May 16th, 2006

color cycle (slow)

Tooth decay

I didn't flunk my dental exam, but I think I got a D minus.

I need to get in the habit of flossing. X-rays showed the beginning of decay between most of my teeth ("most" is a very worrying word in this context; I would greatly have preferred "a few"), indicative of poor flossing, but with no other problems. The upshot to this is that I brush effectively, but I need to floss, and there's already been enough damage that I'm having to take seriously aggressive steps. I just had an extra-strength flouride treatment (which tasted as disgusting as it sounds) and now have a prescription for seriously high-octane toothpaste with its own set of warning labels and special instructions. It's just got extra flouride, but we're talking a full base-ten order of magnitude extra here. According to Dr. Niesan, my teeth should be able to repair themselves if I take appropriate measures, but I'll need a "large number" of fillings if I don't.

Right, this is why I get the X-rays annually and general checkups every six months. There were no symptoms to this other than what was seen on the X-rays. For those of y'all who avoid going to the dentist, let me warn you that it saves you a lot of trouble later to keep regular appointments now; y'all may have some unpleasant surprises in a few years.