Friday, August 12, 2011

I got a cavity

Back when my pearly whites
 were pearly white.
It has been about twenty two years since my last cavity.  I remember my brother, who came through his appointment with a clean slate, laughing at the irony.  By his own admission, I brushed my teeth ten times as much as he did, but I still was the one to get the cavity.  Now, here I am, with my luck run out again.

Maybe it was the pregnancy cravings – too much sweet tea and cheddar chex-mix?  Maybe it was the bleary-eyed days when I couldn’t remember if I’d brushed or not?  Maybe it was hormones that weakened my enamel?  Or maybe I was just due.  Whatever it was, I’m scheduled to go back for a drill-n-fill in a couple weeks and I’m not thrilled about it.

The long decades without a cavity had me thinking I might make it into old age with my teeth intact.  I’ve heard that a healthy smile can make you look as much as ten years younger, and that dentures make it hard to enjoy kiwi.  Both are good motivators toward attentive brushing.  But maybe it’s the vanity that’s my problem.  Did I focus too much on keeping my front teeth polished and neglected my molars?

Now I have these paranoid images in my mind of premature tooth loss.  If one tooth could fall prey, maybe there are others that might go down like dominoes.  What do dental implants cost, because I can just see myself, seducing my husband with a coy smile, only to slip my teeth into a jar by the bed before climbing in.  Even if I stay on my current rate of tooth decay, I’m ruining one tooth every other decade…when you multiply that by the inevitable depreciation of basic use, my lifelong nighttime grinding, and the occasional loose filling or accidental chip, I could be completely toothless by the time I’m 80!  What then?  I don’t want to be scaring the grandkids away with my rotten, toothless smile!

Maybe I should start flossing.  Maybe I should brush more.  Maybe I should give up sugar.  Why can’t we be like sharks and have another tooth standing at the ready?

Your teeth are whiter than sheep freshly washed; they match perfectly, not one is missing. Song of Solomon 6:6

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