Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Decade Three: My Teeth
I don't want to give too much away with the title of this post, but let's just say I came up with a new slogan for myself today.

A goal of mine throughout my recent past several years has been to make it to the age of 30 without any cavities. Impossible, you say? Well, let me tell you my story.

To acheive my goal of being cavity-free until at least the age of 30, I have spent the last several years going through a vigorous dental routine, including not going to the dentist, brushing once, sometimes twice a day, never flossing, and using the Oral B electric toothbrush at MOST a dozen times a year.

Until today, I had not gone to the dentist in at least 5 years. I lost track, so it could very well be longer than that.

The last time I visited my regular dentist, I received my usual excellent rave review. I am usually in and out in 30 minutes or less, including x-rays and cleaning. My last visit put me on the dentist's favorites list, favorite for good hygiene, never having had a cavity, and being an easy patient. This did not earn me any money or prizes, but I like to be on the A-List whenever possible.

Don't get me wrong, I hate going to the dentist. I especially hate the crunchy toothpaste that leaves crunchy particles on my teeth for the rest of the day. But, I usually leave the dentist's office with a sense of accomplishment, having no cavities and making my dentist proud.

The funny thing is, I don't know where I got such good teeth. My parents (God love them both) were not blessed with strong, pearly whites. Words like "cavity", "root canal", "crowns", and "dental torture" come to mind when thinking of their teeth. I seem to have somehow NOT inherited the bad teeth gene.

Sure, as a kid I had horribly crooked teeth that required years of braces and whatnot. I've had my wisdom teeth pulled. But when it comes to healthy teeth, I've always had amazing teeth.

I repeat, I have NEVER had a cavity.

So, after I finished my last awesome dental visit somewhere around the age of 25, my dentist did warn that although I have so far had really great teeth, as I get older and probably by the next few visits to the dentist, I will begin to have cavities.

I took this as a challenge. I will make it to age 30 WITHOUT any cavities. I will prove him wrong.

I then proceeded to not take any more special care of my teeth than I ever did before. But I figured if I don't ever go back to the dentist for him to tell me I have a cavity, and if I wait until after I turn 30, I will accomplish my goal of being cavity-free at the age of 30.

This is what I have done.

Fast forward to this month, I learn at work that I have a lot of flex-spending money to use up before I lose it in the next few months. I am advised to visit lots of doctors and... the dentist, to use up this money.

Fine. I will go to the dentist. But not until AFTER I turn 30.

I turned 30 two days ago, and today I went to the dentis.

Over the weekend I was sure to brush my teeth a lot with the Oral B. My standard routine before I visit a dentist is to rediscover good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing the heck out of my teeth starting a few days before my appointment. Somehow I believe this truly rids my mouth of months, nay years of tooth funk that I would not want my dentist to see. I also believe this magically heals any cavity that may be lurking in there, which I also do not want my dentist to discover.

Kids, don't try this at home. Brushing and flossing thoroughly for three days before a trip to the dentist does NOT make up for months or years of poor dental hygiene. Unless you are me.

Today, I got up early for the first dentist appointment of the day, at a brand new dentist that I chose at random out of my insurance book. I had a fair amount of confidence that I would continue on without having any cavities after today. But I also had a fair amount of anticipation that today could be the day that my first cavity would be discovered by this new dentist. And not only would it be one cavity, but it would have about 18 cavity friends.

I would deserve it. I've been careless with my teeth cleaning routine. I haven't been to the dentist in years. I had all the classic indicators that I was due for a cavity, including a cocky attitude and sense of boastfulness about my lack of cavities to this point in my life. Friends, family, and co-workers insisted that I would have cavities this time around.

I dreaded getting to work today and having to report that yes, Miss Cavity-Free finally has a cavity. Her teeth are no longer amazing. She is no longer unique. Her mouth is just like everyone else's.

The dentist poked around. X-rays were taken. Scraping took place. Crunchy toothpaste was used. Flouride was swished around. And after about 25 minutes when all was said and done he said....

"Everything looks good to me. See you next time."

Yeah, in like another FIVE YEARS, dude!!!


I cannot tell you how excited I am about achieving this goal. I have been floating on air today. This means that even though I didn't go to the dentist for like, 5 years, I still had no cavities during that time, and I didn't have to pay anyone to tell me that. And today it only cost $5! That's like, $1 per year for good teeth!

One of two things is true in this situation:
1. This new dentist sucks and couldn't recognize a mouth full of cavities if it came with a cavity-themed parade.


2. My teeth are just really ridiculously awesome. They are like super heroes and should be given capes and a theme song and they will fly around with their capes, but they won't really save anyone or anything from bad stuff because they are just teeth. Just exceptionally marvelous teeth.

I like #2 best.

My new slogan that I thought of after I left the dentist is:

Decade Three, Cavity-Free!

To all of you who didn't believe in me and who now hate me because I just have really, really ridiculously good teeth, I am going to go eat cake now, then go to bed without brushing my teeth.


PS: Because I am so boasty about my teeth, I will probably be stricken with 108 cavities tomorrow. But I can't help it. I'm just really excited to be 30 and cavity-free.

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