Saturday, April 14, 2007

Friday Five (a day late and a dollar short)

This week's Friday Five is sort of a funny one, but I'll play! Sending healing prayers out for Cheesehead and ReverendMother, and answering...

1. Are you a regular patron of dentists' offices? Or, do you go
a) faithfully, as long as you have insurance, or
b) every few years or so, whether you need it or not, or
c) dentist? what is this "dentist" thing you speak of?

My answer is (a). A couple people in my family build up enough tartar that, if there was a market for it (eww!), they would be great natural resources. Thankfully, I don't build it up very badly, so I could probably get away with an annual visit, rather than semi-annual.

2. Whatever became of your wisdom teeth?

I'm clearly not very wise, because I only ever had one. Unfortunately, my jaw is small, so it grew in horizontally. We watched it for several years before it started getting too close to the molars, and then I had to have it quite literally chiseled out. I opted to use local anesthetic only, and not be put under, so that I could drive myself back home afterward. While it wasn't painful while it was happening, the noises coming from my mouth were rather frightening. I ended up with dry socket, like Sue describes, and a couple days later went in to get the medicated gauze inserted into the socket. I learned quickly how to twitch my jaw just so to get the gauze to release the medication and send a wave of blessed numbness into the socket. The problem is, I was actively job-hunting at the time. I had an interview for a job I really wanted, and I could tell from the way it was going that I had no chance whatsoever, but I still tried to control myself and not twitch my jaw while I was in there, for fear that I'd look, well, odd. Two weeks later, I showed up there for my first day of work, and spent over six years with that company.

3. Favorite thing to eat that's BAAAAAD for your teeth.

Just one thing? Caramel apples, I guess. I'm just really fond of caramel. Taffy is good, too. But if I keep thinking about this question, I'll need to run down to the kitchen, and I'll never finish this post. :-)

4. Ever had oral surgery? Commiserate with me.

Last summer, something that the dentist had been watching finally had to be addressed. The little bits of tissue that tether the front of my bottom gum to my lower lip had been pulling down the gumline, and it finally needed surgery. So I went to the periodontist, they took donor tissue from the roof of my mouth, and grafted it onto the gum at my two bottom incisors. The first day, I was only allowed cold, mushy foods. And I learned that almost all foods that are (a) cold, (b) mushy, and (c) not nasty, are sweet. By 4pm, I was desperate for something that was not sweet, and I rejoiced to find half an avocado in the fridge. I drizzled a little vinaigrette over it and ate it with eyes closed. The next week, my breakfast every day after I got to the office was half an avocado. I'm sure they thought I was nuts, if they hadn't been pretty sure of this fact already. There was some pulling, but not really pain, on the gum graft, but the roof of my mouth was sore for a while, and tender for months afterward.

5. "I'd rather have a root canal than _________________."

... move back in with my parents!

Sorry, Mom and Dad, I love you, but it's never going to happen. And, if you've been following my story over the last few weeks and reading between the lines, you'll realize that this was something I've had to consider recently. I have some important work to do on being independent and strong, and somehow, going back to my parents' house turns me into a twelve-year-old again.

Bonus: Does your dentist recommend Trident?

Actually, the hygienist there did recommend chewing a piece of sugarless gum after meals, if I couldn't brush my teeth. So not Trident specifically, but the concept, yes.