A Day at the Dentist For a Former Tobacco User

DentistBack when I was a dipper I hated the idea of visiting the dentist.  I’ve always been pretty good about brushing twice a day, flossing when necessary and generally keeping up with my oral health — oh yeah, except for that whole 17 year can a day Kodiak habit.

I can remember vividly the days leading up to a trip to the dentist – I’d move my dip around to different spots in my mouth to cut down on the amount of wear and tear on my gums in those areas.  I’d go the ENTIRE morning (a couple of hours) without a dip before my appointment.  I’d be overjoyed when the doc gave me the OK and I’d never once mention that I was still dipping.

On the way out of the dentist’s office I’d open up my can and pop in a fatty.  Did you hear that?  On the WAY OUT OF THE DENTIST’S OFFICE.  How stupid I was.  I’d just received an “all clear” from the dentist so in my mind I was good to go… good to continue chewing.  Stupid, dumb, ignorant.

Today was different.  Today I marched in there, sat down and had no fear.  I’ve been dip free for over 1,000 days.  I know I’m still an addict but I’ll never again fear going to the dentist.  I don’t have to lie.  I don’t have to “prepare” myself for an office visit.  I didn’t realize it when I got dressed this morning, but I happened to put on one of my KillTheCan.org shirts.  Kind of ironic don’t you think?

For those of you out there who have quit but haven’t gone to the dentist yet — DO IT!  Tell him everything.  Tell him how long you chewed, how much you chewed, etc.  Spill your guts.  He’ll give you a good checkup and you’ll gain peace of mind knowing that you’re in good shape moving into your quit.

For those of you out there who haven’t quit — why?

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11 Comments

  1. Does fake chew still harm your gums? I threw in my first pinch on my third day of being off skoal. Elicit was the specific brand. And it burned like hell! Now I feel like my gums are all soft and stuff…. I don’t want to do this if it’s still going to harm my gums

    • Jacob – I’ve never gotten an answer to that specific question from a dentist (I’ll reach out and see if I can get one).

      That said, I’m guessing that putting ANYTHING between your cheek and gum isn’t necessarily a good thing and could potentially cause recession / harm.

      When it comes to fake dips (and Elicit – http://blog.killthecan.org/2013/07/elicit-herbal-chew-review/) many of them contain cayenne pepper to give you that burn, so that very well may be what you’re feeling.

      • Thanks for the quick reply chewie!
        Yeah that would be great If you could find out. I’ve been doing tons of research just because of how paranoid I am of my oral health now. but haven’t been able to find much. and as far as the pepper… I knew it was there haha

        • Jacob – I reached out to Dr. Jack (who we’ve had as a guest in live chat) and here was his answer:

          “I agree with your response. I went online to try to locate ingredients in Elicit. No surprise, can not find them anywhere. Elicit does contain nicotine.
          The nicotine is usually delivered to your blood stream by entering your cheek/gum tissue thru irritation to the soft tissue. Chronic irritation to soft tissue causes chronic turnover of tissue cells. Increased tissue turnover, increased the risk of the cellular process going bad (carcinoma). “fake chew” is just like chew in my opinion.”

          I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but I’d also suggest that while fake chew may be “bad” it’s CERTAINLY better than the real stuff, ESPECIALLY since it will allow you to wean yourself off BOTH products. For me, I chewed the fake for a good 220+ days into my quit and then one day I just didn’t need it any more. This is why I’ve always told folks to use it as much as necessary during their quit – it’s a tool, a very successful tool, and one that eventually you won’t need any more.

          • Thank you very much for finding out for me! I haven’t used Elicit since… but I love the teaza pouches. Especially because I had a big problem with using snus in school. and now I can just pop a teaza! Im on day 9!

        • Jacob – wanted to let you know that I put together a piece based on this conversation – thank you!

          http://blog.killthecan.org/2015/04/fake-dip-one-dentists-opinion/

          • Awesome! thanks for all you guys at ktc do! I would never even be on day 9 without it. this is my only form of encouragement I get when it comes to quitting

  2. Yeah, to say I’m terrified about my appt next week, is an understatment….

  3. Awesome! That first trip can be scary but you’ll feel GREAT when you walk out of there and not have to run right back to the can.

  4. I made my first appointment in 3 years last week. Great idea wearing my shirt there! I will do that!

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