I grew up having no fear of the dentist. My paternal grandfather is a retired dentist, and he was always very gentle when looking at my teeth.
My nightly tooth-brushing routine went something like this: 1. lock myself in the bathroom 2. run the water in the sink for a few minutes while I sat on the edge of the tub 3. wet my toothbrush and put it away 4. if I was feeling REALLY motivated, I would put a tiny dab of toothpaste on my tongue so as to smell minty-fresh.
Combined with the amount of candy I consumed from about 7th grade through high-school, I am now paying the price.
Yes, I brush my teeth daily. Twice. I even floss a few times a week. That has not saved me from developing cavities now in the Later Years and even two dreaded root canals.
I was tricked. My first root canal was necessitated by a fantastic mountain bike crash when I was 13. I was on the mountain bike, but not-so-much on a mountain... my aunt and I had ridden into town to get the mail and on the way back I woke up with my face ground into the gravel and my bike on top of me. They sewed up my lip at the hospital, courtesy of the local plastic surgeon, and then we took a trip to the dentist where I was told that the tooth would die eventually and I would probably end up with a root canal later in life.
Later In Life was a couple of years ago. Since the tooth was totally dead.. nerve and all, the root canal was a breeze. The worst part was the shot in the mouth to numb anything that wasn't already dead, and then it was all just fun and games. I healed very quickly and the posting and crowing procedures were no sweat.
Then a few months ago I started having some pain in my right upper jaw when I would step with my right foot. I decided to have it checked out, and they discovered that there was infection hiding out above my tooth (a whole different tooth, mind you) and we needed to do a Root Canal!!! Yay!
No problem, I thought... I've done this before and it was easy-peasy. Apparently infected flesh does not react to numbing agents and chemicles in the same was as healthy flesh. So the whole proceedure was HoRRIBLe! I had two anesthetic shots and almost a third but we finished just in time. Couldn't bite down for 4 days and had to be careful not to put my teeth together when I sneezed.
Today, I am going back. They will put a tiny screw up through the middle of my tooth into my jaw and screw it in with a tiny screwdriver. Pretty cool. If you see me this evening and I'm crying, you'll know why.