I promised last week on my dental implant post I would start posting about my journey starting from the beginning. This post goes into a little detail into my dental history.
I want to start out by saying my teeth were never that great as a kid. They grew in rather crooked. I had been given tetracycline a few times which I was told much later on could have turned my teeth gray. My parents took me to an orthodontist when I was about 12 yrs. old. The orthodontist said I would need braces. The price he quoted my parents about $1200. Doesn’t sound like much these days but back in the late sixties, early seventies, it was a quite a bit of money. We had no dental insurance at that time. It’s not that my parents didn’t have that kind of money but it was they were a little bit of tight wads and just didn’t want pay that kind money for any kind of dental work. So I didn’t get the braces I needed. They also never made sure I had regular dental check ups etc. and never enforced the rule of making sure I brushed my teeth everyday.
Even though I grew up on a farm and we had the best quality of food around because we grew our vegetables, raised our meat etc. my Mom would make all these delicious sweet desserts and baked goods that I thoroughly enjoyed a lot of not thinking that down the road, all these sweets and not taking care of my teeth the way they should have been might have repercussions.
As I got older I started to get a little more diligent about brushing, flossing etc. Then when I had my first child, I wasn’t consuming the proper amount of calcium that a pregnant woman should have been consuming so the baby was leeching the excess calcium that was in my body without it being replaced. Then when I went into labour, I very bad leg cramps and back labour. That’s when obstetric nurses informed me that the baby while in utero had taken a lot calcium out my body leaving me lacking in that department. So when I pregnant with my second, I was darned sure I took in plenty of calcium. My husband got me hooked on yogurt. I wasn’t going to go through that again.
Shortly after I got married and had my first child, I went and visited the dentist in the little town I was living at. My husband had insurance through his place of employment. I was 22 at the time. The dentist filled about a half a dozen cavities, some of which were pretty sizable. He noticed too at the time my gums were not as firm and pink as they should be. He did no further examination, he just told me to drink more orange juice.
OK, what does having babies have to do with teeth?
We all know that calcium is one of the building blocks for strong healthy teeth and bones. The calcium that would normally go to my teeth to keep them strong weren’t getting what they needed. It’s safe to say my teeth were never really the same after that. They weren’t as strong as they were before.
Shortly after my second child was born a couple years later, I took a trip back to the dentist. He noticed my teeth weren’t as strong as the last time he saw me but he didn’t seem too concerned at the time. He did though notice that my wisdom teeth were started to get a little crowded so he determined that I should have them extracted. So he booked me for two appointments. He would do one side one appointment and the other side a couple weeks later. The first time went fine. Everything came off without a hitch. It was the second time that it was harder. My dentist inserted the needle to freeze the remaining side. First extraction that day went fine but the last one however,didn’t go so fine. The freezing wore off so he tried freezing again waited, didn’t freeze so he tried again, didn’t freeze the second time, still didn’t freeze It was getting close to his lunch time, was in a hurray and wanted to leave so he pulled it anyway freezing or no freezing. I have never been in so much agony in my life. Not before nor after. I almost passed out. I have given birth four times, that was a breeze in comparison even with the leg cramps with the first birth.
Let me tell you, that incident turned my off dentists for years. For years I stayed as far away from a dentist as I could. I know now I shouldn’t have waited so long. There are plenty of dentists around and dentists are not all created equal as with I found out with my current dentist. All I can say is, he’s fantastic. With him the patient comes first so it wasn’t that bad getting back into that dental chair.
Next post will detail what finally led me to seek out a dentist once again after so many years.