Lady Tip #6: Go to the Dentist

1 May

Welcome to Ladyville is a safe space, right? A place where we can share our deepest secrets and fears? A place where we can admit that, up until last week, it had been six years since we’d visited a dentist?

Wait, what? Yes. You read that right. I hadn’t visited a dentist for six whole years. Let’s back up and explain, although really there is no explanation.

I had a great childhood, all things considered. But mouth-wise, I had the worst childhood ever. I had Bad Teeth, or, more accurately, a Bad Jaw. I had an underbite until I had it surgically corrected at 18, which is probably something I will talk about in a later post (or for the rest of my life in therapy. Whatever). What this meant was that I spent a lot of time in the dentist’s, orthodontist’s, and oral surgeon’s chairs. Halfway through college, post-braces, I had to cancel my twice yearly dentist appointment for some reason or another. Inexplicably, I never made another one. I just stopped going. In a way, I felt like I’d spent so much time at the dentist already, I didn’t really need to keep going. This, as it turns out, is very poor reasoning.

After college, when I was payin’ my billz myself, I didn’t have health insurance for awhile, so I kept not making an appointment. But then I did get insurance, and I still didn’t go to the dentist. I was scared, you guys! I’d put it off for so long I was worried something might be really wrong. Maybe I had a cavity? My entire childhood, I never had a cavity, which I guess was God’s way of throwing me a bone. Like, “Your mouth has suffered enough. I’m not going to make you deal with cavities, too.” I was convinced that my 6 year dental absence had caused a mouthful of problems.

So, last week, I finally went. I was super scared that the dentist would be like, “Ma’am, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you broke your mouth and I need to remove all of your teeth immediately.” Actually what happened was that the dental hygienist told me, “I wouldn’t recommend most people go this long without visiting the dentist, but you take very good care of your teeth.”

Guys, I am so awesome at brushing and flossing that the dental hygienist complimented me. And I still don’t have cavities, although I have to have some sealants put on to avoid cavities in the future. So don’t be like me and avoid the dentist for 6 years. Take care of your teeth! It’s super important. The dental hygienist told me that regular fluoride treatments prevent gum damage. Don’t mess around with gum damage! Go the the dentist!

Image via TFD

3 Responses to “Lady Tip #6: Go to the Dentist”

  1. Sally (@unbravegirl) May 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    I avoided the dentist when I was in my early twenties for a really long time — mostly because I didn’t have insurance and then because I was living in rural Brazil where the idea of going to any healthcare professional was not exactly appealing to me.
    Things didn’t work out so well for me when I finally went back — probably because I didn’t really believe in floss at the time. The first dentist I went to told me I’d probably need 6 root canals but he wouldn’t be sure until he “went in there.” These are not words you want to hear. Ever. I ended up going back to my childhood dentist who told me I only needed 2 root canals… and since then I’ve had 2 more. It hasn’t been fun.
    So, yeah, go to the dentist, people. And flossing is for real.

  2. Lucy May 2, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    Haven’t gone to the dentist in almost two years, eek! I’m so not looking forward to it, sigh.

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