When approached to write a piece of interest and information for Newtown Lifestyle, I was excited to share all of the preventive and non-invasive treatment dentistry has to offer since I trained at the University of Pennsylvania. Among the list of advances to make treatments less scary, uncomfortable and more effective were lasers, silver diamine fluoride (SDF) cavity preventer, glass-ionomer cements, non-drilling and drilling crowns, diminished need for numbing… all are amazing in what they can do… but then the world as we know it changed. Changed abruptly. Stopped.
As I write, I am sitting in the practice where my family of coworkers used to be bustling around, laughing, sharing insights on life, motherhood, and telling humorous stories of what a four year old just said. As many of us, tears are in my eyes for what is lost.
Relationships/relations. We have an abundance of time spent with our centric families during this crisis. Children live, thrive, and are exhilarated by the thought and atmosphere that emanates from classmates and playmates. If we cut them off, they droop. We have all been cut off or disconnected from our own relations. We as adults are also led, stimulated by our thoughts/atmosphere furnished by our colleagues, coworkers, neighbors, and friends. So when asked what I would tell my younger self, my original prose was to tell her to, “Move more consistently through each day and work with gratitude, remembering that we are not entitled to either. They are gifts.” Now, as I reread that advice, it seems applicable to all of us, especially now.
I turned fifty last year, and now when I think of advice to give to the younger me at 20, to the Chris I was at 30, to the person I was at 40, I don't know if I want her to be more like the Chris I am at 50. The younger me should be allowed to live all those years without the wisdom of time. Yet, one intrusion I would share with my younger self, however, is this: please trust your instincts and be patient with yourself. With age and experience comes wisdom. I consistently ask my guardian angels every morning for guidance and support. The best pieces of advice I have ever received were from my dad and they were timeless. He gave me three pearls I live by: 1) people remember you at your worst, so save those moments for your inner circle; 2) no good deed goes unpunished; and 3) welcome change.
So, rather than dental innovations, I want to end with the reason that I pursued dentistry in the first place. It is healthCARE. And right now, we all need a little tender, loving care. Let’s not ruminate on the past, but with gratitude, welcome and cherish each day as it comes and the work it will bring. We can all work together to be protected, demonstrate love, and work together for greater good.
Smiles are contagious. It’s no myth… it’s biology. And that is one contagion we can all benefit from. 😊