Friday, October 28, 2011

Dental Care

Ever seen any material from comedian Mitch Hedberg?  It's hysterical to me.  None of his jokes flow but they are examples of some of the most accurate and funny observational humor I've ever heard.

I'm digressing's a quote of his...not his best ever, but pertinent to the subject of this post:

"People who smoke cigarettes, they say, 'You don't know how hard it is to quit smoking.' Yes I do.  It's as hard as it is to start flossing."  ~ Mitch Hedberg

Flossing.  We all know we should do it.  Some even do!  This past Monday, I went to the dentist's office.  It was my first visit to this particular practice and they have quite an extensively organized system for getting you through all the hoops that need to be jumped through before seeing the actual dentist himself.  After checking in at the desk (note to self: the office staff in dentists' offices always seem so happy and cheerful....possible future career move?), I was taken by Hygienist #1 to the xray room where we cleared up that pregnant people probably shouldn't be xrayed.  She then escorted me to an examination room.

The exam room was delightful.  They had flatscreen televisions mounted directly to the ceiling for patients to enjoy while they are in that reclined chair.  How lovely!  A few minutes later, Hygienist #2 came in to clean my teeth.  There was a little of the dreaded scraping with the mini pirate hook on the end of a metal stick but not too bad.  Nowadays, apparently, they use a tiny power washer to spray water all up in there to knock the nast from away from my teeth and gums.

As pleasant as this may sound, it hurt like hell.  I learned from the nice lady that one symptom of pregnancy is super sensitive gums, also known as "Pregnancy Gingivitis".  Awesome.  She finished up her work as gently as she could and gave me the usual speech about how super important it is to floss.  I had admitted that I do not floss regularly, although I do brush religiously.

Goodbye Hygienist #2, enter Hygienist #3.  Her role in this whole circus was to actually floss my teeth for me and then polish them.  Knowing that my gums were sensitive, she was very gentle with her flossing while, of course, shaming me for not being a regular flosser.

Finally, I got to see the dentist.  I made his job pretty easy because since there were no xrays to look at, he couldn't identify cavities (not that I think I have any) or anything else.  He basically got paid the big bucks to speak to me, again, about flossing.  He actually had additional information to share.  Apparently the infection associated with Pregnancy Gingivitis can lead to preeclampsia and pre-mature labor.

So, needless to say, the shame-filled flossing riot act read to me by the clown car of dental health care workers hit home.  Loud and clear, guys!  I'll start flossing!

So I've flossed every day since then.  I don't like regular floss.  It makes me feel like I have to stick both fists in my mouth to get the job done.  But I've found flossing piks to be amazing tools.

Flossing is still a chore but it is getting less and less uncomfortable every day.  And the amount of junk I am pulling out from between my teeth, even after good brushing, is grossing me out to the point that I WANT to floss.  Nasty.  

So it worked.  I'm a believer.  And apparently, according to Mr. Hedberg, if I ever took up smoking, I'd be awesome at quitting it.  

I think I'll just take his word for it.

Please floss.  And if you refuse to, don't go to my dentist because you'll get the floss speech three times by three different people.

Keep It Real!

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