About six months ago we received a reminder that we were due to make our annual visit to the dentist. We put it off, as you do, especially with the busy-ness of Christmas coming up.
Then last week I lost part of a filling from a front tooth. No pain, just doesn’t look good.
I’ve always had good teeth and looked after them reasonably well, I thought. It never occurred to me that your teeth have to last all your life. I guess I took them for granted – until I lost a bottom tooth a couple of years ago. Again there was no pain, no indication that decay was taking place inside, until one day it just broke. All of a sudden you realise that things don’t last for ever, and things you trusted before maybe aren’t trustworthy at all. Perhaps this is part of growing up / growing older and facing your own mortality?
My dentist is trying to educate me to floss, and not to drink anything sweet in the evening. I’m a slow learner – its hard to break old habits and learn new ones – and he sounded a bit frustrated with me when I last visited.
I had put off making the appointment for a check-up because of the potential discomfort – the anticipation of pain, facing up to my dentist’s disapproval, and having to pay the bill at the end of it. But the chipped tooth couldn’t be ignored, and I had to take a deep breath, get over the fear and pick up the phone. Its amazing how much relief I felt when the appointment had been made, even though it was still two weeks away.
I read the following quote on WordPress recently. It was by Stephen King and referred to writing, but could just as easily have been about public speaking, or visiting the dentist. Or a sport such as freestyle motocross… (N.B. This is not me!)
The scariest moment is always just before you start…