I went to the dentist recently. I dreaded the visit because the last time I went the hygienist pointed out the staining on my teeth and made me feel substandard in the tooth brushing category. I convinced myself it was her issue, not mine, but also changed my entire tooth brushing regimen to avoid another wretched scraping at the next scheduled visit.
I assumed that my daily black coffee was the culprit. I bought a battery operated toothbrush and used it after my morning coffee. I even started putting cream in the coffee to lighten the color. I avoided coffee after brushing. At night, I brushed, flossed, used mouthwash etc. I was stringent in this routine until, oh, about 3.5 weeks later when I began missing some of the evening sessions.
I’m sorry to report that my teeth were just as badly stained at the most recent visit as they were at the previous. I felt bad. No one likes to be the problem patient. Not only did the hygienist again run through the process of normal hygiene as though I were a less than bright 5-year-old who has never brushed her teeth, she also brought the dentist in to corroborate her opinion. The dentist agreed that I “really did have an abnormal amount of staining” and, again, we went over all the things I could do to prevent it and, again, I got the feeling that they did not believe I was as dedicated to oral hygiene as I claimed. But I am. I would even venture that I am better than most at maintaining good oral hygiene. Except for those nights, several times a week when I was just too tired to bother, I am a stellar caretaker of my teeth. Everyone skips nights, right? Plus, I floss EVERY single day. I really do. Except weekends sometimes. But otherwise, I’m totally dedicated to flossing.
Once again, I left the dentist’s office offended and determined. Nobody is going to call me “abnormally stained” and get away with it. I’ll show them.
I bought the Jaguar of electric toothbrushes, which I named Kennedy, because I want teeth like the Kennedys; bright, white and big enough to eat you with. I bought two kinds of toothpaste…the Sensodyne I require and the Arm & Hammer the dentist recommended for it’s gritty stain-fighting potential. I bought two kinds of mouthwash, one for whitening and one for sensitivity. Thanks to the hygienist, who sent me home with extra samples, I now have three different kinds of flossing materials. I have not missed a morning nor a night. It’s a good thing, too, because do you know what the hygienist told me? White wine can also leave a film that can result in staining. It would have been nice if she had mentioned that the last time I was there. My wine habit is equal to my coffee habit. The black coffee was unfairly demonized and now I have stained teeth AND a cream habit that might lessen staining but has done nothing for my waistline. This is unfortunate because I have a physical next week. I’m pretty sure I’ve gained seven pounds since the last one, rather than losing the seven pounds the doctor and I agreed I should.
Maybe I could blame my hearing.
“Ohhhh, you said LOSE seven pounds? I thought you said I could USE seven pounds.”