Seeking Encouragement About the Fate of My Teeth
May 31, 2007 10:29 AM Subscribe
Due to some psychological issues, over the last one to two years, I've brushed my teeth ... well, probably no more than ten times, total. Having somewhat exorcised whatever little demon caused this neglect, I'm now trying to work my way back to dental health; I need some encouragement that the next step isn't going to be dentures. As always, there's
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (48 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Don't ask me why I neglected my teeth for so long; I'm not sure I could tell you. There were certainly some self-esteem issues involved, as well as issues of hiding from the world and making myself unattractive. Also, I perfectly understand that this may engender a really big "ewww!" factor, but the reaction's not helpful to me. Neglecting the most basic of basic daily maintenance routines is a symptom of depression; that's just how the dice hit the table with me. Sorry.
Basically, I'm looking for two aspects of recommendations from the Mefite community.
First, I'd appreciate recommendations with regards to equipment. For toothpaste, I'm thinking I'd get one of those brands that are supposed to address gum problems and/or enamel issues. Is one of those subbrands better than the other? (i.e. is Crest 'Everything and the Kitchen Sink' better than Colgate 'Super Duper Miracle Gums'?) And I have no idea what brand toothbrush would be best. I'd appreciate recommendations for both manual (for now) and the fancier kind (for later) ... I've heard good things about Sonicare. Is it worth the $120ish?
Second -- and this is the primary question, the reason I ventured into Ask Mefi, albeit anonymously -- I'm looking for reassurance from people who've had the same problem and rescued themselves, or from any Mefite dental professionals. Namely, I'd like any reassurance you can give (a) that I can get to a point where a dental visit won't equate to a visit to Guantanemo, and (b) that it's unlikely that my next step will be dentures, i.e., that it's not likely that I've wrecked my mouth altogether.
The plan is to twice daily prerinse with Plax, then brush, and then follow up with Listerine. I'm going to follow this routine for three months, during which time I'm going to look for a good dentist. (I know — flossing. I'm not going to worry about that for now. I hate flossing, because I've got these huge-ass fingers that I can't navigate in there with. And those little hand tools never seemed to work at all for me. I'm hoping the double-rinsing will do enough for now. I think flossing frustration might've been part of the derail in the past.)
I know you can't see my teeth or gums, but there aren't any major twinges or pains bothering me. I don't see any cavities, although I'm not entirely sure what to look for. The worst I can see is that my gumline around the bottom incisors has pulled back a slight bit, and there's one spot near one tooth where the gumline looks a bit darker (I think it might be periodontitis, if I understand the term right), and there's some heavy tartar deposits on my bottom cuspids.
(Also, I know age might be a factor in answering this question. I'm in my early thirties. And I had good dental maintenance up until a few years ago, and my teeth were sealed with flouride when I was a child, which, from what I understand, is a plus in terms of adult tooth health.)
Thanks in advance to anyone who worked their way through this rather yucky query.