Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Pretty Sure My Mouth Is Filled With Little Calcium-Packed SuperHeroes

SUPERTOOTH - no plaque buildup too big to handle!
Growing up my parents didn't have dental coverage, so my memories of the dentist are faint given I wasn't there too often.  Once I hit about 9 years old, the dentist couldn't deny that braces were imminent.  If my parents were finding it challenging to afford regular dentist visits, the orthodontist only presented a larger financial burden - one they met with great sacrifice for themselves, I'm sure.  During my years of braces (twice), countless retainers (they seemed to find their way to the garbage a lot.), and some weird contraption that involved a lock and key to space my jaw, the dentist was something that was long forgotten.  I'm not sure if my parents thought the orthodontist did everything the dentist did, or if they just couldn't swing both - either way, the dentist's office was like a foreign country to me.  It wasn't until I was about 15 or 16 that I went back again.  No cavities were discovered, but the wisdom teeth were coming in and were a threat to the years of orthodontic work, so they had to go.  6 months later I'm in a chair for oral surgery at almost $300 a tooth for removal.  I struggled with this since life experience taught me that when you lose a tooth, you're the one who gets paid.  I never had to pay the tooth fairy to come rip the teeth out of my head - something was seriously wrong with this picture. 
It wasn't until just last week that I went back to the dentists office.  Now, after 10 years since my last visit, I lost track of my original dentist and had to start from scratch with a new guy - so I borrowed Ryan's.  I was a little nervous.  I'm not a flosser (despite a cautionary tale from my father-in-law last Christmas), and if I fall asleep on the couch, I'm not inclined to brush my teeth before going and crawling into bed for the night.  Since the last time in the chair, my soda and junk-food consumption has increased - all things which don't bode well for my cavity-free reputation.  When I get to the dentist's office, I'm asked to fill out a medical history document, which included questions such as:
Have you ever been told not to take drugs? "As a child I was often warned by parents and teachers "don't do drugs!".  I'm pretty sure they were high at the time, and just didn't want to have to share...  (This is what happens when you don't specify medical or recreational drugs)"
Does the dentist make you nervous? "When I wake up with my clothes undone Only when he finds out it's been 10 years since my last visit."

Dr. Dentist failed test #1-  upon reviewing my medical history I didn't hear a chuckle, nor did I get any kind of sarcastic remark about my antics, therefore no appreciation for my kind of humour.  Part of me felt a little bad about it since this guy was almost painfully nice.  He continuously apologized to me if he had to take a moment to make a note about his 'findings' (NOTE: I'm pretty sure these notes included something like "New patient would be better advised seeking mental health care as opposed to oral health care", and "Do not stick fingers past the tooth line - she looks like a biter."), he also apologized when cleaning my teeth for merely doing his job.  See?   Painfully nice.

Dr. Dentist then failed test #2 when he complimented me on my flossing habits - to which I informed him that I don't have any such thing (after which he apologized...).  Okay, so this wasn't actually a fail - you can't fail someone for giving you a compliment on your lazy oral hygiene...that's just bad manners. 

So I get in the chair and he starts taking a look around at all my teeth, making nice little comments here and there about what great shape they were in.  At this point I'm kind of loving this guy because I was a little worried that after 10 years of plaque buildup, I was going to be in trouble.  I envisioned my teeth were looking something like this:

After about 30 minutes of pick-axing my teeth with his little tooth-hammer, he pulled out the fluoride and the little tooth-sander.  This was the part I remembered liking about the dentists' as a kid - getting to choose my fluoride flavour!  Dr. Dentist failed test #3 when he used some generic fluoride without consulting me.  It was not pleasant.  About 15 seconds in I was so eager to spit this stuff out that I took the reigns on the little spit-sucker they use and started vacuuming my mouth until I was allowed to go spit.  But when all was said and done, I left with a mouth that looked like this:

I walked away maintaining my cavity-free status.  My plaque free superteeth were rejuvenated and ready to start another battle.  Maybe I'll let this one last a little less than 10 years though....


Kelly said...

At least you got to go to a real orthodontist and not the DENTAL SCHOOL at UWO.

Anonymous said...

I've been missing you so I thought I would check the Loony bin only to discover I was laughing out loud to myself and now missing you and your awesomeness even more.....come north!!

love, S. (AKA wawa-lover)