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The dentist, I avoid it like the plague and it is pretty stupid of me. Although I have an obsession with white teeth, the fear of going to the dentist is so profound I have to bargain with myself to go. It started when I was a child and got my first cavity with no explanation because my mother forbids us of any sort of All-American treats (i.e. Kool-Aid, Lucky Charms, Ho-Hos, etc.). Unfortunately, when I went to get my cavity filled, he decided to make some barbaric retainer for my mouth with two prongs hanging down to stop me from sucking my thumb. I was not ready to give up my beloved thumb or blanket and my mother was less than satisfied with this dentist because she too shares the same fear.

Cut to 20 some years later and I am still starring into the familiar lights with those ridiculous glasses on, worrying if they had been properly sanitized, all while fighting off sweaty palms and white knuckling the chair.  Thanks to my obsession with white teeth I have surrendered. If you have a similar story to mine here are five reasons to bite the bullet and visit the dentist:

ONE: To prevent oral cancer. If the word alone does not scare you, it is reported that in the United States somebody dies ever hour from oral cancer.  It is the sixth highest reported malignancy worldwide.

TWO: Bad Breathe. I mean this is kind of self-explanatory. Nobody can clean you chicklets like the dentist.

THREE: To prevent gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. And who really wants to have missing teeth (definitely not sexy), gingivitis, or even the potential of suffering from a stroke.

FOUR: Prevent emergencies. There is nothing worse then a toothache. By visiting your dentist regularly you alleviate things such as periodontal pockets, abscesses and infections that can leak into the rest of your body.

FIVE: Healthy teeth mean a healthy life. In conjunction with daily flossing and brushing twice a day visiting the dentist on a regular basis is a part of overall good health. It prevents pancreatic cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Hopefully something here will make you pick up the phone and call your dentist, if you have had a bad experience I always ask for a referral from one of my favorite doctors. Until next time my friends, visit www.raylenebartolacci.com. To health and wellness, Salute.

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