I have bruxism. And apparently it is way worse than I thought.
I just got back from the dentist, and basically I am going to be spending a lot of time in her office over the next six months to a year or so. From grinding my teeth plus overzealous brushing plus drinking soda by the bucketful, I have basically worn almost all the enamel off almost all my teeth. The only tooth in my entire head that appears to be fundamentally unaffected is the one that isn't even "factory equipment" any more -- it's the tooth that had the root canal and now has a crown.
I'm pretty sure this is nothing to be embarrassed about -- this isn't like the last time I went to a new dentist's office, when it had been more than 5 years since my last cleaning. Then I ended up having to have my bottom two wisdom teeth pulled, and I needed a gum debridement, which was maybe the most awful thing ever, mostly because for weeks afterward I needed to use this awful special mouthwash that tasted like black licorice and made everything taste funny.
I am not kidding when I say that black licorice is NOT a good flavor for mouthwash.
I guess I am going to have to have a bunch of teeth bonded, two cavities filled, and eventually I will have the other two wisdom teeth extracted, because basically they aren't doing anything except making it harder for me to keep the rest of my molars. I'll need to change the way I drink my soda -- smaller volumes, use a straw, only at mealtimes -- and then I will need to swish with a flouride rinse immediately afterwards. I have to get prescription toothpaste, too, which is something I didn't even know existed. Oh, and my new toothbrush? Is the same size as the toothbrush my kid uses.
I will say this about the new dentist: she is quite wonderful. She is the same dentist who takes care of Shae, and she is practically an old pro at the office, even though she's only been there twice. I am a complete wuss when it comes to dental work. I know it needs to be done, and I actually think that poor dental hygiene is one of the unforgivable sins, but there is something about getting needles in my mouth that I will never be 100% comfortable with.
I understand that this office also uses nitrous oxide, so maybe I will be okay.