The truth about tooths...teeth?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Confession: As an adult, I have been a little lax in the oral hygiene department, a.k.a. I haven't been to the dentist for a non-emergency visit* in at least three years. Add that to the fact that I'm a very crappy flosser and it's kind of a miracle I have a tooth left in my head.

This morning, I went to get my chompers polished up, and it was totally embarrassing. First of all, the dental hygienist kept asking probing and intimate questions that completely invaded my personal space, such as "When did you last have a checkup?" and "How's your flossing?" (Answers: "Before I hit puberty" and "What's flossing?")

She then proceeded to scritch and scratch crap off my teeth for what felt like a full workday, informed me that I'm "a grinder" (hey now, we just met! don't judge me) and made me promise to come back in six months like a responsible adult with full dental insurance coverage should.

And here's the thing: in spite of turning into Bleeding Gums Murphy in the dentist's chair as years' worth of plaque were sandblasted off my teeth, I still dozed off. Somewhere between the lecturing and the scraping, I lulled myself into thinking I was at the spa. I was completely relaxed. Dare I say...I enjoyed the dentist?!

I left with a new toothbrush and a new vow: to floss my teeth at least once every day, no exceptions. It doesn't matter if I'm drunk, exhausted, or just plain lazy. I am inspired to be one of those tooth people. The kind with big, wide, gleaming white smiles who use fancy mouthwashes every morning and night. That's the new plan.

*Two years ago, my one filling popped out in my bubblegum and I was left with this gross hollow tooth. I went to the dentist to get it refilled right away. The dentist asked what I'd had for lunch to pull it out. "Bagel and soup," I said. "DID YOU HAVE GUM?" she demanded. SHE KNOWS EVERYTHING! I can't lie to the dentist...she knows all!

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  1. Don't forget that you have to brush for a strict TWO MINUTES TWICE A DAY!! /shakes finger.

    Seriously, do you realize!?! how long 2 minutes is when you're doing something like brushing your goddamn teeth? UGHGHGHGH.

  2. I'm just thinking about all the extra time I'm going to need to allocate in the morning and at night...gaaaaah!

  3. I fell asleep during a root canal. I don't know if that means my dentist is just that good or I need to get to bed earlier. The thing I do know...$900 later and I have brushed 2x's a day, flossed every night and used mouthwash after ever was enough to scare the s**t out of me.

    P.S. I lost a filling while eating a starburst going 90 down the freeway.

  4. The first two paragraphs are me exactly.
    I even went to dentist just recently and was told not only the grinder thing, but was called a mouth breather.
    And they wonder why i don't want to come back....

    Ps. Flossing isn't REALLY that important, is it? It really really creeps me out. Really.

  5. I am seriously surprised that you weren't in more pain!!!!

    When I went to the dentist after avoiding her for 3 years, and NOT flossing (like you) but brushing... they sliced my gums, I bled all over, and it HURT LIKE HELL

    Now, I force myself to floss as much as I can, to remind myself of the pain I went through when I didn't.

    P.S. if you use those $20 chargeable toothbrushes that you put into a holder by Braun, it vibrates when your 2 minutes are up -- so you will never under brush.

  6. LOL!! I'm the same... I go for checkups once every... five years?? And it's ALWAYS Bleeding Gums Murphy!! Maybe that'll be one of my resolutions for next year...

  7. I left with blood on my jeans after my last check-up. RIDIC.

  8. Amy - FYI I gave you a blog award today! See here:

  9. @redbullfanatic i can imagine...i don't ever want to go through that!

    @red a mouth breather?!? how can they TELL!?

    @FB my mouth was bleeding like crazy too :(

    @emily she kept having to suck the gore out with the little sucky tube. horrendous!

    @ben that's gory!

    @kim thank you :)

  10. Ugh, Flossers totally annoy me! My husband is a flosser ... actually flosses after eating EVERYTHING!! I consider myself a pretty disciplined person, but can never seem to keep up the flossing.

    Also, I spoke with a good friend of mine the other day, who is also a Flosser (why are all my friends such dental dorks?), and she just had to have a root canal, despite flossing and brushing her teeth twice a day!!

    So, maybe it isn't worth all the hassle afterall?

  11. I fall asleep at the dentist too! Somehow the awkwardness of someone getting all up in my grill (as Nelly puts it) is completely lost on me...

  12. lol,

    funny post,

    You see its not that were trying to invade your personal space or anything like that, maybe we just care and try to educate and motivate you to take better care of your health :)

    great insights