When I was a kid my mother dragged me to to the dentist on a regular basis. Year after year, the visits went the same way. They'd look around my mouth, do a bit of cleaning, and then give me a clean bill of health. I never had a cavity and I never knew why. My oral hygiene, while adequate, was not noticeably better than that of my friends, who clocked in with cavities on a semi-regular basis. Annual appointment after annual appointment: No cavities. Thus began the Legend of Mike's Superhuman Teeth.
Once I left home for college, I forgot all about those regular dentist checkups. Through four years of college and a few more years after that, I just kind of ignored the whole concept of annual dentist appointments. I hoped that maybe I had won the genetic lottery and ended up with impenetrable teeth. The fact that my parents' mouths were filled with caps did not deter my optimism.
After having ignored the concept of professional dentistry for seven straight years, my roommates finally guilted me into scheduling a check-up. I agreed, but stated that if the dentist found no problems with my teeth, I could officially proclaim my teeth to have evolved beyond the notion of needing regularly scheduled dentist visit. If all went well, it was to be the last dental appointment of my life.
I strode into the dental office later that month and announced that I had not seen a dentist in seven years. They grimaced and dug into my mouth. After some frantic poking around, the dentist emitted a disbelieving hmmph and said, "Well, it looks pretty good in here. We'll clean up a little bit and then you can go."
On my way out the receptionist tried to schedule my next appointment. I laughed and politely declined. My genetic superiority had been confirmed.
That was about 14 years ago. That makes one visit to the dentist in the last 20+ years. In that time, I've made sure to brush regularly (2 or 3 times a day) and floss at regular intervals (3 or 4 times a year). That's my secret.
Last week my wife guilted me into scheduling another appointment. Actually, she made the appointment on my behalf, determined that they accept our insurance, told me where it is, confirmed that it's a nice place, and did everything except actually perform the dentistry herself.
Tomorrow is the day. Wish me luck. May the Legend continue....