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Letter From Dear Doctor

Issue 6 of Dear Doctor Magazine

Dear Doctor — An Advocate for Your Oral Health

In the last issue we talked about Dear Doctor's role in advocating for children, our most important treasures. We have also highlighted some of the other organizations who have taken it upon themselves to improve the lives and dental health of children who are not provided care under any kind of umbrella, to help ensure their health and therefore their futures. But we don't feel that our responsibility ends with the youngest members of society, rather that's just where it begins.

We are receiving an increasing amount of mail regarding the plight of adults and others who are uninsured, underinsured or cannot gain or afford access to dental care.

In this issue we begin to address some of these concerns. In some sense at least, the old adage is true, "God helps those who help themselves". People can begin to take charge of their oral and dental health, by good preventive strategies and practice. Firstly, that means developing good daily oral hygiene habits for the removal of dental (bacterial) plaque. Dental plaque is the primary cause of the two major dental diseases, dental caries — tooth decay, and periodontal (gum) disease. We take our first in depth look at the topic of "Dental Caries — Tooth Decay", one of the most common and destructive diseases known to humankind, and one that is completely preventable.

Secondly, people can empower themselves by addressing their diet and nutrition. Oral health and general health are intimately related; in fact many argue that they are one and the same. In this, the second article in our series on "Nutrition and Oral Health", the very basics of this topic are reviewed in elegant simplicity, to empower you to help yourself, your family and your friends in a way that you may never have considered before.

In addition we have added our first consultation about dental insurance in order to broach this important issue so that individuals can begin to understand what is covered, what isn't and how insurance basically "works".

All these "Self Help" strategies and practices encompass the basics of prevention and health maintenance. For those who are unfortunately struggling to fix broken teeth and smiles, these measures will go along way to halting dental disease progression, and in fact ensuring that dental treatment will last for a long time.

Please continue to read Dear Doctor magazine to enlighten yourselves on how to take these important self-help steps. The more you read and empower yourselves with knowledge, the better the treatment decisions you will make together with your health professionals.

"Do not wait for your ship to come in — swim out to it" – Unknown

Our profound thanks once again,

Mario A.Vilardi, DMD

Garry A.Rayant, BDS, DDS, LDSRCS, MS