Avoid The Dentist: Take Good Care Of Your Teeth!
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Look After Your Dental Health!
I hope you're looking after those precious teeth of yours. Tell me you floss and brush on a regular basis, and stay away from the naughty old sweeties! Isn't it funny how these things only come home to us as being really important, when they're actually imperilled? I speak as one who knows. Although I've always taken (just about, barely) adequate care of my teeth, I really only woke up to the 'barely adequate' section of that assertion recently. To be specific, when my teeth started to get a bit wobbly in the gums, and there was just the odd twinge of achey discomfort that suggested to me that all was not well in the state of my mouth.
I tried ignoring it for the longest time. Well, ignoring it, combined with random, dilatory and excessive home treatments. Salt water rinses! Brushing with salt! Brushing with baking soda! Vitamins. More vitamins. (After all, there's a documented connection between dental health and diet, according to at least some authorities.1 Well, while you're in the womb, anyway, regarding development. And for your gums and tooth enamel, even later.) Calcium, tahini, zinc, oysters, ginger, flossing all the live-long day. New toothbrushes, new toothpastes, halfway to living on fruit and fish and veg. (But avoiding apples. No chewing on nasty hard challenging apples.)
Everything, that is, except the nuclear option: making an appointment with the damn dentist.
No, not that! Anything but that! Because once you do that, then you've made it real. It's a real problem, and it's not going to go away without, ooh, who knows? Fillings? Braces? Dentures?
Dammit. Sometimes you have to just bite the bullet and do what has to be done. But my ever-present hypochondria was certainly in overdrive until the day of my appointment came around. Grinding my teeth at night to test bite and stability, stopping when it only seemed to be making matters worse... Continued futile tinkering with diet and supplements, and general out of control anxiety and age-related concerns took over my life. Wrinkles, that's one thing. Eighteen year olds have wrinkles! Grey hair, slightly less acceptable, but inevitable. But false teeth, no way, that's for the old codgers!
How about when my actual dental appointment came up? Well, did I feel a fool. Apparently my teeth and gums are 'rock-solid' and, ahem, it's entirely possible to convince yourself that all your teeth are about to fall out. That is, if you're a raging hypochondriac and therefore massively annoying to all medical professionals. Having previously convinced myself that I had liver disease, thyroiditis and a septic eyeball, (sequentially rather than in tandem) perhaps this option should have previously occurred to me. Relief, huh?
Of course, that was just the good news. The other news involved the swiftly conveyed information that I was due for five lovely, invasive, physically uncomfortable fillings. Oh joy! Still, better than what I'd been expecting, right? Certainly better than what I'd anticipated during the check-up: it had been so long since my last dental examination, I'd forgotten that each tooth has a separate identification, and as the dentist called out each one during his examination of my dentiture, I'd thought... Well, I'd thought each one was a potential filling! That is, that I was due about twenty or thirty fillings, not five...
So, good news all around right? And all I can say to you is... take good care of your teeth! And go see your dentist on a regular basis! And don't be a hypochondriac!
1. P Moynihan and PE Petersen. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of dental diseases. Public Health Nutrition. 7(1a). February 2004, pages 201-226
Toothy Links For You!
- Brazilian Oral Research - Effect of vegetable oil (Brazil nut oil) and mineral oil (liquid petrolatu
- Turquoise Dreamin; A blog about inspiration (YES YES YES!!! My dentist gave me a 25 dollar...)
- Coffee may offer a form of dental care « Blah, Blah, Blog
The saying may have to be changed to “a cup of coffee a day can keep the dentist away.” Wired Magazine recently published an in-depth look into the ingredients in a cup of coffee and one of the elements had something to do with dental care. Trigonell
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