Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gratitude 8: My chester choppers

I have a thing about teeth.  Well, not a thing, but I'm picky.  For instance, there used to be this really hot guy who hung out at Denny's with us back in high school (Have I blogged about Denny's? Oh, that would be a good one. Only in Utah would people hang out in a restaurant night after night after night. It was fun and boring all at once.  Anyway, back to the story.)  So this guy was really hot, but he had really really bad teeth. Now I get that there are snaggle teeth out there and I don't obsess over them (so if we are friends in the real world, don't think that I stare at your teeth and judge them. I don't.)  But there are cases. Like Reggie Miller.  Pretty hot, lots of money, successful basketball player/announcer, mouth full of misplaced teeth. All I can ask is why.

Anyway, this tooth obsession includes my own teeth. Probably even stems from it.  I wore braces during 5 of my 12 grades.  As in, most of 5 grade, all of 6, 7, 8, and into 9th.  I wore my retainer for 2 years after that.  My bottom retainer didn't come out until I was in my 20's.  I have witnessed the shifting in my used-to-be-perfectly-straight teeth as I've grown. It bugs me.  There are times when honestly, I can't think about it.  I have dreams about my teeth falling out on a pretty regular basis.  (It is a family trait, I do believe.  I also have dreams about having to put plate-sized contact lenses into my eyes.  It's fun!)

Want to know more about my teeth obsession?  It wasn't until I was married that I had a cavity.  And then I had two quite large ones in my very back teeth.  It bothered me.  I had slacked off on going to the dentist and was convinced it was due to this that they occurred.  So, for the next year I kept my 6 month appointments religiously.  But then...I had Thomas. And I lost my employer's insurance.  And Shane's insurance was neither affordable or inclusive of dental.

Enter the dark days.  I went almost 4 years without going to the dentist.  I just couldn't afford it.  I didn't have an FSA plan to help me with pre-tax monies, nor did I know about credit-union sponsored dental plans that help those of us who don't have good benefits.  Basically, it wasn't until I had Ben that I could go to the dentist regularly. I ended the dark days of no dentist visits when Ben was 2 weeks old with my first visit to our current dentist, and I have paid every dime since  of dental care for every member of my family of four.  Which meant that while my kids went every six months, Shane and I have only gone once a year.

Can I tell you I hate waiting a year to go to the dentist?

But, enter my lovely husband getting a new job last April.  And they have dental coverage.  And while it's true that we had to wait 6 months for the coverage to cover us, that magical day was November 1st.  And guess where I went yesterday?  To the dentist.  They scraped and polished and x-rayed and counted teeth with their little instruments for over an hour.  I was giddy.  I was given a clean bill of health for six more months.  I made a follow-up appointment for May.  And it didn't cost me anything.  (Well, it does, because I pay a premium, but that doesn't count.  At least for these purposes.)

Did I mention that the plan covers 50% orthodontia?  Be still my beating heart.

And so.  I am grateful for dentists.  I am grateful for insurance.  I am grateful when they magically coincide with each other to allow me to assuage my freaky dreams for a while.  That I can know that I won't be toothless for another 6 months.  Ah, sweet relief.

Do you appreciate the dentist?  Do you have teeth dreams? I'm sure it means that I am over-wrought over something uncontrollable in my life.  Not that that stops them.

Oh, and should Reggie Miller stop by and be offended by my comments: Sorry Reg.  Can we still be friends?


Contact Lenses said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Sorensen said...

contact lenses contact lenses contact lenses! DOn't you love spam??? ;)

I had a dream just a couple of days ago that I woke up and all my teeth were crooked. Crooked like pre-braces crooked, and then some of them were also starting to sink back into my mouth. OH wretched dream!

I HATE going to the dentist and put it off for way too long. Even with the insurance. You have inspired me, I'm calling this morning! (Maybe.)

heidikins said...

I still have permanent retainers from my 10-years-ago braces. I have thought about having them removed to make flossing a bit (read: a TON!) easier, but then I see my sister's once-perfect and now shifted teeth and opt to keep them on.

My dental insurance kicked in Nov. 1 too, must visit dentist. ;)


Apryl said...

I still wear my retainer. From when I was 12. You know that scene in "Date Night" where she says she can "rally" and pulls out her mouth-guard? That is me. My husband is so lucky.
And you already know that I have horrible tooth-crumbling dreams. Those are so horrible!

Jeanette said...

Do I appreciate my dentist? Yes.
Do I like to visit him? No.

I have to be drugged practically into a coma to go to the dentist. It invariably ends in a full blown panic attack for me. I have horrible teeth, and always have cavities despite my obsessive brushing.

I wore braces for 12 years, and luckily mine are still straight.

And yes, I have teeth dreams, I always dream my teeth are all falling out and I am some gummy old grandma.

And I HATE teeth! I hate it when the kids have loose teeth, it totally squicks me out.