A Kick In The Teeth…

Hitherto A Fortnight
It’s been two full weeks of no caffeine and no soda for me. The cravings are gone, with mornings being rough only based on the amount of sleep I got. All I miss is having something else to drink during the day besides water. Now if only I can burn off this weight.

Along with that benchmark, I had my first dental appointment in two and a half years. Just a cleaning, but I haven’t been since I moved to the Midwest permanently. I walked in not knowing the clinic (I just picked the one nearest to my house) and knowing that I was in for a rough time.

So I was totally thrown when the hygienist told me that I am a good flosser.

What the hell? Really? Granted, I went through most of my youth avoiding flossing, partly due to never building the habit because I had braces, and partly because I was a lazy fool. But since trying to woo my wife, I started flossing. And I found the best trick: flossers. I whip out one flosser in the morning and don’t have to worry about stuffing my fingers and losing my grip on strands of floss. Boom, done, on to the mouthwash.

The benefit of the once a day flossing? I didn’t bleed when the hygienist tore into my tartar. I was a little sensitive in some parts, but she was kind enough to keep checking that I was okay since I admitted at the start that it had been so long. She initially told me that I can take ibuprofen, but later said that my gums are in great shape. I’m living pain-free tonight because I floss daily. There’s your lesson there, kids.

I didn’t get off scot-free, however. So much tarter buildup did erode my enamel, so I have a couple of soft spots. No full-blown cavities, but places where the dentist will be filling in next week. However, I got some good advice on what to do to rebuild my enamel.

Bust out lots of fluoride. That’s the extent of it. Get Act fluoride rinse, use it before bed, it’ll help. And just use normal Crest or Colgate. The whitening? The tartar control? All marketing. And tonight, looking on the backs of boxes: the extra stuff usually means less fluoride. I replaced all my stuff with the highest active ingredient amounts possible. I’m now nerdily excited to keep my teeth in perfect shape.

Lastly, I think I really lucked out on a place to go. I liked the staff. They were really welcoming and very professional at the same time. And really good. I felt the hygienist and the dentist were good and thorough, and I really appreciated being talked to about what was going on in my mouth as the hygienist was working. My learning-is-a-drug mind dug it.

Off to brush and go to bed.