When I lost my baby teeth, my adult teeth came in a bit crazy. My front teeth overlapped, on the top and bottom, and I had weird gaps and tight spaces. Needless to say, I wore braces…for 5 years. Not just braces, but spacers, bands, mouth guard, retainer and eventually a bar across the bottom. I am incredibly blessed that my parents did all of this for me, as I now have almost perfectly straight teeth (they have moved a little over time).
Since I spent a large portion of my childhood in braces or other fun accessories for my teeth, I became a little obsessive about them. I have them cleaned and examined diligently every 6 months, if not sooner at times. So when I was first diagnosed and learned that I couldn’t have my teeth cleaned during chemo, I went into a slight panic. The reasoning is because the risk of infection is too great with teeth cleanings. But I LOVE having my teeth cleaned. I can’t NOT do that!
A quick call to my dentist calmed my anxiety, as they had a cancelation and were able to fit me in first thing the next morning – whew! I was able to begin chemo with clean teeth. This was incredibly important to me…perhaps because it was something I felt like I could control, since everything in that moment was a whirlwind.
After chemo ended, I needed to wait a month before having my teeth cleaned to ensure my body could fight off a potential infection. Well that was right about the time for surgery so I needed to wait until after I was healed enough to lay flat for the cleaning. This took quite a few weeks but once I could lay down and the oncology letter of clearance was received, I was quickly added to the schedule.
One of my appointments yesterday was a dental cleaning. Like I said, I love having my teeth cleaned. There’s just something about knowing they are nice and clean with no cavities that makes me feel good. It also makes me feel as though things are starting to transition back to a nomal-ish way of life. Well, if you ignore the daily radiation and every 3 weeks Herceptin. 😉
Do any of you enjoy the dentist like me?!