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Better Living Today (The “Boring” Way)

Posted February 21, 2022.

When I was in elementary school, and for a short time, we had a “bike gang” that would steal bikes and slash tires while we were in class. Fortunately it was a short lived fad and punks got caught. Luckily my dad was a fanatic about having a bike lock so mine never got stolen but some of my friends had damage or loss of their daily transportation.

Fast forward about 4 years, and I had a pair of Teva sandals that I saved up for all summer stolen while getting a lifesaving merit badge at a local middle school swimming pool because I didn’t throw a padlock on my locker that night. No one else was doing it in my group, so I didn’t think it would matter.

Lesson learned.

Just a few years ago my family traveled to Mexico and I was hit with the barb of a stingray. Fortunately I had purchased travel insurance (even though the injury was small). It could have been a lot worse.

We win some, we lose some. We can’t be perfect. Right?

When I was 6 years old my parents had my teeth sealed at the dentist. A few years ago some new research showed that for every $1 you spend on preventative dental care, you save $36 later. To put that in perspective, that means if you take $1000 and divide it by 36, that means $27.78 today can save you up to, or more than $1000 later. Research has also shown that preventative sealants for adults and kids give us up to 15 extra years on our teeth. That is your potential savings with preventative dental or medical care.

You may have heard the joke that says the moment we are born is just when we begin to die. What a terrible way to live!

Recently I read a funny story titled “The bicycle is the slow death of the planet.” It reads as follows:

General Director of Euro Exim Bank Ltd. got economists thinking when he said:
“A cyclist is a disaster for the country’s economy: he does not buy cars and does not borrow money to buy. He does not pay for insurance policies. He does not buy fuel, does not pay for the necessary maintenance and repairs. He does not use paid parking. He does not cause serious accidents. He does not require multi-lane highways….Healthy people are neither needed nor useful for the economy. They don’t buy medicine. They do not go to hospitals or doctors. Nothing is added to the country’s GDP (gross domestic product). On the contrary, every new McDonald’s restaurant creates at least 30 jobs: 10 cardiologists, 10 dentists, 10 dietary experts and nutritionists, and obviously, people who work at the restaurant itself.”
Choose carefully: cyclist or McDonald’s? It is worth considering.
P.S. Walking is even worse. Pedestrians don’t even buy bicycles.

Obviously this is a joke, but I think it goes a long way on how we think about our lives and how we contribute to our society. Many of us suffer with health problems that prevent us from biking or walking. But what decisions can we make to day to change our future and outcome?

Driving is convenient, especially when it is winter time. I love to bike and hike in the summer and fall, but I’ve really become a wimp over winter sports over the past few years. I used to snowboard as a teenager with just a vest and sweatshirt, now I’m all bundled up when I go and if it isn’t warm and sunny I cut the day short.

More and more research is demonstrating that we can live longer and continue to expand our minds with proper exercise, diet (and of course a healthy mouth!). Prevention is still the best medicine, even in the day and age of rapid technological advance.

Thomas Edison wisely predicted centuries ago that “the doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

Prevention is not glamorous, exciting or newsworthy. But it works, as we like to joke at the office “it’s good to be boring” when it comes to the health of your smile.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, you can text me at the office or shoot us an email.

Have a great month!

Dr. Tyler Williams

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