If you hate, have panic attacks and legitimately fear going to the dentist(like me), you’re not alone. Not only are our teeth and “mouth health” clues to what’s happening inside us…but hello…our pearly whites are one of God’s gifted accessories to look like a million bucks. If you have bad breath or poor teeth, you’re going to have to work extra hard to be seen as “pulled together” aka stylish. There is no fighting this, it’s true!
When I was 12 years old, I had to have about 6 teeth removed. Too many chompers meant they needed to come out. At the time, I was super brave. As I relaxed in the cushioned chair, being proud of myself for choosing to not be put out and to be wide awake during the procedure, I thought “this isn’t that bad“. Then, the dentist hit a nerve and I somehow leaped about 5 feet in the air, knocked over all the utensils and screamed in agony. Ever since then, I’d have ample amounts of anxiety about the simplest oral care procedures, such as getting your teeth cleaned.
Fast forward to my late thirties. As the dental hygienist lead me to the “torture chamber” I let him know “I’m a handful and prepare yourself“. He laughed and gave me protective eye goggles. As the eyewear became instantly foggy because my body heat rising, I instructed him to not use the electric thingy that scrapes and to clean my teeth manually…please. I can’t take the noise or feeling. He replied with a “don’t worry, if anything bothers you I’ll stop“. As he removed plaque and calcium deposits, I sweated, hummed the national anthem, asked if we were almost done after every tooth and gripped the chair for dear life.
I read you can bring headphones to drown out the sounds. This didn’t work for me. I couldn’t release all control of my mouth to the man standing over me trying to help. Which lead me to find ways to prevent any extensive cleaning or work in the future. After I survived the 25 minutes of prayers here is what he said would help me in the future:
- Floss Daily: I know, duh. But I was never told to floss on the right side back and forth 5 times then on the left side and repeat…on every tooth. Were you?
- Brush Your Teeth for 5 Minutes: Say what?! Five minutes…I don’t know about you, but that’s a long time. However, if it will help me having my teeth and gums scraped less, I’ll try it.
- Book A Cleaning Every 4 Months: Brilliant! The more you go the less work it will be per visit. Initially, every 6 months is recommended. But if you dread going, the 6 months become years and so on.
As I drove home I pondered how I spent the last quarter of a century not knowing how to properly care for my teeth to prevent all the dentist dread. Am I the only one? By practicing the tips above, this will hopefully make our next visit less death-defying. Did I miss anything? What are some of the tools you use to keep your mouth super healthy? May you all continue to confidently smile in your style.
Love and Style,