June 19th, 2024

Medicine reaction a reminder to brush and floss

By Lethbridge Herald on January 28, 2023.

Al Beeber
Lethbridge Herald

Parents, make sure your kids brush their teeth and floss every day. Trust me, they’ll thank you later in life.

Friday the 13th belatedly caught up to me this week as I just knew it would. Either that or karma bit me for not paying attention to my dental health for way too many years.

I was one of those who thought brushing was something to do occasionally when I was growing up and I’ve been paying the price ever since. And my parents never made an issue of it. 

A recent teeth cleaning, however, surprised me with the need for several new fillings and an extraction. While I’ve definitely improved enormously my focus on dental health, apparently it wasn’t enough. I’ve been on my best tooth behaviour – except for the daily flossing part – for years now. And I guess power flossing for two weeks prior to a dental appointment doesn’t help. Who knew?

So on Monday, Kevin Goth once again had me in a chair for an extraction with several fillings planned the next day.

I’ve had my share of teeth pulled over the years – and I have the partial dentures to prove it – but this one was different. 

It’s the first time I’ve had a hole sutured and given a prescription of penicillin to prevent infection.

I was warned of the possible side effects of the amoxycillin which I haven’t used since I can remember but I have a stomach that can handle anything as the hot sauce and pickled eggs in the fridge attest so I didn’t pay much heed. I’m Iron Stomach Man, I thought.

Wrong! Shortly after I swallowed the first capsule, my gut wasn’t happy. 

The second one reiterated that and my Tuesday morning, I was living in the bathroom at home and at work where I had to call the dentist 15 minutes before the filling appointment to beg out. 

In retrospective, I shouldn’thave followed the recommended schedule and done the third one. But I’m proof stubbornness can have consequences.

And mine did. I had to cover council remotely on Tuesday afternoon because I didn’t dare be more than a few steps from a bathroom. 

By Wednesday morning, I was still queasy and extremely guilty I had to postpone the much-needed work which now is being done next week.

I’m truly and deeply apologetic to the good doctor and his staff because nobody wants to experience a last-minute cancellation – trust me, I know from having many interviews postponed at the last second. It’s annoying, inconvenient and frustrating.

So because sugar and dentists seem a natural fit, I drove over on Wednesday with the largest box of fresh TimBits I could buy to say sorry.

It’s my fault for not heeding the advice kids have been getting since we first had to experience a dentist’s office — brush, floss and repeat daily. 

Those fake dentists on the toothpaste commercials actually do have a good message, not that I personally would promote any brand like Sensodyne, a toothpaste that I guarantee your gums and choppers will love. Oops. 

If I had followed advice, my mouth would probably still be full of my own teeth. 

And I wouldn’t now be gargling mouthwash to kill gingivitis and plaque twice a day. And this week’s intestinal turmoil could have been prevented.

My mouth actually smells so clean that Ben dog won’t go near my face now. 

Minty-fresh cuddles are definitely not happening this week because Ben clearly prefers other scents.

My determination to get to the dentist’s office on Tuesday brought back a long ago and unpleasant memory when Molly Beeber in Bellevue made tomato soup – with cream – for dinner one night when the family was visiting. 

I tried to hold it down the best I could, determined not to let her know the soup was awful. At least to me. Nobody else had a problem but the tomato and the thick cream made me want to gag. 

And when someone else got up to use the lone bathroom before I could, I had no choice but to bolt out the back door in full panic mode and right in front of a large window of their neighbours, the Funfers, which faced Harry and Molly’s backyard, before I could reach the privacy of a shed I got violently ill. 

I landed on my knees, wretchedly sick to my stomach. And I have wondered since if the Funfers decided to put up blinds or keep them closed if they witnessed that.

When I returned contrite and sheepish to the house, Molly gently said I didn’t have to eat the soup if I didn’t like it. 

To me, that wasn’t the point – I was determined to suffer through the dinner experience so I didn’t insult grandma. 

Grandmas, after all, are off-limits for insulting.

Alas, I failed. 

I’m still feeling that same sense of embarrassment over my missed appointment Tuesday. But I’ve learned in a very painful way a lesson that I should have begun following so long ago – brush the teeth! And be sure to use Listerine, which fake dentists everywhere recommend. Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter.

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