Kids. They say the darndest things, like “don’t have a heart attack about it, dad!” after they’ve done something that made you shutter. But, on the flip-side, there’s also wise and funny things they say in unexpected moments to make us all reflect on what’s really important in life, like spending Time together – “dad, thanks for fixing my bike, you’re awesome!”, “thanks for dinner mom”.
And for me, it’s one of the reasons why I became a Pediatric Dentist – helping kids from their first year of life on up, build a healthy foundation in their lives. Over the years, I’ve have the privilege of seeing some of ‘these kids’ marry and bring THEIR very own kids to my practice for dental health. These are such cherished relationships and make what I do a something I LOVE rather than WORK, except one thing.
One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was ‘WORK’! The ‘work’ resulted from frustration of the fact that kids with braces were having all kinds of problems, unnecessary health problems, some permanent, from just simply – NOT FLOSSING – swollen gums (hyperplasia) and enamel decalcification (white spots on the teeth after bracket are removed). That devastated me and parents that looked to me for answers made me think, “One day, I’m going to invent something that’ll make flossing braces so easy, it’ll actually be FUN!” One Day. One Day. One Day.
So, One Day, I came up with an idea. An entirely new tool I drew up that would change EVERYTHING about flossing braces – easily, effectively, quickly, and thoroughly. And, one that both people at home would use, but also hygienists. And, I wanted it to be so durable like a toothbrush, we wouldn’t just toss it in the trash after just one use.
So, I wrote down two goals separate from the love of my Pediatric Dentistry:
- Tool for Kids: Invent a fun yet effective ortho flosser kids would use daily.
- Tool for Hygienists: Invent a dental professional tool to clean and floss ortho patients chairside with 90% less time than threading.
But, I was and AM so busy at my practice, Dr. Larry Caldwell, DDS in Houston to take the Time needed to attack the overwhelming THINGS TO DO of creating an entirely new concept in an ortho flosser. I mean, I’m a dentist! I had no experience in how to bring a new idea, make it a real product that did all I demanded (IF I WAS going to really DO THIS!), and then bring that to market fruition – especially in an industry flooded with disposable flossers that just didn’t work.
THEN IT HAPPENED. Heart Attack. I think back to the exact day I had a heart attack and talking about the details is quite boring to me now. I say this because what happened because of the attack is one of the most exciting parts of my life yet! Time stopped. Time focused me. Time attacked me! You could say, Time flossed away all the things that were getting in the way of me finishing my idea and do things I felt were bigger than just ‘me’ – things I wanted to accomplish and contribute to in life, using my skills and profession.
So, I began my Second Time at helping kids grow up to be healthy adults since healthy teeth and gums contribute to healthy adulthood. Amazing how one of the biggest motivators of my life was something that could have killed me. (The Harp Flosser would have never been invented and realized if I didn’t have a Second Time on my side.) I thank God I recovered.
Looking at my new future, and this ‘best ever flosser concept’, I understood there would be a ton of sweat equity, investment, and Time to develop an Ultimate Flosser for Braces. BUT, NOT spending Time developing it would have been the biggest ache in my chest with pain of regret. I began…but this Time with a fierce focus on development.
After years of trial and error, clinicals and FDA approval, The Harp Ortho Flosser came to market! And it’s now doing everything I dreamed it would do – giving hygienists more Time chairside as they easily floss ortho patients, and getting kids to floss every day during their braces life, without all that Time, threading. No more unnecessary and 100% avoidable teeth-health issues like those white spots! My motivation for life has completely changed. I read a book by bestselling author, Philip Yancey, that forever continues to spark my Time to be used effectively and I paraphrase: “There’s never a time to give up when you’ve been given a second chance”.
While it’s rewarding and fulfilling to hear the comments, feedback and to personally witness the positive healthy outcomes we see each day from patients, professionals and kids at home who have started to use The Harp, my reward is reminding people about their Time!
What Time is it? What will you do with It? Spend it wisely serving others and as long as you live, Time will always be on your side. If you’d like to share your Time story with others on our Facebook Page, we’d be thrilled and we will honor you. It took a bit of Time for me to share this, so thank you for sharing yours too!
Be well, serve others and keep flossing,
Dr. Larry Caldwell
Have a Question for Dr. Larry Caldwell, Inventor of The Harp Flosser and Fast & Easy Flossing? Simply Reply to this email or call us! 800-495-2783 or email@example.com