I’m not afraid to admit that I hate going to the dentist. I never really liked going, but my hatred of the dentist started in 8th grade. The Dr. was filling a cavity and didn’t wait for the novocaine to kick in, so I felt the whole thing. That sealed the deal, and I never went back. My wisdom teeth came in, and they weren’t crooked or sore, so I just ignored them.
Until last year, that is. The molar with the filling broke after getting a raspberry seed stuck in it. I waited about two years… then finally couldn’t stand it anymore and went to get it fixed. Then I decided that it was time for a cleaning.
As a teacher, I have great insurance. It’s one of the real benefits of my job, and I have full dental coverage. I decided it’s ridiculous to fail to take advantage of my insurance, so I made a cleaning appointment. I was afraid of what I’d find out when I went. I had images in my mind of having to go back for filling after filling.
Turns out, thanks to genetics or frequent flossing… I have no cavities. I do, however, grind my teeth. Here I was, thinking I handle stress perfectly fine, don’t worry, and don’t particularly get nervous. Turns out, I do it subconsciously or in my sleep. If it doesn’t get better, she says, I may need to wear a mouth piece at night or I could wear away my jaw bone and lose my teeth or something.
The dentist came in to check my teeth. He said “You still have your wisdom teeth?” And I replied “Yes and I’m keeping them.” All he had to do was mention pulling the teeth and I’d never go back! Fortunately, he said I just need to keep them clean and they’ll be fine. Good.
All in all, I guess it wasn’t so bad. My gums are “weak” which I guess means they bled a lot. Now I have this rubber pokey thing I’m supposed to use on them everyday. We’ll see how realistic that is.
So I suppose the moral of the story is that I should suck it up and not be afraid of getting my teeth cleaned. I also shouldn’t take my insurance for granted. With so many people in need of health care, I should appreciate the great coverage that I have and use it.