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Did My Semester Abroad Give Me A Permanent Cavity Problem?

Most people dread going to the dentist. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand why anyone would hate the dentist. I loved going when I was a kid. Why would I want to clean my own teeth when I could have a professional do it for me on my parent’s insurance (thank you, mom and dad)? The night before going, I would debate on what toothpaste flavor I would pick, which usually ranged from bubblegum to mint. Something about the scraper (I call the metal tools scrapers. I know that is not their name nor do I care. I’m not calling them excavators and wrenches and explorers. It’s scrapers.) up against my teeth gave me this soothing sensation and reassurance that I knew my teeth were going to be looking and feeling good after the appointment. Don’t even get me started on the fluoride mouthpiece. My mouth felt like a had an orange peel in it for the rest of the day. No complaints there.

Growing up, I never had a cavity. Not one to my name! This is coming from a kid who used to guzzle down at least 1-2 Gatorades, an Arizona Iced Tea, and an assortment of Sour Patch Kids and Kit Kats every single day. Despite the sugary concoctions, there were no cavities for this guy for over two decades.

Then, the turning point occurred after my semester abroad. Yes, I went abroad. Fight me. I studied in Florence, Italy. When I came back, I scheduled a dentist appointment to check on the ole pearly whites. Something was different this time. I felt like a supporting character in a horror movie when they know they are about to die. You might say it was a sixth sense. I knew something was wrong and when I went to the dentist, I was right. I had my first cavity.

I was 21 at the time. It was bound to happen eventually so I wasn’t too worried. I had the sucker filled and went on with my life. I thought that would be the first and only cavity. Folks,,, I was wrong.

My dentist retired so I had to see a new dentist in a different town. Huge, huge mistake on my part. I’m not accusing every dentist of fraud, but when you change offices, all the new dentists see are dollar signs. This is their chance to capitalize on new customers and “make up” for what the previous dentist didn’t do.

“Oh, that looks like the beginning of a cavity.”

“Hmm you know what, just to be safe, I think we should fill this.”

“I know your old dentist said we can leave the tooth alone, but I think we need to fill it now.”

What am I supposed to do, ask to see the x-rays and critique their work? I’m trusting them to do the right thing. Do you want to know how many cavities they said I had?

Let’s just say it was a lot. I don’t want to give away the official number because I would one day like to have a girlfriend and I’d appreciate it if she actually likes my teeth. After that trip to the dentist at 22, my parents pulled me out of that office after my fillings were completed because they were NOT happy with that diagnosis. I don’t blame them.

Fast forward to the present day and I have had my fair share of cavities. How did I go from having 0 cavities to a billion in the span of a few years? It’s not like I’m brushing my teeth with a rock or with a bottle of Jack like Kesha. I brush 2-3 times a day, floss, and mouthwash it up at least once a day. The dentist always complements me on my habits. Why are they not working? Genetics? Bad toothbrush?

Did Florence ruin my teeth? Think about. Zero cavities before going abroad. 289388398923 after going abroad. Now I know what you’re thinking, maybe my first dentist missed these cavities. I’m going to give Dr. T the benefit of the doubt. I don’t throw people under the bus. Who would’ve thought that the best few months of my life would be the end for my teeth? Perhaps it were the delicious paninis or gelato that I ate. Maybe I contracted a virus. I didn’t even drink that much wine! I’m lying, but it wasn’t that much! Thanks a lot Florence. If you need me, I’ll be in the chair with my mouth wide open.

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