The harsh reality is that like a lot of Canadians, I've been too broke to visit the dentist in quite a long time. My wife's diligent hard work has paid off though and we have found the “Tooth Fairy” program in New Brunswick and we are impoverished enough to qualify. Since I have a crater that needs very badly to be addressed, I got to be the first in the family to go.
I was not looking forward to this at all and maybe it was a good thing I had passengers on the journey who needed to visit Moncton for another reason. We arrived at the Oulton College Dentistry Clinic as scheduled. I'm terminally punctual, which is a family trait.
As usual I had to fill out a questionnaire and then I was greeted by the dental instructor, who gave me a brief run down on how things would proceed. He advised me that no matter how bad my teeth were he'd seen far worse. In no time at all I was in the chair with a bunch of dental instruments in my mouth.
“How often to you brush?”
I elected to be honest and told him infrequently. When I occasionally spit out part of an old filling or piece of a tooth and feel like they're crumbling anyway, I feel like, what's the point? Flossing – I have a different excuse. I shred floss rather than clean between my teeth. He could see that.
“When I look in your mouth, that's not what I'm seeing. What do you do? Eat fifteen apples a day or other hard veggies?”
“Well I try to eat those things regularly.” Saves us the work or cooking some of them.
“ You're a perfect example of why people should be doing that. You teeth look good.”
I was not expecting that. Yes my crater tooth is a lost cause but I'm not expected to lose any other teeth. I've lost three fillings and only have one new cavity that isn't critical yet. He figures that the Tooth Fairy program will fix them and they'll be good for fifty plus years if I mend my ways and take good care of them. That's great because I don't expect to live to 104.
“Do you grind your teeth at night?”
“I don't remember anyone ever telling me I did.”
“They're probably just being nice.”
That would be Francine and yes I asked her when I got home and I do grind them at night sometimes. When I told him I remember my younger sister did, he said it ran in families and it's related to stress. I don't have any stress. On the bright side Joanne and I can probably blame this on my parents. There is noticeable wear from this on some of my teeth.
Overall the visit went very well. I know where I stand. They will call to make appointments to make the repairs. I do get to go back in two weeks for a three hour cleaning. Some student will do the work an instructor will inspect grade and if necessary correct the work. It takes time but the price is right. Francine has already passed information to a friend at work who likely qualifies for the program as well and didn't know about it. One thing that does irritate me in Canada is that we often have programs to help people but finding out about them is like getting your teeth extracted.