Confessions of a Girl Who Doesn’t Floss.
Sunday morning I had my first dentist appointment since IT’S BEEN SO LONG I CAN’T REMEMBER SINCE WHEN. My dental habits, like most of my habits, are moderate in their shamefulness. It’s not that I NEVER clean my room, it’s just that I don’t do very often (mostly when I can no longer walk on the floor or I fear for my feet when I get out of bed to pee at three in the morning). It’s not that I never test my blood sugar, I just sometimes forget to do it when I wake up in the morning… and before I eat… and before I go to bed… and when I’m low (but other than that I’m great). And it’s not like I NEVER brush my teeth, it’s just that I don’t floss.
I made an appointment a couple of weeks ago with a dentist office that’s just a few blocks from my apartment on the Upper West Side. I figured that after having lived on the East Coast for two years, it was finally time to really put roots in the ground and find a dentist and on Sunday, Erik escorted me to my execution. I mean appointment.
I arrived, filled out the necessary paperwork and waited to be called. Since it was a Sunday morning, I was the only patient there, so I didn’t have to wait too long before a nice woman who I couldn’t really understand because of her accent escorted me to the back. She asked me when I last had X-rays done, and I told her I couldn’t remember.
“At least three years,” I said.
So she went ahead and did the X-rays which HURT and I nearly suffocated twice from having this big, pointy plastic thing hanging out in my mouth. I think patients need to get together with manufacturers of dental equipment to tell them what it’s all about. At least diabetes companies attempt to make things comfortable and easy for us. Dental manufacturers probably laugh maniacally in their offices at all the poor souls they inflict their pain on because no one would really retaliate against something they only have to put up with for an hour twice a year.
After the X-rays were done, the doctor came in. He’s a big, Italian guy who told me he was my friend and wanted to help me. That’s always what they say right before pull the trigger.
He asks me if I’ve had orthodontics (yes, for 2 years in middle school) and he tells me I have some bone loss. He shows me the X-rays where the bones in my mouth aren’t going up as high as they should. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that bone loss is not a happy thing. He says that he can’t really tell if its periodontal disease, but that if I don’t start flossing I’m going to do LOSE ALL MY TEETH AND DIE!!!
Well, OK, that’s not really what he said, but he did say that me not flossing is a no-go and that I better start flossing THREE TIMES A DAY. He said that if I floss, I should be able to prevent actually getting periodontal disease and everything will be rainbows and butterflies and my diabetes will be cured.
OK, he didn’t actually say that, either, but he did say that flossing would prevent further damage, like losing my teeth and having red, disgusting gums and the other gross stuff that happens to your mouth. Which I saw because he made me watch a video. Yeah, I had to watch a VIDEO. That’s how bad I am.
I don’t know why I don’t floss. I have bought COUNTLESS containers of floss and I usually do it for two days and then I stop. It’s like logging my blood sugars. Or exercising. You know, THINGS THAT KEEP YOU HEALTHY.
Why is healthy stuff so hard to do? I don’t get it.