I was thrilled to get my teeth cleaned yesterday afternoon with Maiko. She was amazing – gentle, thorough and focused on prevention. I was also quite proud that my oral health – as proxied by my “pocket depth” – improved significantly since I started flossing. No cavities and healthy pink gums – hooray!
While my hygienist was very gentle, I experienced mixed emotions – chiffon-quality comfort in the chair; muscles tense; anxiety for my sensitive spots; gratitude and euphoria for clean.
Nationwide, an estimated 75% of Americans have mild to severe dental fear, even with the most gentle care. Here’s my guess as to why:
Yet in spite of this, the pleasure derived was totally worth it. I love, even crave, that smooth, fresh and victorious clean.
Relishing in clean, I was also left wondering. If our modern, sugar-filled diet painted this dirty picture in my mouth, what’s it doing to the rest of my body? It’d be so cool if we could purify the rest of our body in a similar way.
For now, thank heavens for dentists and hygienists. We’re so lucky to have access to routine cleanings, while most of the developing world lacks the most basic care. Exercise, brush, floss, repeat. Stay healthy, stay grateful, keep clean.