Once upon a time, there was this boy. His parents didn't particularly bring him to the dentist as a child, so he didn't totally know what good oral hygene was. He wasn't big with brushing his teeth either.
During his last two years of high school, his grandmother made him go to the dentist. This dentist was a very scary man. So scary that when he would clean the boy's teeth, there would be chunks of gum tissue in the rinse-spit. And that second visit with the scary dentist, there was a cavity that needed filling. The scary dentist didn't even let the Novocaine set in prior to drilling.
Terrified, the boy didn't go to a dentist for about eleven years. And during these eleven years, the boy became a man.
Then the man decided he didn't want to be paying for dental insurance if he wasn't going to use it. With this thoughts, the man decided he wanted to find a dentist. But the man was too scared to do this alone.
One fateful spring day, the man went out to dinner with a group of people from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance club through work. At this dinner, he started talking with this other gentleman who knew of this awesome dentist. He talked very highly of her and said he did a lot of research even before going to her. He mentioned that she also is "family" and suggested the man go see her.
A few days later, the man mustered up some courage and dialed the phone to her office. The man had mentioned I think I need an appointment, and the receptionist said "how's tomorrow sound?"
That terrified the man. He's been afraid of dentists for eleven years and they want to see him the next day. He asked for something later, and they suggested the following day. He said "You don't understand. Don't you have something three years from now? I'm terrified."
The receptionist laughed and said the latest she would go is the following Monday because the man would have to get over his fear. Reluctantly, the man agreed.
The fateful day of the following Monday came and he met the dentist. She seemed nice enough. She also seemed intent that the man needed to have some root planing done. The man had no idea what this was and was shaken up. The dentist noticed this, so she prescribed something to calm the man's nerves during the procedure, forcing him to beg for rides since it would be done two quadrants at a time.
The day of the first fateful appointment, the man came in terrified. He had taken his "calm down" meds, but it didnt' seem to help. He got in the scary chair and she said they would numb him up for the scaling to reduce the amount of pain the man had to go through. A couple pinches later and the man could have been punched in the face and not felt it. They started scraping and everything and the man tasted blood left and right. Could this be a repeat of the last fateful dentist appointment? Determined to be brave, the man allowed things to continue.
There was also counting happening. Lots of 5's were mentioned. 5's are really bad, the man was told. It's the gap between the gumline and the tooth. The man was at serious risk of having major problems if things weren't taken care of. Also, there were cavities.
Slowly, the man and his dentist worked to resolve all the cavities, but the man still wasn't doing a lot on his own to keep brushing (much less flossing). He wasn't accustomed to doing it on a regular basis, so he kept forgetting. And one of the cavities was so deep that a regular filling didn't resolve it. The man needed a root canal!
The man was TERRIFIED. He had heard horror stories of root canals. He cried for the few minutes his dentist was away, but he braved up. The dentist started the procedure by numbing the man. All the man felt was a little bit of pressure while the nerves were removed. It wasn't so bad afterall.
The man slowly decided that he wanted to continue to keep his teeth. And the dentist gave a plan on things the man may want to do in order to make his teeth look awesome. This plan, however, was contingent on his gums getting better. So she sent the man to an awesome periodontist to help things out.
A few visits back and forth and the man's teeth started to be better. "Extreme Makeover Dental Edition" he called it. The man also purchased a Sonicare toothbrush to try to help. The man finally got on a regimen to brush his teeth on a nightly basis, and that helped. The dentist and periodontist was seeing an improvement, but kept telling the man he needed to floss more. The man wanted to, but he never felt like he needed it.
One day at work, the man got into a discussion with a coworker of his as to who had the more awesome dentist. They both argued back and forth for about two minutes until they decided to ask each other who the other's dentist was. Turns out they both visit the same dentist (and hygenist).
Then the man's teeth and gums got to a point where his dentist said they could do Invisaligns. The man wanted to have his teeth straightened as they looked horrible, so he agreed that's what they would do once he had a Flexible Spending Account to pay for it.
In the spring of 2009, the man went to the dentist and got fitted for his Invisaligns. That was an adventure as the two spent almost three hours taking impressions. But they got them and sent the impressions off to the powers that be. After about two months, the man was approved for Invisaligns and trays were created.
With the Invisaligns, the dentist informed the man that he would need to floss more. Specifically because he would feel ANYTHING stuck between his teeth. "Great!", the man thought, "This will help me get myself on track!"
The first week of Invisaligns, the man got on a regimen of brushing AND flossing after every meal. He was pulling out huge chunks of food he didn't realize were getting stuck between his teeth. One day, he ate a Big Mac and it seemed a whole head of lettuce came out from between his teeth. But, he was doing pretty good!
Now, it was Wednesday, August 26, and the man had another appointment with his awesome dentist. He had been brushing and flossing diligently since his last visit. He was on his 8th Invisalign tray and everyone was anxious to see the progress with the teeth. His hopes were that it was going to be an easy appointment. He anxiously sat in the chair and joked with his awesome hygenist about a few things. Then he sat back and let her have a look.
She started poking and prodding. "All 3's", she said. THREES! The man was excited he had threes! He thought he might have better numbers if his teeth weren't moving with the Invisaligns. He wasn't going to press it, though. He'll sit and wait until next year to see if he could get to 2's.
Then she was scraping around his teeth. And then she was done. He didn't feel a lot of scraping happening and she said there was very little tartar on his teeth and she didn't have to do much and she was going to polish him up and get the dentist to take a look. So, polishing she went.
While the hygenist was out of the room, the man happened to look down at his bib. There was NO blood on it. This was the first time EVER that the man had ever been to a dentist and not seen any blood on the bib. At ALL. He was excited. Then when the dentist came into the room he joked he didn't think the hygenist really did anything since there was no blood on the bib. They all had a great laugh.
The boy left the dentist's office with a huge smile on his face knowing that not only has his oral hygene improved, but his teeth are looking awesome!
In case y'all didn't know, that boy/man in the story was me. I was SUPER-EXCITED at my appointment yesterday at the progress I made. I even jumped up and down and gave my hot lesbian dentist and awesome hygenist a HUGE hug! And I'm not quite where I want to be yet!
...Now, if only I could lose some pounds... I need to find some way to convince myself to get to the gym and eat more fruits and vegetables...