A Burdensome Body-Part

A Burdensome Body-Part

Dental Monthly

By Dr. Elena Speranza Moll

The Dental Monthly by Dr. Elena Speranza Moll
A day in Dental Clinic Studio Moll

Not so long ago a patient called her teeth “A Burdensome Body-Part”*

This remark was triggered by my “Better-But-Not-Good-Enough-Talk”.  This is the talk that I give to indicate that while checking her mouth I had found (again) some dental plaque and a sliver of tartar and point-bleeding of the gums.

“Ms. Dentist, What do you want from me!?!” she exclaimed. “Every single day I spend 15 minutes cleaning my teeth!! Imagine that I spend that time sanitizing my feet or my hands and my nails with 3 different sized brushes for 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes poking in my nose to get it clean. Using water-piks in my eyes and electrical-ultrasound brushes in my ears for 15 minutes a day…. Could you believe that? Such a burdensome body-part my teeth are …….!!!”

Of course, I nodded understandingly actually appreciating her sincerity. Considering the fact that indeed, we do ask a lot of our patients…

It came to my mind that in any drugstore the dental shelf is present, but still way smaller I am sure, than all the other personal hygiene shelves. In fact, those shelves are loaded with numerous quantities of creams, gels, masks, and foams and they are all incredibly necessary for the beauty of our skin, of our hair, and essential to our overall well-being and appearances. Now I myself love creams and have one for every part of my body and religiously follow the elaborate instructions for all of them, which also take time.  So I thought of a way to explain it to her giving her a comparison … of sorts.

After she had vented it all and she finished giving me a piece of her worried mind I tried to pick up the thread of my Better-But-Not-Good-Enough-Talk using her own examples and I tried to explain to her :

“Think about the vulnerability of your mouth and the importance of having your own teeth.” I started to explain. “If you don’t put on the perfect make-up or use the drama-lashes-mascara every day, it’s not like your eyes will smell bad and your skin will not bleed within 48 hours if you have forgotten the purifying mask or did not put on the miraculous cream for the night.  Even if you cannot see it always, and show the world how healthy your mouth and clean your teeth are, Oral Prevention is important, because realize this: If you do not clean your ears regularly, they do not risk dropping off of your head when you are seventy.  Your teeth do have this risk….”


*Technically that is not true. Burdensome, bothersome, troublesome, or whatever-some you want to call it, yes, that might be for some of us. But a body part it definitely is not. We have only 6 body parts: head, trunk, left & right arms, and left & right legs. Our mouth is something completely different. It is a Digestive Organ and our teeth are part of that.*

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