Random-Flavored Words

My Biggest "Accomplishment" this Year

December 08, 2023

As much as I hate to admit, my teeth haven't always been nearly as high of a priority for me as they should be. I never really developed good oral care habits growing up. As a result, my teeth aren't the greatest and I've had issues like gingivitis, plaque, and sensitive teeth. I also hate going to the dentist. I know everyone does, but it seems to fill me with more anxiety that normal, to the point where I'll start dreading the appointment weeks in advance. I've always fallen into the pattern of going to my biannual dental checkup, getting scolded for not brushing properly and enduring a very uncomfortable cleaning session, then keeping up the brushing and flossing for a day or two before falling back into bad habits. When COVID hit, it was the perfect excuse to avoid going to the dentist, and that's exactly what I did.

But it wasn't long before I started to notice the effects of my lack of dental care. Not only could I feel the plaque building up on my teeth, I also started getting random gum infections. I realized that I needed to step up my game. I started to use a habit tracker to remind myself to floss everyday. I also started to use an electric toothbrush. Then, I went to the dentist for the first time in 3 years. Needless to say, my teeth were in pretty bad shape. Even more, I still had 2 wisdom teeth that needed to be removed, which according to the dentist, were nearly impossible to keep clean due to how far back they were. After a painful experience getting my other 2 wisdom teeth out, the last thing I wanted was to go through the ordeal again. So I pushed it off and decided to not think about it for the time being, at least until my next checkup.

Earlier this year, I went to another checkup with the same attitude - let's get this over with and we won't have to worry about it until the next one. I was in for an unpleasant surprise when the dentist told me that it was time for a new set of x-rays. After what seemed like an eternity of maneuvering the little plastic thing in the most painful positions in my mouth that almost made me gag, the dentist showed me the results. Apparently, my wisdom teeth had grown so crooked that they were crowding my other teeth. Moreover, there was so much plaque accumulated under my gums that I needed deep cleaning.

That was how 2 weeks later, I found myself back in the same chair, getting my wisdom teeth out. Then, about a month later, getting half of my mouth numbed for deep cleaning. Then, I caught COVID and never went back to get the other half done. Considering how uncomfortable the first half had been, I kept thinking of reasons not to go. But eventually, I got up the courage to make that follow-up appointment by convincing myself that once this was done, I would (hopefully) never have to do it again, and I could call this an accomplishment for the year.

Today, I finally got the other half done and I'm overjoyed to say that I'm finally done, done, DONE! I'm proud of myself for taking control of my health and getting these procedures, however uncomfortable, done this year. Most importantly, my teeth feel a lot better, especially after getting those wisdom teeth now. I feel like a clean state now, and after all that, I'll do everything I can to maintain my oral care routine. Anything to avoid going back to that dreaded chair more than twice a year!