Demographers tell us that there is a swell in our population distribution caused by the Baby Boom generation. After World War II, our veterans came home and went to work making America great. They also went to work in other productive ways. Their success on both fronts ushered in the Baby Boomers.
If you watch or read the news, you know that the media loves to pick on this generation. Generation X (or Y, I forget which) may be labeled lazy and entitled, but the Boomers seem to take the brunt of the media’s abuse. Because of them, Social Security and Medicare are going broke, there are no new jobs, healthcare is going socialized, the sky is falling, and all of our taxes are going up.
It’s all a bunch of rubbish. There is little blame to place for any of these issues. Actually, it’s the advancement of modern medicine, nutrition, technology, and science that has increased our quality of life and life expectancy. If one is healthy and enjoys their job, why not work longer? It sounds cliche, but seventy is the new sixty.
So what does this have to do with teeth?
Demographics tell us that people are living longer. Previous generations of dental care have helped patients to retain and maintain more of their natural teeth than ever before. This is all well and good, but leads to a lifetime of necessary dental maintenance. Old crowns and fillings will need replacing. Sometimes, teeth are going to break and be replaced with dental implants. Dentures wear out. Patients prone to gum disease will need a lifetime of maintenance to keep the disease in remission. The list goes on and on.
How many people had their knees or hips replaced twenty years ago? Our mouths are no different. Maintenance of our health is a part of modern life. The longer we live, the more routine care we will need.
It certainly beats the alternative.
One of the blessings of being a dentist is the people that we meet each day. I have gained more knowledge from patients passing through my life than I could ever acquire in a book, on TV, or through a computer screen. My take on life is influenced every day by the characters that pass through our doors. For better or worse, I am inspired by all. Even the grumpy ones with the soft hearts they try to hide.
When I think of growing up, I am reminded of all the vibrant patients we see who simply refuse to grow old. Their bodies don’t always hold true, but their spirit, attitude and smile keep them young. I have been taught that attitude greatly effects our health. Maybe George Burns put it best when he said, “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”
Until next week, refuse to grow old.
-Comments can be sent to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.