In the past few years I have had to undergo thousands and thousands of dollars of root canals, crowns and mouth guards. I have really bad TMD so I grind and clench at night and for many years did not wear a mouth guard. I have worn down all the enamel in my teeth and have caused cracks and breaks which have led to premature decay. My dentist says I have the teeth of a 75 year old woman. I am telling you all of this so first you can understand what worry and stress does to the physical body when you don't trust God. I have spent the last 30 years of my life worrying myself sick, causing all my own consequences. And before you know it, I will wake up one day in Heaven and God will have me account for all of this. Its a good thing He is a loving, forgiving God. On a side note, this is a very serious subject. The effects of stress, worry and anxiety is so great on the body. I wish I could turn back the hands of time and push my "do over" button. But God is now restoring me and making me new...so that I can move forward. I cant physically do anything about the damage I have done, but God will restore my mind and heart so that I don't do any more damage.
I guess it all started back when I was 19. There was a period of many years where I did not see the dentist at all. I know you can relate. I was a very careless young person, like most today, and did not understand the value of our human body. Also, I smoked for 10 years. I quit the day I found out we were pregnant with Grace and haven't gone back. It has been over 4 years, praise God! I also used to drink a lot of alcohol. All factors that play into my health. I always took care of my mouth but sometimes that isn't enough. Your lifestyle is key. Lets face it, if your out at bars, eating crappy, smoking cigarettes, you probably aren't being too mindful of your health. True story.
So on top of that, my grinding and clenching. It causes wear and tear on the surface of your teeth which leaves room for bacteria to slip in the cracks and cause MAJOR problems. All of a sudden I would wake up and be in pain in a tooth, go to the dentist and $2000 dollars later come home with a root canal and a crown. On one salary, military pay, we are in major "Melissa has caused her own problems" debt. But please understand that as a person who has been on anti anxiety meds and anti depressants for many years of my life, I am not downplaying what worry has over you or me. I understand that it is like a black cloud or a deep hole and its hard. When I was on medication, I felt dependant on it and after a while just icky. I hated having to base my mood on what pill I took or only be able to calm down with a pill. I wanted to be only dependant on God and I knew that until I made that choice, things wouldn't get better. But once I knew that the devil was laughing every time I worried, I wanted that part of me to end. I have been praying and reading scripture, people have been praying for me...God is showing me a freedom to this and I am praying for you too. Please understand today that whatever you do to deal with anxiety or stress, whether it be overeating or alcohol...or even tooth grinding, its destroying your body and your spirit. Sometimes we don't see the damage until its too late, like heart attacks or complications with diabetes.
So now I have two daughters. One is almost 4 and the other almost 1. My Grace went to the dentist last month and had some issues...I cried the whole day and you can read my post about it here. Its a looong one but worth it if you have the time. So I decided to move forward and really attack this issue. Confront it without fear. I am choosing to be proactive instead of reactive and would like to develop some new, healthy routines so my girls don't have to go through what I have. First, I would like you to know that I have been praying for them that this "generational curse" end with me. Both my mother and grandmother have had issues with their teeth and I would like this to be done. In Jesus name. Second, I have some new products and procedures to share with you.
Did you know that breast milk contains enzymes that kills bacteria in your babies mouth? And did you know that formula DOESNT??!! I didn't. Lucy was nursed for 8 months until our move to San Antonio, then we had to switch to formula. So this whole time I didn't know that I was not taking care of her gums and teeth properly. Graces dentist gave Lucy a "teether" with a brush on it when we were there, I also found them at target. And here are her new brushes. I also brought the gum and teeth finger cleaner with the baby toothpaste. I use that on her after her morning bottle and before she goes to bed.
Also, we have added toothbrushes and mouthwash to the downstairs bathroom. Its right off the kitchen so right after we eat lunch, we brush.
So I hope that somewhere, someone out there will benefit from my experiences. If you have not been good to your body lately, don't be afraid to start over. Don't be afraid to start new and make changes today. You cant go back and change what you have done in the past, but God can renew your spirit and heal where its necessary. He will give you new hope and determination to make the rest of your time here on earth healthy and full. I am praying for you friend...wherever you are. I am praying that God shows you where you could be better and I promise He will give you all the tools necessary to make that happen!