Monday 1 December 2014

As Long As it Takes

I kind of fell into working at the Post Office, and thankfully it was a very good fit for me. Oh, I suppose that I could have gotten a job that paid better or had a little more prestige, but all in all, I have been happy. When I first started working there, it was only for a few months until I could find something better. Surprisingly, most of the people who were working there when I did had the same life plan. I keep going to retirement parties for those people.

The money was never really good, it was a living wage, but you never hear the phrase “millionaire, playboy mailman”. Part of the reason you stay at a government job is because when you finish the job you will have a decent pension and benefits. Once again, you don’t get rich, but you can live. People think that it is a gift given to government workers, but they have no idea how much we paid from our base pay to have these benefits 35 years later.

The benefit I contributed to that has paid for itself over and over again is the dental plan. I have very poor teeth and up until recently, a year didn’t go by where I didn’t need thousands of dollars of work. Well, hundreds anyways. My father and brother had their teeth pulled to avoid the constant dental work. It seems like a stupid solution to me, but we each make decisions based on our individual situations. Plus I would worry that Tornado would hide my teeth on me someday.

Dental science has made great progress over the years and procedures that once involved a week or two or discomfort and pain, can be dealt with in a couple of hours. Just recently, I had my teeth painted with the new fluoride treatment. It is supposed to be much better than swishing it around in your mouth, but not as good as having it in the city water supply. Our city had a vote to remove the fluoride from the water supply and children’s dental health has suffered. I know that some people figure the government is using fluoride or some other chemical to make us docile. That’s crazy; TV does the trick nicely enough.

I had hoped that other advances would have come quicker. I don’t know why layers of enamel can’t be added to our teeth to replace what gets worn down. You would think that every week they could add a thin layer and eventually it would build up to what normal should be. Barring that, I would like to see them plant tooth buds in my gums so that brand new teeth would grow in just like happens to kids. It wouldn’t be without cost or pain I am sure, but can you imagine being able to have a full set of perfect teeth after a lifetime of dental abuse.

For now I will continue to regularly visit the wonderful Dr. Julie and her merry band of dental professionals. I will brush my teeth on a regular basis and floss when the mood strikes me. I wear a tooth guard now to keep from wearing them down any more than they are. I still think that dental science could and should progress faster than it is, but I’m willing to stay alive for as long as it takes. 

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