Often when it’s dentist time (or a visit to the hygienist for my gum disease in this case), we often tend to cringe and make a big fuss out of it. Yesterday was no exception. I knew exactly what I was in for. Being berated for not flossing, a huge lecture on gum disease and it’s connection to diabetes, 45mins in the chair with horrid tasting anaesthetic gel on my gums while my hygienist cleans out deposits of plaque from my gum pockets, tutt-tutting as she disapproves of how much build up there has been because I haven’t flossed.
However, what I got was far from what I expected. When I first visited my current hygienist for the first time earlier this year, she could tell just by looking at my teeth that I was right-handed, I use a manual tooth-brush and I don’t floss. There’s just no hiding with her! This time, she impressed me by explaining to me in simple scientific terms (oxymoronic, I know) why I would lose bone if I didn’t contain the inflammation in my gums and that it was the simplest way of controlling inflammation compared to other internal parts of my body.
For the first time in my life, I didn’t ignore what my dentist told me about my teeth. I always saw them as a separate issue and it never registered to me how it could be affected by my diabetes and other things going on in my body. Sure my previous dentists have lectured me plenty of times but today, she just said it in a way that got through my thick head; that hey, it’s not so hard to floss once a day to help the big picture a bit. It’s not medication, it’s not injections, just a simple thing like spending more brushing time behind my teeth and flossing. How simple can it get?
It was also the first time a health professional said to me that I have more chance to prove myself to her, that I can be left to look after my own teeth and gums and take control of it before I have to come see her more frequently. She said she’ll see me in six months. And we all know what it means when a health professional says they’ll see you in six months instead of three! One less medical appointment! Woohooo! Seriously though. It means that they trust that you will be able to do the right thing most of the time (yes, we are still allowed to have one bad day where we forget to floss or we gorge on dessert). But for the most part, they are telling me that this is MY thing and that I have control over it should I choose to be diligent about it. It’s a choice that I can make – to look after my gums and teeth myself or come back more regularly to get her to do it and pay more. Personally, I like to do things myself if I can and it was a no-brainer of an option for me.
This reminded me that life is full of choices and we are influenced by the choices we make everyday of our life 🙂
After my appointment, I then rewarded myself (for being a brave girl and going to the dentist) by buying a new pencil-case from kikki.K, which I will use as a case for all my diabetes supplies! 🙂 Never thought I’d say this, but what a positive trip to the dentist I had!