My daughter has a cavity

And I am trying to keep from freaking out. Because I have horrible teeth despite taking excellent care of them my whole life. So I have always been a stickler for making her brush her teeth, and checking afterwards to make sure she did a good job. And she does; the dentist even said so.

But still, she has a cavity. At 4.

This is the way the world works, I know. Life is messy, and completely illogical. But I have never been good at accepting that fact. Deep down, I believe that if you do A and B, you should be able to prevent C. Always. Forever and ever. If you are a good person and take care of your responsibilities and don’t hurt anyone, you should get a happy ending. If you eat right and exercise and don’t smoke, you should live to be 100. If you brush and floss and eat mostly healthy foods, you should not get cavities.

And look at me: My teeth are a mess, but I have not had any new cavities in going on 20 years now. I just went through a bad patch in my early 20s.

However, it is not the case that good dental hygiene prevents cavities. It helps, sure. But I always took good care of my teeth, and I still have two crowns and a filling (or more!) in nearly every tooth in my head. Yet there are people who have horrible dental hygiene yet have no issues.

I know I am being ridiculous, getting all upset about this. Because there is a flip side to the messy truth of life: Sometimes people eat horribly, chain smoke, and lead perfectly sedentary lives, yet live to see 90. And sometimes clean-eating joggers drop dead at 40. So despite all those years I sat on my butt and smoked, I too could see 90. My family history gives me hope, anyway.

It just upsets me when life is illogical, I guess. Even when that logic works in my favor.

The nice part of this story is that her filling was uneventful. So that’s a load off.


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