Wednesday, December 5, 2018


Horse showing front incisors. atliegilsson/RooM /Getty Images

I'm irrationally proud of my teeth right now.

11 years ago I had fourteen fillings in one sitting. I'd been a cavity-prone kid, and I'd been neglectful of my dental health in my early adulthood. I was taking advantage of my last month of solid dental insurance, and the dentist thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and give my whole mouth an upgrade—replacing my childhood fillings in every molar and premolar and filling a couple of new cavities, too.

When the novocaine wore off, I called my dentist to say my mouth hurt. "What can you compare the pain to?" he asked. 

"I had a baby last month, in my living room. This is about three times worse," I said. 

"Let's not do 14 fillings at once next time," he said. "Take Ibuprofen—and when you feel better, floss more."

I started flossing as soon as that headache wore off, and I never looked back. I now floss daily, and although I've skipped annual cleanings—visiting the dentist just three times this decade—I haven't had a cavity since. Today, I got a cleaning and x-rays for the first time in a couple of years and, once again, I'm cavity free. I also signed up for a care plan, so I can afford to get them cleaned again in June.

Thanks, teeth. I appreciate you. 

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