“I Think I Got My Dad’s Teeth”

When my wife confirmed to me she was pregnant with our first child, I knew big changes were coming. The stunning announcement of pregnancy brought me both joy and extreme anxiety.  The biggest stress was not the actual nine months of pregnancy (my wife was healthy and strong, tip-top health) but  a result of me unsuccessfully attempting to predict the unknown future.

The actual pregnancy was classic and uneventful. As an expecting father, I gained my customary 8 pounds in sympathy. February 20th, arrived, game day in the delivery room at Norwalk Hospital. Liza wasn’t a screamer during the delivery process, just some groans now and then for about 5 hours. Like I said, she’s tough.

Delivery was natural and smooth, no complications. It felt like it was all happening too fast. Then ,out of no where a little alien appeared.  “That’s my son?”  I see this little scrawny humanoid thing in the doctor’s hands. Birth is an incredible feeling to witness live. You dads know what I’m talking about. I knew in an instant, my life had just changed in an instant.  Extreme joy and the weight of immense pressure in the same sandwich.

In seconds after delivery, the nurse swept my son from the doctor’s safe arms and confirmed vitals and other tests nearby.  Soon after, he was confirmed by the nurse and deemed healthy and beautiful, he was lovingly brought to mom’s loving embrace, swaddled and nursed. This was truly a breath-taking experience to witness. The nature of instant bond between child and mom is magical. My son was then placed in the radiant incubator which minimize further trauma from the delivery.

As I approached the warming bed to embrace my boy, which was now positioned besides his mom, I witnessed the power of genetics.  Exhausted, content sleeping under the warm light, supine, tightly swaddled,  snug blue head skull-cap fitted, with his tiny right arm conveniently popped out from the soft white blanket, with backhand to his forehead. “That’s me when I sleep”,  I thought out loud. Right hand on my head is where I find the most comfort and relaxation. “It’s my move and now, my son’s move.”

Nature or Nurture, that is the age-old question. It’s actually both. Everything is genetically driven. We are a function of our DNA. The rule is 80% genetic and 20% environmental. There are millions upon millions of characteristics that we have inherited that defines our phenotype.

We are products of our DNA. From our attitude to the gait in our walk; we are our parents, the good and bad. Tooth shape, tooth shade, predisposition to tooth decay, predisposition to periodontal disease, jaw alignment………. everything.

The 20% is our ability to change and modify to create a healthier lifestyle. You are in control of your 20%.

Brush more per day and eat the right foods. Stay away from candy and sugary drinks so you get fewer cavities than your mom or dad. You are still getting cavities, but fewer……..

Get those braces so that your teeth are in a better alignment so that your toothbrush has better accessibility to the your entire mouth.

Get your teeth cleaned more frequently than two times year because your mom lost all her teeth due to periodontal disease before the age of fifty. Get an electric tooth-brush, a Waterpick and floss regularly.

Give up smoking because you know your dad died from oral cancer.

Don’t eat late at night,  stay away from  acidic foods, and cut back on the coffee in order to help prevent root caries,

So let’s embrace our genetics and try to abide by some simple philosophies.

It’s my approach to tackle hardship in life. It works for me. It took me twenty years get here. I try not to question or get frustrated too much about stuff I can’t control.

However I do my best, to make changes in order to make up for my short comings and embrace the facts.

Making positive choices in your lifestyle, may or may not make a difference in the role our genetics play but it certainly can help create a more meaningful existence!


Dedicated to Rob A. New dad and patient


Dr. Emilio & Associates,  Always Accepts  New Patients. He especially exceeds at treating same day emergencies patients suffering from tooth ache pains.

His goal is to keep his patients’ Teeth and Gums Healthy For Life.

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Author: robertemiliodds

My Passion is People and the Teeth Connected To Them! General dentist

One thought on ““I Think I Got My Dad’s Teeth””

  1. This is my favorite! I think nothing will replace the moment when you see your child for the first time is a wordless feeling.. When you give life to a child big changes occur in your life but everything for the best they make you feel things or do things you never thought you were able to do or feel.. kids change everything and make you a stronger person..
    Nice post Dr. E.

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