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Mpls, MN, United States

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Toothiness

This morning I went to the dentist. The graduate student health insurance plan is actually pretty awesome, and includes two cleaning/check-ups per year. I haven't always been great about going; among other things, there's generally a daunting six- to eight-week lag before you can get in for an appointment. I somehow lucked out this time around, however; when I called in response to my postcard reminder, they offered an appointment date the very next week.

The last time I'd been in, in May, the very friendly, if not terribly thorough, hygienist told me I had "the cleanest mouth I've seen all day!" And today, I had the shortest dental exam I've ever had: the dentist did ask me if I'd been having any problems, but then looked in my mouth for all of maybe 30 seconds.

When I remarked on it to the hygienist, she said, "That's because everything looks so good in there!" Well, mostly good. There is some flattening, apparently, that suggests a bit of grinding (stress!), and which may account for some increased sensitivity recently. The hygienist gave me a sample tube of Sensodyne, and also encouraged me to use a fluoride rinse.

I said I didn't realize that fluoride was still beneficial for adults, but that I did remember my mom putting fluoride drops in our breakfast juice during the time we lived in Louisiana when I was a kid. The hygienist was impressed. She said, "You have a good mom!" Because I love telling people this, I added, "She even flossed our teeth for us when we were kids." (It's completely true. I can still remember lying on my back on her big bed while she flossed my baby teeth. When we were old enough to do our own, she used to say, "You only have to floss the teeth you want to keep.")

The hygienist was even more impressed. She said, "You should thank her! She's the reason you have such nice teeth now!" I said, "I do!" although, as she had her fingers in my mouth, it came out more like "Awww roo!"

However, it really can't be said too often: thanks again, Mom!

Oh, and there's one more place where credit is due: my toothbrush, pictured here (thanks to David, who was sure a picture must be taken of me next to the drying string lamp, even though I was in the middle of brushing my teeth). The hygienist asked me if I use an electric toothbrush, but as you can see, I don't. Several years ago, a friend told me about the Oral-B Cross Action toothbrush. She told me that she didn't floss, but that her dentist always thought she did since she'd been using this toothbrush.

With that endorsement, I bought one, and have never looked back. They've become increasingly fancy over the years (gum stimulators! oh my!), and I continue to love them. They're a bit more expensive than their flat-bristled cousins, but absolutely worth it: I can't imagine going back.

Here's to clean mouths!

4 comments:

Curly Sue said...

Aw, man. Now I feel guilty about not making an appointment.

Mumsie said...

Ahhh. I did one thing right!

Ern said...

You are so lucky. Loma Linda doesn't include dental in the student insurance. Even though THERE IS A DENTAL SCHOOL. Duh. Maybe I should floss more regularly...

CëRïSë said...

Leah, if you can, I say go for it! My teeth still feel all shiny.

Mumsie, you did so many things right! Thank you again!

And Erin, I am ridiculously lucky--and incensed, all over again, that you don't have dental coverage! If you do make it over to the dental school, I recommend Becca and Justin!