Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Dentist

What does the dentist have to do with running? Well I figure running keeps my body healthy and going to the dentist keeps my teeth healthy, right?

Since I was a little girl I've always hated anyone touching my teeth. My dad used to pull my sisters' teeth out when they got loose enough but when it came to me... all it took was one TERRIBLE incident and they took me to the dentist from then on.

I don't like dentists, either. Not that they're mean malicious people or anything, but the things they do to my mouth are unforgivable. My dentist is actually a very nice man who smiles a lot and says things like, "You're doing great!" And I know it's not his fault that I have 17 layers of coffee stains and a billion cavities, but I still can't bring myself to pretend like I'm glad to see him. Maybe if I bumped into him at Walmart I'd be friendly and make conversation, but when I'm sitting in that chair leaned all the way back listening to the "bzzzzzzzzz" of the drill he's using on my sensitive teeth, I just can't bring myself to enjoy his company.

So it really may be no surprise to anyone that I've avoided going to the dentist for three years. I blamed it on "insurance" but, let's be honest, I just really hate going. There has never been a time in my life when I went to the dentist and didn't have any cavities. Then last year I had no choice but to go--my tooth was causing me some excruciating pain and I ended up having a root canal. It was a sad day!

Well I finally took out some dental insurance because I knew if I didn't go soon they were going to have to give me dentures before I'm 30. So I went at 8:00 this morning. It took them an hour and a half to clean my teeth. She kept saying, "I know it hurts but your teeth are just so stained... Do you drink coffee?" Like I was going to be able to answer with her hand in my mouth, but she understood what my opened mouth "Uhhhhuuuhhh" meant: Yes, I do drink coffee and I have no intentions of ever stopping, thank you very much.

The entire time she was in my mouth digging and banging and scrubbing and scraping into my teeth, I kept wondering if it was really worth it. So what if my teeth do fall out? I love mashed potatoes and chicken noodle soup. But when she was all done she smiled really big and said, "You're going to see a major difference in the color of your teeth!" and then handed me a mirror. Holy mackerel  my teeth were actually almost white! It was a miracle! I mean yes, it's a couple of hours since I left and my teeth and gums still hurt (from a simple cleaning, remember), but I guess maybe it is worth it after all.

So what's next? Well, I have eleven cavities (I'm embarrassed to admit, but it is the truth after all) and I need 4 crowns on teeth that are just about to fall apart. She said it may take a few years to get all the work done that I need BUT (and this is the thing I was actually excited about) I don't have to have a deep cleaning done! Woohoo! As badly as a surface- no-shots-or-laughing-gas-required cleaning hurt, I can't imagine how painful a deep cleaning would be! Sadly for my husband, he had to have one. Today. They've done half his mouth and said they'll do the other half another time. Poor guy. But, he doesn't have nearly as many cavities as me so I guess we're even, right?

All I have to say is: Our poor children don't stand a chance.

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