I have a cavity and I’m appalled. I haven’t had a cavity for years.
Granted it’s tiny (the hygienist’s word) and the dentist said that it was inevitable (no, really. He said that because of the way my teeth slightly overlap a cavity in this particular spot was inevitable), but I still feel dirty, like I never brush my teeth.
I do brush my teeth. At least twice a day. And I use a lot of mouthwash, sometimes the kind with fluoride and sometimes the kind that tastes like Lysol, or at least how I imagine Lysol might taste.
But I don’t floss. Or I only floss the week or so before a dentist appointment.
I hate flossing. It’s gross. You stick a piece of string between your teeth and it comes out covered in slimy goo and little bits of food.
Mint floss makes a little better, but not much.
I have a battery flosser that’s good because you don’t have to stick your hands in your mouth, but they stopped making them and I’m afraid to use it too often because it might die and then I’d have to go back to regular old floss.
So tomorrow I have to get a tiny filling for my tiny cavity.
Other than the stigma of having a cavity I don’t really mind. I’m not one of those people who is afraid of the dentist. I think that’s because my childhood dentist was named Doctor Butz and who can be scared of someone with “Butts” for a last name.
My current dentist looks like Groucho Marx and I can never remember his real name so I call him Doctor Bowtie. Not to his face, of course. Just on my calendar.
Tomorrow Doctor Bowtie is not only going to fill my tiny cavity, but he is going to fit me for a night guard.
Yes, I have a cavity and I grind my teeth.
I’ve always ground my teeth. I hold all my tension in my jaw and neck and so teeth grinding feels kind of good.
I even catch myself grinding my teeth during the day. Doctor Bowtie told me that’s bad, if I grind during the day the pressure at night is probably 3 times greater. Or ten times, I can’t remember which.
So for years he’s wanted me to get a night guard. Before I wear my teeth down to nubs.
I’ve resisted. First because I can’t imagine sleeping with something in my mouth. And second because it’s $200 and not covered by insurance.
It’s not that I can’t afford $200. I just have better things to spend my money on. Like a Nook or a new iPhone. I have my priorities.
Also, I haven’t had a cavity so the only reason I go to the dentist is for a cleaning, which means I only see Doctor Bowtie for two minutes.
That’s not enough time to for a mouth guard fitting.
But since I’m getting a filling he said it would be easy to do it. He’s going to be in my mouth anyway, after all.
So I gave in, said “fine, fit me for a stupid mouth guard that will cost me $200 and probably keep me awake all night because I won’t be able to grind my teeth.”
Damn tiny, inevitable cavity.