My teeth are in bad shape. They have been for years. I am ashamed by how they look in pictures, often I even close my lips to not expose my teeth. I have been told that I have genetics working against me, but its not all the progenitors fault, I share some of the blame too. For many years I was lax about my dental hygiene but in the last year or so, I have been making efforts to improve the state of my health which includes my teeth.
After flossing, brushing, and mouth washing for months I walked into my dentist’s office yesterday very optimistic about what he is going to tell me. Perfect! I can really tell that you have been doing everything you should, and because of that, I don’t need to do any work on you. In retrospect, I realize this was a bit naive. I sit in the chair and I brace myself, but still hoping for good news and then he tells me you need a crown, and he points out all the plaque and build up on my teeth though I have been working at this goal for a while. Needless to say, this was VERY disappointing news and at first all I could focus on is the result and what has happened and why did I waste all that time brushing and flossing and I am working myself up into quite a frothy milkshake, and then I realize its useless to complain about a bad result if you are doing all you know how to do to bring about a good one.
I calmed myself down, and decided it was time to learn what I was doing wrong.
So I ask the dentist to watch me floss and brush and I show them exactly how I am doing it and they show me how I am missing angles on this tooth after tooth and I have to slow down because my teeth are not even, I also need to angle my brush differently, and possibly get a different brand of electric toothbrush. I am very honest about my frustration and feeling that what I have been doing is fruitless and they show me X-rays so I can compare and its decidedly better. Can you imagine if I hadn’t been doing everything I have been doing? How much worse could it be? He added, “This is an old problem, so no matter how much you brushed and flossed, you still would have needed a crown today.” This makes me feel much better and I am re-energized in my goal to have better teeth. I can’t control genetics but I can be certain to floss, brush and rinse three times a day.
Here’s the closing thought, If you try and don’t succeed, you haven’t failed, it just means you haven’t succeeded yet and you need to adjust the game plan. Maybe get a new coach, or accountability partner. Now, go brush your teeth! Trust me!