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My first happy dental holidays.



Well-known member
Oct 27, 2017
I am enjoying my first ever happy dental holidays, at age 42, because:

  • I got benefits starting three years ago.
  • I stood up to a jerk front desk person at my old dentist.
  • I found a dentist who is not super warm, but is friendly and kind, and most importantly told me the truth. That my teeth needed work.
  • I was, this time last year, in the midst of getting my wisdom teeth out and the gum graft. Neither was fun, per se, but I wouldn't fear either procedure again. More annoying than anything.
  • I listened to the hygienist at the periodontist who spent an hour showing me how to floss. (Along with a college degree and getting sober, this is one of the most valuable experiences I've enjoyed since graduating from high school 25 years ago. This forum is one of the few places where people understand how important periodontal choices are! This is a safe place for me.)
  • I imperfectly effect that advice, on average 6 of 7 days a week flossing within 24 hours, sometimes within 36 hours, and never more than 48 hours.
  • Observing and modeling (okay, shameless borrowing courage from) my moral heroes on this forum, especially the amazing Simon, our dear krslovesherkids, and the genius-guru Enarate.

I had a good dentist visit a few weeks ago. They spent one third of the time they usually did on the cleaning. I have to do better with the string flossing, and I was astonished at how much I missed when I chewed that plaque-revealing tablet. Yikes!

They stated that I have "the Rolls Royce" of teeth for a person my age. I don't believe it for a second, but love hearing it!

Nowadays my teeth and gums are generally free of visible plaque, and are largely pain-free. I never thought I would ever get to this point when I was working poor for years. Dental care seemed hopeless. Nowadays I can take action, daily, however small.

Love this!! and you are a great encouragement and inspiration to me and I know so many! This is an awesome testimony..Glad you had a good visit to the dentist recently and wow.. what a compliment "the Rolls Royce " :). You certainly take care well and keep up on things.. You are wise and brave!!
That is encouraging, I want to be like you when I grow up! ;D
Dear Dg6300,

what a lovely summary, it's delighting to read some details about your progress and how far you have come. I particularly enjoyed the part about standing up to a jerk front desk person at your own dentist! :perfect:
Your story will serve as a huge encouragement for all the people who right now find themselves being at the very start of their journey looking for some courage and hope.
Many thanks also for your kind words, you just made my heart melt!
By the way, I am sure there is always space for aiming higher in any area of life, even flossing (gonna try these tablets too, you made me curious now!)..

Thank you for the lovely update, give yourself a pat on the back, enjoy your holidays and keep us posted.:grouphug:
Thank you for your kind words!

@krlovesherkids777 awww thanks! Good luck with your upcoming adventure. You'll do great. I'd wish you luck, but you don't need it. You have something even better: courage. Keep us posted.

@ReginaPhalange You'll get there! Just do exactly as they say, and then do it every day. You'll surprise us all, and none more than yourself.

@Enarete Thank you for the kind words. Yes, flossing is really intricate, and if you haven't already I encourage you to get a referral to get a one on one session with a periodontal hygienist. Mine took an hour, at a slow pace, to show me it. I am 42, and had no idea.

Yeah, standing up to front desk jerks is an under-discussed topic. I think sometimes we put people employed in the dental industry on a pedestal, and accept behavior that we otherwise wouldn't. For me it came down to treating them, and me, with dignity, and in practice that meant I went on my way to find a kinder practice.

Yes, those things are from Oral B, and I think they're called disclosing agents. Just be mentally and morally prepared: we can think we "are good at flossing", and then see the reality. It is nothing to be afraid of, but sometimes reality is very shocking indeed.
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I think they're called disclosing agents.

What an awesome name! :grin: It might be just me not being a native speaker but reading this I imagine some super duper very secret and absolutely cool thing... reminds me of the term 'numbing agent' - that's where I imagine a highly trained team of tiny men in black enclosing my tooth to make sure it's comfortable.. :superman: :giggle:
Last night I was eating some takeout Mexican food, and I found myself eating some wonderfully crunchy and pointy tortilla chips.

This is now remarkable for being unremarkable: I vividly remember a year ago where eating a tortilla chip would have been unthinkable.

I am grateful to:
  1. my boss for hiring me
  2. my employer (institution) for providing me benefits
  3. my new dentist for recommending wisdom teeth and gum graft
  4. my oral surgeon for getting my wisdom teeth out well and for being caring and patient
  5. my periodontist for skillfully adding gum (I was afraid my tooth would fall out)
  6. the mods and creators of this site, and for my friends here, who I can share this with.

In many areas of life I am a failure, and a mitigated success in others: I am human, imperfect, so this is okay. I am enough.

The only endeavor I've accomplished everything I set out to do in 2018 was taking better care of my teeth.

When I have been tired, sad, lonely, depressed, anxious, and done nothing else "right" or "good" that day, I have taken good care of my teeth.

I don't expect or want any medals for this, but I am grateful for this space, here, where dental striving is appreciated.

You are an inspiration to us all , the rest of us very imperfect humans. What is so beautiful is how we all get through things and encourage one another and inspire one another through our stories of courage.. And one who is not familiar to the idea of being dental phobic may not see the act of walking into an office, or calling on the phone, or getting our teeth cleaned as a courageous act.. but for us who have have some trauma or fears and phobias and bad experiences well.. this is indeed very courageous.. and.. to find some of the most patient, kind, inspiring dentists and staff, this is a gift and meant for our growth and maybe theirs too..

I'm glad you were able to enjoy your tortilla chips :)... I just enjoyed for the first time yesterday in months a piece of chocolate with nuts in it. :) time to celebrate.. you deserve it from all the progress you have made this past year and beyond.. and will this year!! and so true that it is nice to come to a place where dental striving is appreciated :)
Sounds like a remarkable success to me, and definitely medal-worthy, whether you want it or not!?

Thank you for being part of the encouraging space here :thumbsup!:
You are not a failure, Dg. You might have areas in your life where you are already where you wish to be and areas where the gap between your wishes and reality is a bit bigger. We all have that. And guess what, it will never stop because there is no such thing as perfection. The important part is that we all grow and work on ourselves. You are doing a great job, have made a wonderful progress and it's lovely to have you here :friends::grouphug:
I stood up to a jerk front desk person at my old dentist.


Since I posted this, four years ago, I have a happy update:

I remember the front desk person was indeed a jerk/unprofessional.

That said, this person has since gotten me three times for next-day emergency procedures, and I brought candy and thank you’s to express my sincere appreciation, and we’re all on good terms.

I note that this good stuff didn’t happen until I created boundaries.

And, larger picture, compared to the garbage advice I’ve always be given (“You owe it to the other person to forgive them. Be the bigger person!”), this is a form of reconciliation I can live with:

We were all, including me, petty jerks in 2018. Boundaries were created and enforced, apologies were offered and accepted, and we entered in a new, healthy dynamic.

It is also mutually beneficial: I am a regular patient m, with insurance, for their new practice, and they get me in 1-2 times a year for emergencies.

Aside of from the professional/technical aspects of dentistry, we’re all human. We can all admit something went wrong, then try to fix it.

End happy rant 🙂