he is finding it harder to chew the steak he loves. He might try to hide his smile a bit. This variety of Dad may smoke about a packet a day but gets mad or goes quiet if you mention quitting and doesn’t want to discuss stopping any time soon. He might also be hooked on softdrink and thinks drinking water is lame. He dislikes dental professionals mostly, but is still appreciative when we get him out of pain. He is great bloke but not really open to changing his beliefs about dental care.
Dad ‘D’ hasn’t been to a dentist in years but he has no cavities, loose teeth or problems. He is the unicorn of Dads – rarely seen but he is out there. His parents may have given him fluoride tablets or he grew up with fluoridated water. He usually is a non-smoker and avoids softdrinks. When we finally get to see him for some reason at the dentist, we are usually extremely surprised that he doesn’t have a cavity or gum disease. Dad ‘D’ leaves feeling justified in his years of neglect, not realising how lucky and rare he is!
I hope you have enjoyed this blog about some of the more common species of Dads we come across at CDP. Give your Dad a big hug this Father’s Day from us, remind him to look after himself and we know you love him no matter what type he is!
By Dr Gina Irwin