Grin and Bear It

Grin and Bear It

Today I’d like to chat about our teeth.

An almond binge (I can’t resist these things) and clenching my teeth while sleeping resulted in an injured facial nerve.  After ruling out the scary stuff, I was left with a numb left jaw up to my eyeball.  It took 8 weeks to heal.  The Dr. called it TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction), aggravated by Almond Binging.  (I called it “Seriously?  Almonds?”)  I had no idea I clenched my teeth while sleeping (bruxism) because I was, well…asleep.

Grin and Bear It, Oral Hygiene

For most of my life so far, I have always had such easy teeth.  No need for any braces; not many cavities.  My teeth were white and straight and gave me no problems at all.  But now, in a few short years I have acquired veneers due to grinding my front teeth, two crowns, a root canal or so and this new TMJ thing.  Such dental problems are extremely annoying—and expensive.  The whole thing makes me want to gnash my teeth or angrily crunch almonds, both of them now on my growing “try to avoid” list.  Grrrr.

A Silver (Non Dental) Lining

Grin and Bear It, Oral Hygiene

My annoyance with the need for a veneer and the exorbitant expense was mitigated by the sheer prettiness of them.  Lovely and even, they were worth every penny to transform my smile.  And that was one pretty penny!  (Or several pennies.)  But along came Mr. Financing to Save the Day!  Hurray!  A dental payment plan to make one smile.

The dental crowns aren’t that big a deal either, although I do think I could’ve actually made a down payment on a car for what they cost.  Again, saved by financing!  My first root canal was really quite easy; not at all the horrible experience one hears about.  It was, however, boring as all get out.  These issues required attention due to appearance and utility.  In the end I just shrugged at it all and moved forward.

 

Keeping up with Dental Maintenance (aka Oral Hygiene)

Grin and Bear It, Oral HygieneAt this point in life, we are much like classic cars. Some maintenance is required if the car is going to last 200,000 plus miles.  This is especially true when it comes to our teeth.  Your smile is one of the first things noticed.  It’s worth putting some investment into it your teeth and smile.  Outside of a beautiful smile, good oral hygiene has a proven link to heart health and gum health as well.

With all of the great options out there now it’s a veritable dental smorgasbord!  Dental implants, veneers, adult clear braces, whitening… the Dental Fearful can even be sedated.  You can use headphones, watch TV, get financing.  There’s really no excuse for not taking care of your teeth.

When I hit that 200,000 “mile” goal just like that proverbial classic car, I’ll be smiling with my own, original, slightly refurbished teeth.

And maybe I’ll eat a few less almonds.

Grin and Bear It, Oral Hygiene

By Anne Ambuhl

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