I take my oral hygiene very seriously. I regularly brush my teeth after every meal, and also floss in between them afterwards. Whenever I am out of the house and eating out, as is always the case, I make it a point to at least gargle tap water after eating to remove any bits of food or anything that might be stuck between my teeth. I never sleep at night without first brushing my teeth, and it is also the first thing I do when I wake up. So dedicated am I to brushing, that it almost borders on being obsessive compulsive.
This habit of mine started years ago. I did not have any care of my teeth back then. Yes, I brushed when I had the time, and flossing was just a foreign thought. I just thought that my teeth were hard enough, being made with enamel, the hardest thing on our body, and could withstand any form of tooth decay. I also thought that one brushing a day, or even every other day, was enough to ward off a visit to the dentist. Boy was I wrong.
I only started minding them when they began to hurt, and hurt much they did. One particular tooth at the back of my mouth was the culprit. It had a dark spot that I had just noticed when I inspected my mouth in the mirror. Come to think of it, I never really brushed thoroughly there at the back, just concentrating on keeping only my front teeth as white as possible. The pain began as a kind of throbbing presence then eventually escalating into a full blown, mind numbing and excruciating pain only a couple of hours later. The pain was so strong that I was drooling a bit, and it looks funny now, but I kind of lost my mind then that I was thinking of pulling the tooth out myself. I would have given anything for instant tooth pain relief.
A visit to the dentist did not help quickly either. The swelling from the infection must subside first before the tooth can be extracted, he said. He only gave me prescription antibiotics and also pain reliever to help ease the discomfort. I was also advised to put ice near the affected area to numb out any tooth or gum pain if ever the drugs failed to work.
Four days in the frying pan and now I am jumping right at the fire. The fifth day, I was to have my tooth pulled out, but I had a problem. I was afraid of needles, particularly dentist needles, the ones that are mounted on metal syringes, never fails to freak me out. But I really needed to have my tooth extracted; either that or a root canal which involved more needles, and is therefore out of the question. So I had to choose between the devil and deep blue sea.
I chose to not remember what happened that day. But I promised myself to do everything I can, to not experience it again. That brings us back to the present, and why I am like this today. You may say that I was being silly about all of it, but you never really know it if you have never experienced the pain. Just take my word for it and take very good care of your teeth.