Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I've been a single mom pretty much since I became a mom. It's not the path I chose, but it is what it is. Therefore, I don't always have money for things that I want, or even NEED. Like taking care of my own teeth. My kids, on the other hand, go to the doctor's for physicals, shots, when they're sick, etc., and they get their teeth cleaned every six months.
Me? Not so much. Unfortunately, I haven't been to the dentist regularly since I moved out of my parent's house at 16. I've gone a few times, of course, but I just can't afford it. This has adversely effected my teeth.
My parents always took us to the dentist. As a matter of fact, our dentist was their friend and we got together as families often. Even one of my friend's moms was my dental hygienist. I barely had cavities, and I took great pride in that. My brothers and I would make fun of each other when one of us (or two) had a cavity.
My teeth were almost perfect. I could probably only count on one hand the amount of times I had a cavity as a child. I was also lucky to have virtually straight teeth and I didn't need braces.
After years of neglect, and I don't mean not brushing, because I do, I now have tons of work that needs to be done to my teeth. Sad part is that I brush daily, two times a day; I use Listerine or another mouth rinse; I floss. But without the regular care from a dentist, my teeth are in desperate need of some help. I also smoke, and have for 17 years, and that doesn't help the situation.
For the past week and a half I've had a toothache. I kept nursing my pain with Advil, because I don't have any money to see a dentist. Yesterday I broke down and finally called my dentist. I figured I was in such pain for so long because I had an infection. My gum on the bottom right side of my mouth was swollen a little bit, and that was where the pain was generated from.
While I was at work yesterday, I hunted down my dentist's number (I've only seen him once before.) and I made an appointment. I was informed that the only appointment they had available (without waiting a couple of weeks or longer) was at 5:40 pm that day. I said I'd take it, then I thought, "Football practice", but I made the appointment anyway, knowing that since I've recently became friends with three of the women who's kids are on the team (2 are also wives of 2 of the coaches), I figured I could ask one of them to meet up with me so they could take my son to practice with them.
I contacted two of them, one was unable to because she has older children with other activities, but the other woman offered to help me out. We set up the time and the place and I was glad that my plan worked out. If it had not, my son would have had to skip the practice because I usually leave the house to take him there at 5:20 (no later than 5:30) for the six o'clock practice. I didn't want him to miss. It's pretty important for all of the team members to be at practice every day. Of course, football practice and the dentist are in opposite directions, with our house pretty much in between.
I left pretty early to go meet up with Connie, and we got there so early I knew we would be waiting for about 15 minutes. So my son, daughter, and I killed time by listening to music and chatting. Connie showed up at about 5:20, and by then I was stressing a little bit. Traffic at that time is pretty crazy, and where I met her is a crazy intersection. I knew I wouldn't be able to get into the lane where I actually needed to be in (to go by my house and over to the dentist's office), but I managed to get out into the left turn lane so I could take back roads to my appointment.
Unfortunately, by the time I got back to my area, about 10 minutes later, traffic was crazy and I couldn't get over to another lane after I merged off of the bypass. I had to go up 3 more lights and turn left there to go a different way, all the while watching the clock on my dash. 10 minutes and counting...
I finally arrived at my destination, 4 minutes late, but luckily there was no problem. I used the ladies room and when I came out, my hygienist was already there waiting for me.
I got my Xray on the side of my mouth that was hurting, then the dentist came in and told me there was three problems on that side of my mouth: I had two cavities that needed filling and my wisdom tooth needed to be pulled. She said that she couldn't tell which one was causing the problem and that it would probably be best to do what I could right then and there. I was given a quote (which was actually a GREAT price!) and after a few minutes of thought, I told her to go ahead and do it all.
First she did the fillings, which were kind of a pain, but not really. I was numb anyway, but they took longer than I remember, which makes sense. Then came time to pull the tooth. The numbness was starting to wear off by then, so she gave me another shot and gave me a few minutes for that to kick in.
That darn wisdom tooth! It took FOREVER to get it out!!! I'd say at least 20 minutes, and probably more!!! But, it's done, and I survived. I'm in pain and my face is swollen. I'm not supposed to smoke because of the air that could go into my wound. (I forget the "technical" term, which is a rather humorous term. The painkillers are doing a partial good job. LOL.)
I now have a Treatment plan, which I honestly didn't even look at, but I'm sure it includes Quad Cleaning (yay! what fun!), extracting all 3 other wisdom teeth, and a root canal.
But, before I commit to any of that (besides the root canal - that needs to be done as soon as I can afford it!) I plan on entering this contest: My Smile Bites! $30,000 Smile Makeover Contest presented by 1-800-DENTIST. Soon I'll be recording my video entry. I like my smile, but my teeth are discolored from smoking, coffee, tea, and age. I'll be so happy to get all of this work done, and more so if it's FREE!!!!
Thanks for listening to my LONG story... Now I'm off to bed!