After the double root canal debacle from this summer, I thought I would dedicate a whole blog post to my teeth. No, I still haven’t gotten crowns for them yet due to the fact that not only are they insanely expensive, but I decided against getting it done in India. I want to go back to my childhood dentist and pay insurmountable fees for peace of mind. I worry about my teeth everyday, especially right before going to bed after another night of forgetting to floss. I also worry that at 31 years old I don’t have dental insurance and am still paying off the double root canal every month from a maxed out credit card. Perhaps a massage would help, but I don’t have health insurance either. Okay, let’s not go down a rabbit hole of negativity (saving that for another blog post).
It all started when I was 12 and needed braces since my teeth were so mangled my bone structure was affected. So, of course we went through family referrals and found a new orthodontist who had just opened an office and was accepting cash for braces. Normally braces costs $5000, an acceptable price for 3 and a half years of hell, pain and monthly tightening appointments. I saw my dad pay the orthodontist $2000 cold hard cash, it was like out of a mafia movie. “Will work for straight teeth”.
So alas, 3.5 years later I had straight teeth and permanent retainers to remind me forever of the ordeal. But over the years, I’ve had countless cavities probably due to my sour candy phase of life which lasted a few years. During a co-op term in Ottawa working for Health Canada one of my back teeth rotted out and so I had to get it completely pulled. Now, I have one less tooth (not including my 4 wisdom teeth which were also removed). Anyway, good riddance, I barely used that back tooth anyway.
A lot of this could have been avoided if I was ever told to floss my teeth or brush more than once a day. You see, I was never told as a kid to do so. I realized that now, as I watch my barely 2 year old nieces learn to brush on cute little tooth brushes. Obviously, they’re too young to actually brush, but they’re getting into the nightly habit to do so. Of course, something you learn so young will stay with you for life, it’ll just become second nature. It’s one of the things that I wish my mom had told me to do, but I don’t think she even knew to tell me, so I don’t blame her. When I was around 8, my mom began enforcing the nightly brush and floss rule after a stern visit from the dentist but not hard enough as it didn’t stick.
So where does this leave me? Well, I’m still trying really hard to make flossing and brushing at night a habit, which I think comes with living a life of structure and routine which I hope to introduce to my life in the new year. It also makes me realize that healthy teeth and general health are more important than anything. It’s more important than love, relationships, money and work. Because without great health, you have none of these things.
Am I the only one who was never taught to floss and brush at night?