A Caramel Apple A Day
I paid a much needed visit to the dentist today. I was scheduled for an appointment in April before the bottom fell out because of COVID-19. It was a semi-normal experience excluding them meeting me at the door and walking me out of the place. I figure, next to a doctor's office, there's probably no safer place from a germ standpoint than a dentist's office right now, so what the heck.
I take meticulous care of my teeth, brush twice daily and floss faithfully, to a fault almost. I've developed good habits over the years because I had such a traumatic youth from a dental standpoint. I have a mouth full of metal, as the saying goes, and have for most of my life. My wife on the other hand, has 2 or 3 fillings TOTAL and literally didn't have one until she was in her 40's.
Anyway, today I was blessed with the news that I had two problems. One "small" cavity and the need to replace another older one. (I'm at that age where they're redoing the old ones. Great stuff.)
So I thought it was a little unfair that this happened to me as a person who cares for his teeth. I kid my wife about flossing, as she is fairly neglect at it, while I'm a floss fanatic.
Over dinner tonight we talked about our pasts and how what we ate affected our dentition, probably. I grew up in a sugar-heavy home. Sugared cereals were usually a 50/50 split with the "healthy" grain based ones like Grape Nuts, Wheaties and Special K. We were Sugar Smacks, Quisp & Quake, King Vitamin (Ha!), Cap'n Crunch, Froot Loops, Alpha Bits, Cocoa Krispies, and so many others.
We always had access to Kool Aid, cookies, candy, ice cream, and of course the Ding Dongs, Hostess Cupcakes, Sno Balls, Little Debbies and Twinkies. Oh, and don't forget chocolate milk (occasionally), Hi-C and Hawaiian Punch, pudding and Jello.
Now, none of this was forced down my throat. I loved all of it, and wouldn't trade any of it for anything less. My mom was in the throes of raising 6 of us, so convenience was essential. Many weeks we'd meet her at the Red Owl store and "help" her shop, so we always got to help choose cereal, cookies, candy, etc. I'm sure we nagged a bit as well.
But as we sat there and discussed our childhood diets, rattling off the names of some of the cereals and lunch treats, it became clear why I had the issues I did. I had no one else to blame. I was a sugar fiend, and to an extent, still am. On halloween I kind of go crazy with the candy bowl. None of this takes into account the trips to the Corner Grocery store or Bober Drugs for candy using our allowances. It's a wonder I have any teeth in my mouth.
So, when I heard I had two teeth that needed work, it took me back to sitting in that dental chair in Dr. Whipple's office when I was 10 years old. Dr. Whipple didn't believe in Novacaine (or chose not to use it on kids.)
Needless to say, I am not looking forward to my follow-up appointment in a few weeks.