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I just survived a trip to the dentist. Haven't they been saying for years that we have to brush up and down and get those bristles under the gumline to get out that nasty old plaque? Well, after doing that for years, now my gums are starting to recede from my teeth. Their response, go easy.

It's bad enough I'm of the generation that grew up with those sadists who drilled half your tooth away to fill a tiny cavity. I still get pale and sweaty when I hear those drills.

Then they ask if my teeth and gums bleed much. I said only when someone pokes sharp, pointy weapons at them.
 

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I'm also an anti-dentite and proud of it.
 

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I've had problems with gums bleeding almost all my life.  I hated the twice-yearly lectures from the dentist & the hygienist that made me feel about 4 years old. 

A year ago I finally got a rechargeable electric toothbrush that has a timer, and both the D & the H actually did a happy dance the last two times I've been in because of the improvement (no bleeding, puffiness or receding).  And no lecture!

Having also just taken my mom in to get her full dentures adjusted yet again, I'm even more motivated to take care of all my teeth as well as I can, even if it means tolerating the dentist visits.
 

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We (DH, DD, GDs, and I) use toothbrushes with the softest bristles available as these are supposed to be best for the teeth and gums. Ever since DH and I use the battery powered Crest SpinBrush Pro toothbrushes our dentist has been very happy with us. I do not remember if the softest bristle toothbrush heads came with the original toothbrushes but those are the replacement heads that I buy. The batteries last a very long time.

Years ago my mom was told that she would need surgery due to problems with her gums. Instead of having surgery, she started using a WaterPik and Stimudents (special toothpicks for stimulating the gums), her gums improved considerably and are now nearly perfect. Her current dentist did not believe that she had ever been told that her gums were bad enough to need surgery.
 

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Ugh, good timing. Guess where I'm going this afternoon? :)

Actually my dentist is lovely, and ever since I started using an electric toothbrush my gums and teeth are pretty good. But I need repair work after falling down the stairs last year - it took a while for me to realise I've cracked a tooth. So I'll spend a lot of time there today, and leave with a pain in the wallet.
 

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I am the Dental Queen, having about the equivalent of the cost of a new Toyota in dental work.  Receding gums can by typical as one ages  ;D.  My problem was the other way around- gums were growing.  So, the thing you want to avoid at all costs is a periodontist.  A Waterpik is wonderful if you have the discipline to use it (I didn't).  Having a powered Braun for many years has helped me rather significantly.

I absolutely abhor going to have my teeth cleaned (every 3 months)...

I feel your pain!
 

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Can go on and on about dentists. A few years ago, one of my sort-of foster kids, 16 years old and happened a couple of times. Had to take him into the ER, his teeth were so-bad... Anyway, he was on state health care... His father had died a couple years prior, then his mother abandoned him.. So yeah, he had it rough...

Dentists refused to take on those on state health care, battle of dollars... But if the ER referred someone because of life threatening tooth decay by law the dentists had to help.

Twice, dentists dodged him on it. Once they learned he was state aid, any excuse to get off the phone, say they'd call back  or whatever... Of course, they never did, even after repeated attempts.

For the doctor/dentist it was all about the money. The kid could drop dead because infection spread to his brain, they did not care. He was spitting "green" infection from his mouth! Still, he could drop dead.. They did not care. Regardless of what the law and what ER said. File a complainant and nothing was done.
 

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I don't want to get into my history of dentist problems since my fear started at a very early age.  But I do want to echo what folks have said about an electric toothbrush with very soft bristles helping with the gum issues.  My hygienist also says that flossing regularly and having your teeth cleaned regularly will make things much easier.
She was also surprised at how much better my teeth/gums are since I don't drink Diet Coke at all any more.  I have switched to tea with very little sweetener.  Apparently green tea is good for your mouth too :)
And I have a topical (what's the word for something that makes it numb??) that the hygienist puts on at the beginning and it seriously cuts down on my pain and therefore my anxiety level.  And the insurance won't pay for it, but if I need work done, I spring for the nitrous.  It calms me down enough so that the dentist is able to get me numbed up and get the work done.  When I am anxious, my body does something weird and I won't get numb no matter how much or how many shots they give me.  It's like my body just eats it up... so the nitrous is totally worth it to me.
 

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This kind of thing is precisely why I cling to my current dentist. He's of the opinion that dental work shouldn't hurt.

(I KNOW! WHAT a concept!)

I have genetically pathetic enamel, so I've become a faithful flosser. It's the one thing that has made a big difference in th health of my teeth, specifically bleeding gums and cavities.

 

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I have to confess I've only ever been to a dentist a couple times in my life. I have no insurance and neither did my parents when I was growing up, so I'm not too familiar with the dentist's chair. I don't seem to have any problems with my teeth but haven't had them looked at since I was fifteen.
 

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AnnetteL said:
This kind of thing is precisely why I cling to my current dentist. He's of the opinion that dental work shouldn't hurt.

(I KNOW! WHAT a concept!)
...
My dentist has this opinion as well. He was the first dentist my sister did not mind seeing.
 
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