No matter what you may have not done well – or at all – in the past, as they say in the classics, it’s never too late.

Whatever damage may have been done, is given the chance to improve. Not just at the start of 2024 with a vainglorious new year’s resolution (quickly forgotten once again).

Otherwise it’s just compounding unwanted results by perpetuating an action some part of you has woken up to: happily, surprisingly, forcefully or reluctantly. When unuseful habits are viewed through a veil of fatalistic powerlessness, there’s no opportunity for a better outcome to happen.

To not do that is just closing all the doors and blinds while you’re inside a house you’d really like to move out of. Open a door; crack a window. See what’s possible beyond your current position.

Positive change of any kind at any point, will always have your future self thanking you.

Doesn’t matter what age you’ve reached, tomorrow you’ll be older. Unless you’re wanting to take the slow road to decrepitude, you want to be wiser too.

And that includes being smarter about health. There’s little point living in a world filled to overflowing with accessible, explorable, and examinable information with the approach of a convict straight off the HMS Sirius.

Choosing what is ultimately healthier, whether it’s related to food, regimen or attitude, is not just about you. It’s about the family and friends who love you, the people you work with, and the medical system that supports you.

So in those moments of thinking it’s not worth it because it’s too hard, or a bit of a drag or the self-motivation is flagging, remember there are others involved. Put that to the forefront of your mind.

Know that the more you do it, the easier it becomes; and the more enjoyable it is because the benefits emerge as real.

They’re not just some idea in the back of your head.

Like going to the dentist.

Which first and foremost, is what your dentist would like you to do differently.

If you have one. If you don’t, then that’s what your friend with the great teeth’s dentist would like you to do. Forget about doing it differently. The doing of it is different enough.

We dentists would like to be thought of in a way unlike how they are generally perceived.

Which is somewhat like a 1946 used car salesman. A professional to be wary of; suspicious of motive, and when they ask questions the strategy is to be defensive and marginally untruthful.

Even used car salesmen have redeemed and reformed their past ill-repute. Not sure how real estate agents feel about that.

Overall, dentists don’t deserve the reputation they have. Doctors and other medical specialists aren’t tarred with the same brush. Statistically, they wreak more havoc on the human body than a dentist ever could.

It’s not worth it for a dentist to give the wrong information or an incorrect diagnosis. After all, we want you to come back – even if it is only twice a year.

Which it will be, if you allow us to use the skills you don’t have to recognise dental issues you don’t see, and you action our treatments or take their preventative advice.

… the advice that took some seven years of study to gain. While you were being something else. Because who wants to spend their day looking in people’s mouths, doing, touching and disposing of things that none of us could?

Dentists have knowledge about teeth and gums and jaws and tongues – all that keeps the rest of us healthy. Repeatedly, consistently, and constantly, studies and research find the state of the mouth reflected in the body.

Deficiencies in oral hygiene and proper dental care is linked to a plethora of chronic disease and dysfunction.

If you’re unsure of what they are, and in no particular order, check this out:

Type-2 diabetes, obesity, depression, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, neurogenerative diseases, infertility, erectile issues, adverse pregnancy outcomes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, cancer and respiratory disease.

Having poor oral health is a common element in early death.

All in all, a dentist knows what plaque does.

How it influences and assists gingivitis, then periodontitis and progresses to systemic diseases as the bacteria enters the bloodstream via inflamed and pocketed gums.

Only a dentist knows how to expertly remove it. Only a dentist has the appropriate equipment to professionally carry out the job.

We think we can get away with it. Another six months, another year, another two years or more of not making that dental appointment. We think we don’t have the money, and we decide that orally, everything’s good.

We don’t have the expertise, or the knowledge, or the tools to make that decision to not make that call.

And when we leave it too long and find that we’re in pain or discomfort and have no choice but to see the dentist, what we always, always regret is the cavalcade of calamity we have created for ourselves.

We lose so much.

Money, because treatment is necessarily more intense being that we’re further down the intervention line. Often we’ll lose a tooth. Maybe more than one. We lose self-respect because we knew better than to jeopardise our oral health.

Our parents told us. Our grandparents told us. Our dentist would have not only told us, but saved us if we had stopped putting off that appointment.

All of it is so easily avoided by doing just one thing differently: see your dentist regularly.

That’s it. That’s all.

Do that differently, and everything else will follow.

You’ll actually want to invest in oral care technology because you’ll see the value in it. You’ll look forward to spending the time on your teeth and gums because the benefits will be tangible and noticeable.

Not only will your future self thank you, it will be with a smile you’ll be proud of.

Happy New Year Everyone! May you make 2024 your shiniest and happiest dental year ever.

Front Office Coordinator Rebecca - Melbourne Dental House

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