I am not a big fan of the dentist. Do not get me wrong: My current dentist is wonderful as far as dentists go. In the past, however, I have had some downright unpleasant experiences with dental care. My very first dentist who I saw from the time that I first got my baby teeth in until I got my own dental insurance kept insisting that I needed expensive dental surgery to remove my wisdom tooth. Of my four wisdom teeth, one has come through the gums but is completely sideways. However, because this tooth is not bothering any of my other teeth and because I floss and brush this tooth every day, I have wisely refused and still have my crooked wisdom tooth to this day.
Next came the dentist who I can describe with no other word than evil. When I first visited this dentist, he announced that I had four cavities that needed fillings. Although I brush my teeth daily, I have poor enamel, so I get a lot of cavities despite my best efforts (and despite the dental sealant that I had put on my teeth as a child). However, this dentist, while numbing my gums for the fillings, jabbed me incorrectly with the needle, resulting in tooth sensitivity for the next year as well as a sizeable bruise on my cheek for the next two weeks. I flat out refused to ever go back to that quack dentist.
I eventually found a nice dentist is a nearby town who is great as far as dentists go. However, with all my bad experiences with past dental care, I was definitely not looking forward to going to the dentist while pregnant. Unfortunately, during the first trimester of my pregnancy with my daughter, I had to go to my six-month appointment that had already been scheduled months in advance. I still vividly recall my first experience with pregnancy dental care.
Because I had been suffering from morning, noon, and night sickness for almost the entire first part of my pregnancy, I was terrified of throwing up on the dentist or the dental hygienist or both while visiting the dentist while pregnant. Whenever I would brush and floss my teeth, I would end up gagging and would sometimes throw up. When I would throw up in the sink, I would have to brush my teeth again, which would just make me gag even more. I was also having an especially hard time with flossing because of the mechanics of flossing. And, although I liked to finished my dental care routine with a mouth rinse, I could rinse my mouth with Listerine for only about five seconds because I would almost vomit in the sink again. I was so sure that I was going to get sick in that uncomfortable dentist office chair while visiting the dentist while pregnant.
For my six-month dental checkup, I made my husband come with me to the dentist office. If I were to throw up on myself or on anyone else, my husband was sure as heck going to be there to comfort me! He was also going to be there to back me up in case anyone gave me any trouble with my oversensitive gag reflex. Fortunately for me and my poor little tummy, both the dental hygienist and the dentist were very understanding about my pregnancy-induced gagging. The dental hygienist even kept asking me if I were okay while she cleaned my teeth. She was also very good about getting her hands out of my mouth when I gagged while she was attempting to floss my teeth. So, despite my fears and my past bad experiences with dental care, doing to the dentist while pregnant ended up not being all that bad.
Did you go to the dentist while pregnant? How was your experience with pregnancy dental care?
Dentist Chairs: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dentist_chairs.JPG