Other than that one hiccup (to which I can’t find the link) , I haven’t been to the dentist in about 17 years.
That hiccup I refer to was when a tooth broke while I was pregnant with Evie and I had to go get a crown. It was a horrible awful no-good experience, but it did make us realize that we should probably get dental insurance and have our teeth looked at every once in a while.
We finally remembered to sign up for it this year and I dutifully forgot each month to make an appointment until now. I went in today, confident that they were going to tell me my teeth were no good and they needed to take them out and start all over again.
The real reason I avoid the dentist? I hate that question: “Are you pregnant right now?” right before they turn on the x-ray machine.
Because my answer always goes a little something like this, “uuuuuuuuuuuh”.
It’s bad enough that I haven’t had my teeth cleaned in almost two decades, and it’s bad enough that I don’t go to the doctor for regular physicals or whatever, but it always gets dragged out of me that I homebirth, and all of this makes some people regard me as uneducated or poor.
I mean, who doesn’t get prenatal care, get their kids vaccinated, or get their teeth cleaned regularly than some white trash uneducated mom? This is how the medical profession views people like me.
Of course I’m confident in the reality that I receive the best prenatal care in the world, that I have one of the best health insurance plans in the United States, and that my family and I are incredibly healthy. But I still hate the question. I mean, who doesn’t know if they’re pregnant or not at any given moment? Go ahead, raise your hands, mammas!
However, the folks at our new dentist office were so sweet and did not make me feel bad at all for any of these things. Before she did the x-ray she did ask The Question, to which I responded, “Maybe. Maybe not.” But then I told her about how my midwife says that people use to get x-rays all the time while pregnant and smoke in the delivery room and stuff. (I know, I sounded really smart now.) To which my savvy dental hygienist questioned whether midwives were able to practice in Alabama.
Because admitting to participation in illegal activity is not something I like to do regularly, I usually try to skirt the issue with a “Weeeeeeeeelll…. it’s not really within the scope of the law.” And with further questioning I usually have to admit that what she does is “illegal” and it’s only her insane love for mammas and babies that she takes that risk, but that I, however, have done nothing illegal thankyewverymuch.
They did the x-rays and the cleaning and did a little beepy cavity detector thingy. I knew I had some, and anxiously awaited the arrival of the dentist to tell me that all of my teeth had to be removed right that minute, because just like you can’t have a healthy baby without a sonogram, you cannot have healthy teeth without regular dental x-rays…. right?
He was pleasantly surprised as he announced to me that my teeth were in great shape, despite my lack of dental care. I did have some very small cavities way in the back that needed to be filled, but nothing out of control.
“You must not eat very much sugar, because your teeth look really great.” he said.
Bless his heart. I smiled sweetly and said, “No, I guess I don’t.”
What I really wanted to say was, “Silly dentist. You don’t know that over consumption of processed grains and under consumption of raw fruits and veggies causes dental decay? And one only needs to clean the teeth gently with my fabulous Dental Soap occassionally to get them sparkling clean?”
Because I love me some sugar. I can control my sweet tooth when I want to- and I do, but to say that I avoid sugar would be a major lie. Now, I do avoid it when we’re sick, and I enjoy it in moderation (like, moderately, every day, k?). I do not let anything touch my lips that is “Sugar Free”. This means that when I chew gum (which isn’t often) it’s the real sugar-laden kind. And when I eat ice cream, it’s got tons of the good stuff in it too.
However, it doesn’t take you long to figure out that we really enjoy good simple food around here. Raw stuff everyday at lunch and minimal amounts of grains and hardly any processed foods. So yes, maybe an apple a day really does keep the dentist away.
I stopped and got a Chocolate Milk Shake on the way home just to prove my point.
And when I told Brent the good news he asked, “Did you tell them you never brush your teeth?” (I do brush my teeth, just not every week day.)
Of course I didn’t! But they did send me home with a tooth brush and some tooth paste, so maybe they’re on to me.