So, you know how when you move it can take you awhile to get into the swing of your new community? Things like figuring out where the grocery store, the dry cleaner and the post office are happen right away. Finding a pediatrician, when you have six kids, follows shortly after. Inevitably, however, some things lag behind. Such as finding a dentist.
I am ashamed to admit that it has been nearly two years since I have been to the dentist. I went regularly before we moved but just haven't dealt with finding a new dentist down here. I took the kids to their old dentist last summer for checkups when we were in town for bible camp, and this only further reduced my urgency to take care of this detail of our new life.
In the last month or so, Julia has been complaining of a toothache, so I finally had to get my act together and find a dentist. I asked people for recommendations and finally settled on a family dentist rather than the pediatric/adult dual dentist situation I had up north. Simplify, simplify! Anyway, in making the appointment for Julia I figured I had better get myself taken care of too and since I had already picked a dentist for us all, I had no further excuses.
Now, I figured I would need a little work. A thorough cleaning. A repair of a chip in some old bonding. An old silver filling that looked as if it had seen better days. But since I take pretty good care of my teeth by flossing regularly and using a sonicare toothbrush, I was in no way prepared for what his high-tech tooth camera made very clear, even to my untrained eyes: my teeth are a mess!
I need--now brace yourself--two crowns and 12 fillings. Yes, I did say 12. As in a dozen. I really should be too embarrassed to admit this in a public forum, but since becoming a mother I have no pride left, so what the hey.
It would be my inclination to believe this new dentist was exaggerating my need for dental work in an effort to fill his pockets, but I could not ignore the visual evidence. I myself could see large fractures in two molars, hairline fractures in two more. These teeth are just waiting for the crunchy tidbit that will split them in half. The old silver fillings were literally crumbling and I could see the dark pits of cavities in previously healthy teeth. To top this off, I need some sort of special deep cleaning to repair the gum damage I did in letting my teeth go uncleaned for so long.
I asked the dentist if this was some sort of record, and he said, to my chagrin, that my teeth weren't bad at all compared to some he had seen. How scary is that?! He further "reassured" me by saying that my teeth were simply aging along with the rest of me. Soothing, that comment was, let me tell you.
At any rate, he and I are about to become good friends, I'm afraid. Just how I wanted to spend my summer...in the dentist's chair.
Now doesn't this make you want to go and brush?