My name is Kym Hamer, I am 46 years old and I have just had my first filling.
Yes it’s true. I have just returned from the dentist numb-cheeked after said filling (plus a fluoride treatment on two other culprits) and am under strict instructions not to eat or drink for the next two hours.
So I thought I’d fill the time by telling you all about it. Hooray I hear you say…not. Nevertheless here goes…
I’d never been to Smile Cliniq until a couple of weeks ago…and it had been two years since my last checkup elsewhere so you can probably appreciate there was quite a bit of scraping and polishing to do. And then there was the unwelcome news of a cavity in my lower right molar and early signs of decay in two other teeth so my lapse is likely to be the cause of today’s drill ‘n’ fill session.
But Chet (the dentist) was great, explaining everything clearly beforehand and checking in throughout that I was okay. He warned of ‘a little scratch’ before the injection which I did not feel and aside from my inability to rinse without dribbling at the end (making me giggle…which made things worse), I emerged relatively unscathed in under 30 minutes.
Chet’s really passionate about his profession and we got chatting today about a seven year study carried out in Sydney to prove the benefits of adding fluoride to the water system. The lack of dental fillings at my age has often been referred to as a result of being part of the fluoride generation and Chet mentioned today that in Birmingham, early tests around adding fluoride to the water have yielded further evidence of its benefits, particularly in preventing tooth decay in children.
Even better in my book is the application of fluoride treatments on signs of early decay which may actually mean a future devoid of fillings. Imagine that in only a generation or two from now, the concept of have a filling may be as alien as walking on the Moon was to us a century ago.
In any case, my drill ‘n’ fill was nowhere near as traumatic as I had envisaged but I am in no hurry to have another. So I will continue my twice-daily brush, floss and (mouth)wash and be more vigilant in heading back for some professional attention every 6 months. Being a week into February, it’s a little late for a New Year resolution but given the literal hole I made for myself by waiting so long, I’m off to add a checkup reminder in my calendar for August. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this reminder from English poet Pam Ayres as to the moral of my story:
Look after your teeth peeps!
Oh I wish I’d looked after me teeth
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the dangers beneath
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.
I wish I’d been that much more willin’
When I had more tooth there than fillin’
To give up gobstoppers,
From respect to me choppers,
And to buy something else with me shillin’.
When I think of the lollies I licked
And the liquorice allsorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.
My mother, she told me no end,
‘If you got a tooth, you got a friend.’
I was young then, and careless,
My toothbrush was hairless,
I never had much time to spend.
Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’
And pokin’ and fussin’
Didn’t seem worth the time – I could bite!
If I’d known I was paving the way
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fillin’s,
Injections and drillin’s,
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away.
So I lie in the old dentist’s chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine
In these molars of mine.
‘Two amalgam,’ he’ll say, ‘for in there.’
How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s methey are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.