I'm going to blame my parents for this...
I have horrible dental hygiene, like really horrible. I don't feel like they ever instilled in me appropriate teeth care philosophy.
When I was 3 my mom was still putting me to bed with bottles...sometimes filled with Kool-aid...don't ask me why but maybe it's part of why teenagers shouldn't have babies. Then my front four teeth rotted out of my head...and then I had to go to some war death camp and have them pulled out of my head with giant plyers and no pain medicine...well that's not how it really happened but that is exactly how my nightmares after the dentist removed my rotten baby teeth went.
So some where between age 3 and rational thought, I always decided that the teeth I had were baby teeth and didn't need caring for and when my adult teeth came in, I wouldn't let anything happen to them. I promised myself...but that didn't last long and before I knew it I had fillings in almost all my teeth. Then it got worse...I avoided the dentist until I could no longer...my teeth were throbbing...I wanted to ram my mouth into a desk, over and over until my teeth stopped hurting or until they fell our or I was knocked unconcious.
I made the appointment...I didn't want to go but the pain made it unavoidable. I debated with myself over and over. I knew it wasn't going to be good but again the pain triumphed and off I went. The dentist gives you this form to fill out asking silly questions...and I know they totally judge you as they read your answers...like you can't tell how often I brush my teeth by looking at them...but the form goes like this:
How often do you brush:___________________________
How often do you floss:___________________________
Do you notice any blood after brushing/flossing:__________________
Do you have bad breath:__________________
Do you get headaches:__________________
Do you have senstitivites to cold/hot:_______________________
For a moment I consider lying...I brush 3x a day...floss...ummm...everyday...blood? um no, why would I?
Then I think about it...these people are experts at teeth...are they really going to believe that all this decay occurred with such excellent care...that I was just unlucky and cursed with really shitty teeth...or maybe they are using this as a test of my honesty...so I quickly decide not to lie...but I can't possibly tell the truth either...so I come up with the idea to answer half truths...so my form ends up like this:
How often do you brush: Whenever I remember to
How often do you floss: When I think about it
Do you notice any blood: Only when I brush or floss
Do you have bad breath: When I eat garlic or don't brush my teeth
and so forth...and I try not to look anyone in the eye when I turn the form in...I hate being judged
Then they send me back to the examination room and I'm waiting for like ever...which is again my fault because I spent so long debating on whether I should even come that by the time I decided I had to I was already running 15 minutes late. Then someone comes in an attemps to get x-rays. After some x-rays (which for now I will not tell you how difficult that is for me but will explain at some point later.) The dentist comes in to tell me about the abscesses under my teeth and now I have two options A) remove said tooth or B) root canal...well I don't want to look silly and be missing teeth (I have seriously scary nightmares about that situation) so I opt for the root canal and the appointment is scheduled.
Now let's flash forward to now...I've had 3 root canals and with all the negative hype surrounding them...you'd think they were really painful but nah...nothing to it. But the problem I have now is that for a while I tried to be a good tooth caregiver...I really really did. I went to the dentist, got a cleaning, kept cleaning them to maintain the minty fresh clean the dentist left me with. I started flossing religiously...and then it happened...the floss got stuck. I tugged and tugged but it wouldn't budge. I let go of the inside side and pulled...but nothing happend...then I pulled from the inside side and again nothing happened. I freaked out...I'm not sure why exactly...like I'm sure nothing bad really happens if you get floss stuck between your teeth but suddenly it was like it was a bomb wedged in my mouth and it was going to EXPLODE! So I grabbed both ends in a panic and ripped as hard as I could...and it broke free...but not without serious repercussions. I noticed a rock in the back of my throat...and then I coughed it up...but it wasn't a rock...it was the filling from my tooth! So now there is a crater sized hole in my tooth from where the filling should be. This obviously put a damper on my tooth care regime.
But this hole creates a whole new problem. I can't eat anything without something getting lodged in it. Depending on what gets stuck, it ranges from annoying to pain, pain ,explosive pain ,I think my face is going to fall off and I'm going to die pain. There are a few inbetweens of mildly bothersome and excessive pressure but usually it's either just annoying or the most painful experience of my life and I've given birth! So to tolerate living with this hole, I've made some simple adaptations. I analyze foods before I eat them and look for things that might cause problems...carrots, banana nut bread, peanut M&Ms...etc. I learn to chew some things on the other side of my mouth and to avoid others all together. I also learn to keep a stash of toothpicks nearby. And that is where this post was born.
When I use a toothpick in my living room it inevitably gets lost. I can have it in my hand and not even a second later, it has vanished. Then I will go get another one only for it to vanish moments later as well. I didn't really question where they were going, nor did I really care. They are little splinters of wood that I can get a box of like 1000 for a couple dollars. I could never use that many if I kept using the same one, so I just thought it was God's way of helping me not waste them...that is until one day when I was trying to clean my living room and removed the sofa cushion...and found a whole stash of toothpicks. Now keep in mind I have a four year old...so I also found:
a few random candies
some potato chips
and some unidentifiable substances
Now a normal person would be disgusted by this...I however, thought it was ingenious! I left it all under there and now call it our WWIII emergency supply kit. My husband had no idea about this secret stash until one day when we were all in the living room and I annouced that I wanted a toothpick. No one was 'unlazy' enough to go get one...so I asked him to get one from the WWIII emergency supply kit under the sofa cushion. He made a slightly scrunched look and laughed at me...but just to prove we were made for each other...he didn't make me clean it out either.
So...if you ever need a toothpick, peanut, candy, chip or cheeto...just ask and I'll pull one of the sofa for you.