I’m generally averse to medical professionals who prod and poke at my various body parts with with scary-looking implements but I have a special level of aversion towards dentists.
People always think I’m exaggerating when I say that dental visits are more painful than childbirth but it’s true because at least in childbirth, there’s epidural. Whenever I ask the dentist for anesthesia during scaling and polishing, he always looks at me like I’m a big baby. It’s never stopped me from trying though, on the off-chance I finally get a dentist who has some compassion and gives me Novocaine.
Last weekend, I was scheduled for another one of those dreaded visits to the dentist.
I was more nervous than usual because ever since I got pregnant, my gums have been extra sensitive and I bleed quite often during brushing. It’s a vicious cycle as I tend to ease off on brushing as thoroughly, which leads to even more sensitive gums. I knew I was in for some serious pain.
When I got settled in, the dentist took his time to observe my teeth and started shaking his head.
“This is bad, your gums are severely inflamed,” he said grimly.
Then without warning, he reached out for a very pointy device and started scraping at my teeth and gums. Ok, scraping doesn’t quite describe it. Imagine like the device was making terrible sounds and he was attacking my gums with it. Seriously, I’ve had my share of uncomfortable dental visits but this one was epic in terms of pain levels. After every 5 or 6 teeth, he’d let me spit out mouthfuls of blood and rinse a little before resuming the torture. But I can’t be certain because I might have passed out during the process.
So according to the dentist, pregnancy hormones can cause gums to be more sensitive to the bacteria in plaque, resulting in swollen, tender gums that bleed during brushing and flossing. He also gave me some handy tips on oral health care tips during pregnancy.
1. Brush more frequently (but gently), using a good, soft-bristled brush.
2. Floss regularly, and also gently.
3. Schedule regular visits to the dentist, who can remove the plaque and tartar that regular brushing can’t get to.
To help with the gentle brushing, Colgate will be sending over their latest SlimSoft toothbrush, with 0.01mm super slim bristles that provide deep and gentle cleaning. I’m going to try this for a couple of weeks to see how it works. Hopefully it keeps me from having to go through that excruciating process again.
This is part 1 of a series of sponsored conversations on behalf of Colgate. All opinions and text are my own.