Monday, March 15, 2010

"I've been to the dentist a thousand times, so I know the drill..."

That's Owl city :)

I was so brave at the dentist today!

So, in honor of that - here's a post all about my history of dentistry :)

With some pretty traumatic experiences when I was young, I was completely terrified of the dentist for a long, long time. All through high school, my nightly prayers always included a plea for my teeth to be strong and healthy so that I wouldn't have to go back (!!!)

But then, at the end of my senior year a member of my stake anonymously offered to pay for me to have braces. My part of the deal was to commit to
1) the pain of braces (and the pain was great, but certainly softened by the incredible gratitude I felt for such a wonderful gift)
2)the upkeep of my straight-to-be teeth (I'm still wearing those retainers every night) and
3) not seeking out who this kind person was (though, it did come about that I learned this by accident with a slip-up by the orthodontist:)

Unknown to my kind benefactor, it also meant I had to deal with my fear of the dentist. I finally gathered the courage to call and make an appointment for a check up myself and have the work done that I needed to (including having 8 teeth pulled!!! - 4 wisdom teeth, and 4 extra to make more room in my mouth) so that I could get braces.

When I had my first appointment with the dentist where I found that I had NO CAVITIES, I was so motivated that I continued to go every 6 months for a long time.

Then an assistant made the mistake of telling me "You take such great care of your teeth, you probably only need to come once a year" -- and that 1 year soon turned into 2, then 3 ---

So then I was scared all over again when I had to go this time.

But I was brave and I did okay - I used all of my great labor techniques while he drilled-- finding a focal point, focusing on my breathing, etc. :) and asked lots of questions, and had an unpleasant, but certainly non-terrifying time.


(Unfortunately, I have to go back in a few weeks for one more filling, but I'm just not-looking-forward-to-it which is a much better feeling than utterly-dreading it. )

I'm so grateful for that.