Monday, July 15, 2013

Murphy got me

There's a guy we all know and don't like and his name is Murphy. He has a bunch of laws. One of the most memorable for me is that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. And boy, didn't it.

A few months ago I had an appointment for my regular check-up at the dentist. Sadly I couldn't make it in time and had to cancel. My new job is very far away from my dentist. I rescheduled for late last month and showed up a week too early. Sigh. Big misunderstanding. Anyway, I had some time off coming up and I rescheduled again.

The assistant did my x-rays, and the dentist came in and did my cleaning and exam. I was proud of myself as it seemed I was flying through this dental appointment without a hitch. Then, at the end, came the news. I had cavities! Why didn't he tell me that at the beginning? He asked if I was flossing my teeth (well, not as much as I know I should). He also asked if I had been rinsing with mouthwash. Honest answer, not at all. I hate the mouthwash my husband likes because when I use it my mouth burns so much that I see stars! But we had talked about that last time and I didn't do anything much about it. After fighting my way through a bottle of alcohol-free stuff, I gave up.

Well, I should have. It's going to cost over $200 to repair the damage that was largely preventable. It's not that I can't afford it. It's just I hadn't budgeted for that and it didn't have to be this way!

I'm kind of embarrassed and definitely mad at myself. And I'm stamping my feet and saying "it's not fair". My husband brushes for half the time I do and seems to only remember to floss when he sees me flossing and yet he never has cavities!

However, I learned from this experience. The dentist suggested some techniques:

1. use a mouthwash that claims to prevent cavities and restore enamel. Even though the enamel restoration hasn't been proven long-term, for the short term it might help.
2. don't rinse with water after brushing. Allow the toothpaste to remain on  your teeth so they can absorb the fluoride.
3. brush for upwards of 3 minutes to give the teeth more exposure to the fluoride (I'm still working on this).

And next time, hopefully I can walk out of there with my wallet and my pride intact.