Inch by Inch...
January 09, 2015
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    “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch. Yard by yard, it’s hard.”


    A quick Google search attributes this quote, or a version thereof, to a variety of sources. According to the internet, these words may have originated from either Henry Ford, Dr. Seuss, a variety of writers and ministers, or it is simply an anonymous saying that has stood the test of time.


    For me, this quote originated from New Braunfels Canyon football Coach Larry Nowotny. In my years playing for the old ball coach, I heard it many times. I’d venture to guess he has quite a few other balding, ex-players who can identify.


    Dentists see patients every day who are frustrated with their smile. Some are frustrated because of a toothache or an infection causing pain. Others are frustrated because of missing teeth that make food hard to chew. Sometimes, old dentures or partial plates break or quit fitting as well as they used to. Patients might have bad breath or a crooked tooth here or there. Still other times, people just don’t like the color their teeth have become over the years.


    Being unhappy with your teeth and your smile can be a frustrating, overwhelming feeling. Often, it helps to start slow and find your own path to a new smile. Inch by inch it’s a cinch.


    The first inch is to find a dentist, dental office, and team you are compatible with. For this, referrals from friends and the internet are a start. To really learn if you are compatible with a dental team, an initial appointment must be made. Don’t be afraid to ask for a tour of the office facilities and some one on one time meeting the dentist. The path to a great experience starts with a level of respect and trust that should be earned by your doctor.


    The second inch is to establish, with the help of your dentist and their team, some short term and long term smile goals. Dental goals (treatment plans) can vary widely and should be based upon the needs and desires of you, the patient. There are often a variety of paths to a healthy mouth. It is helpful to be honest and open with your dental team on how you want to fit dentistry into your life, your budget and your timeframe. We can restore a whole mouth one tooth per year or every tooth in one sitting. The time it takes is up to you.


    Yard by yard, it’s hard. Quality dental work and a healthy mouth often take time to accomplish. Dental problems and disease usually take years to develop. Consequently, there are few “quick” long term fixes for a healthy smile. Beautiful, white, straight, healthy teeth surrounded by pink, healthy gums take time time to accomplish. Fortunately, they can most always be accomplished with a little work, a little patience, a dash of perseverance, and a plan.


    The key is to find the path that is right for you.


    Remember, inch by inch, it’s a cinch.


    Until next week, keep smiling.

-Please send comments or questions to Drs. Parrish at