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Pride Goes Before the Dentures

I’m constantly lamenting the state of my appearance before falling out the front door to run errands.  With 3 kids in tow.

Fiddledaddy always makes me feel better about my situation by reminding me that we reside in Armpit, Florida, and he then calls after me with the parting thought, “WELL, AT LEAST YOU STILL HAVE ALL OF YOUR TEETH!”


I do have good teeth.  I’ll give him that.  I often boast how I’ve never had a cavity.  Despite growing up with a southern mother that served me iced tea so sweet that your spoon would stand straight up in the glass.

I have to give credit to good genes.  My mother had beautiful teeth, and didn’t have a cavity until she was well into her 40’s.  I remember it well.  I believe the dastardly cavity appeared at about the same time as she hit menopause.  While I was a bundle of teenaged hormones.

We were both an absolute delight to live with.

I went for my annual teeth cleaning today.  I looked forward to reclining in the faux leather chair while the hygienist fawned over my teeth.  As is the annual custom.

After presenting x-rays that were suitable for framing, she began praising my pearly off-whites.

But then she began the actual cleaning process.  I took note of the dismay in her audible sighs.  And the inquisition began.  Have you been flossing?

I had to admit that while I was once a champion flosser, the braces that I had to endure in late adulthood caused me to slack off from the nightly flossing ritual.

For five years.

I hung my head in shame.

She began with the tisk tisking and telling me what bad shape my gums were in.  And she told a dental joke about how the patient’s teeth were perfect, but the gums had to be replaced.


Only I couldn’t laugh because the PICK AX she was using to relieve my teeth of All The Plaque kept me immobilized.

She scraped and dug and tisk’ed some more, and when she mercifully finished, the dentist came in to see the damage.

I have Doogie Howser for a dentist.  I really wanted to ask him if he could drive yet, but I feared the sharp instruments that he was in possession of.

At about this time I glanced down at the blood spattered lobster bib protecting my shirt, and all I can say is that it was a good thing I was already lying down.

The hygienist made an appointment for me to come back next month FOR A DEEP CLEANING.  WITH AN ANESTHETIC OINTMENT.

Right on about the anesthetic.  But couldn’t I just be put under?

Not long after leaving, I discovered that nothing could touch my teeth without me yelping in pain.  Not even the neighboring teeth in my mouth.

Which made a liquid diet very desirable.  Perhaps something with a little bitty umbrella?  The rest of the family may need to exist on soup and porridge with me over the next few days.

Since I’m never one who likes to suffer alone.

I wish I could tell you that I’ve learned my lesson, and I’ll henceforth cease with all the bragging.  But, still, I’ve never had a cavity.

But then, menopause is right around bend.  Just about the time Emme hits adolescence….


17 Responses to Pride Goes Before the Dentures

  • I have a little secret that I must share. My sister shared it with me and I jumped on the bandwagon. They are called “Plackers.” I get the green mint ones from Walmart. These are little dental floss sticks. You just pull one out of the bag, floss and toss in the trashcan. I used to have the same dental experience you had but now, I promise, there is no blood and no pain!!! I do my little plaguer thing almost every day and it’s so easy and so convenient!!!! Don’t try another brand because they break and are a pain. These do not break and are just wonderful!! I promise you will get glowing reviews from your hygenist next time!!!

  • Loved it! So glad I found you!

  • Okay, now that was funny. I am a crazy brusher, like four or five times a day—but back off with the floss. I just won’t do it. Do you have a sonic toothbrush? That was like discovering gold for me when I first got mine, nothing like that “fresh from the dentist” feeling. Oh that’s right, that’s not a feeling I should be bringing up right now…..

  • Dee~
    Warm salt water, rinse often, I swear it helps!
    I have to tell you I giggled thru this post. My mother was a periodontal Hygienist(gum disease) my whole life. Having her clean my teeth was a nightmare…..lots of tears, her defense she was saving my gums. I only appreciate it now that I am 40!

  • I had this very procedure done earlier this year. It wasn’t too bad. I was glad I had my iPod ready with soothing tunes. That made my frayed nerves a bit better to not hear any banter, comments, or muffled groans of pain from nearby torture victims…I mean dental patients.

    Be prepared to come away sounding like “Fat Albert’s Mushmouth” when you are done. 🙂 Goobuhd luhbuhk!

  • Been there, done that…The way you described your dental visit, hmmm, was me about 5 years ago, or maybe more (I was 47-ish). I told my family I would never go to the dentist again, because I was in so much pain after my cleaning.

    And I did avoid the dentist for 5 years, until I chipped a molar last winter eating something chewy and gooey. The the chip got bigger. I ignored it. THEN, the dang thing got sore, as in an abscess, and I ignored it a little more. FINALLY after 6 months I went to the dentist Praise be, I had a new girl who had just joined the practice, and she was awesome. She said root canal or pull the tooth. I said “pull it out, PLEASE”. She did right then and there, followed with 10 days of amoxicillin. I was all better. Guess what, just chipped the same molar on the other side! And what am I going to do? Probably ignore it. My 25 dd just shrugs her head at me. Somewhere in this post-menaposal body is a scared little kid!

    I don’t understand it, before “The Change” I was tough as nails. Now I am a big chicken – c’est la vie. I sure did enjoy your post though!

  • Oh DeeDee. Funny, funny…but not so funny. Seriously though, do take your dental health seriously. I am finding myself in the same predicament. I am forty-five and have only had three fillings, but my gums are beginning to revolt because, I too, have laid off the flossing. In my years before children I was a dental assistant and I once assisted the doctor in removing 28 teeth (yes, all at the same time!) from a fifty year old man who had perfect teeth but his gums were so diseased that the bone had receded so badly that all his teeth were loose! No joke! HAPPY FLOSSING! 🙂

  • PS:

    I do not have 25 daughters, just
    “one” 25 year old daughter! And,
    I really think I spelled menopause wrong.

  • Oh my! I am sooo with you. Never had a cavity and floss? What is that stuff anyway? LOL

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh don’t tell anyone I spent 7 of the best years of my life in dentistry. Shhhhhhhhhhhhh.;)

  • I am terrified of the dentist. Like, so terrified that I did not see one from age 17 to age 25. And now, 2 kids, 1 Celiac diagnosis, 2 root canals and two broken in half molars later, I STILL hate the dentist.

    The only reason I saw the dentist back in Colorado is that he was GORGEOUS and always remembered to keep his tray of torture instruments out of my peripheral vision, as thoughts of them give me a panic attack.

    He also put a note in my chart for the oral surgeon that I was to only be offered general anesthesia for my wisdom teeth extractions.

    Take some Motrin before you go to that cleaning. What you felt today is about half of what a deep cleaning feels like. Not to scare you, just a warning, because no one told me before my first one!

  • Hate flossing. Won’t do it. I will say, I began using frou-four organic toothpaste (without all the chemicals) in the morning and baking soda at night, and my last 2 cleanings the hygienist has raved over my teeth. Seriously. Before that – EVERY TIME – she was like, “Why aren’t you flossing????” So I am sharing my little secret with you to keep the floss at bay. Floss is evil. 😉

  • Ugh, the dentist stresses me out!

  • Personnally, I think all dentist office’s should have nitrous oxide pumped into the waiting room.

    DeeDee, you are so funny. Sending you sympathy, and if you were here, the sympathy would have a little bitty umbrella in it.

  • One cleaning like that will make you floss for the rest of your life even if it takes 30 minutes to do it! I hate to get my teeth cleaned. But alas, I am a good girl and go every 6 months! May be a drink with a littly bitty umbrella in it before you go next time might help. Or two or three for six!

  • I have a Doogie Howser dentist too. In fact all my doctors look about 17. My dh says I say that about everytone since I hit 50.

    I created a Workbox Directory and added you to it. http://bit.ly/30ySEC

  • “we reside in Armpit Florida”
    My husband used to say we lived in ‘Butt Crack’ Florida (Ft. Pierce) 🙂 Funny. Only someone who moves to Fla. with small children can appreciate the challenges. Its a great place to vacation, not so much for living there.

  • LoL! I also live in ArmPit FL, but i do love it here, the winter is paradise…
    Anyway I have been using this floss/pick called Bryton Pick, works great with braces to. It’s reuseable and germ resistant, comes with a nifty carry pouch that you keep in your wallet….I find it handy after meals, i have a spot where food gets stuck and its really annoying. I’m sure some of you out there will find it very useful! thanks!