Something that may surprise you about me is I spent my early years hating the dental office. It wasn't an atmosphere that welcomed me and my family. Oh i enjoyed the treasure box don't get me wrong, but that little box also meant the end was within my grasp. I would soon be back in mom's car heading back home...usually with the dreaded news of a return visit.
This all changed when I met Mary my first dental hygienist. She made my appointment like no other, I left feeling cared for and for the first time ever I had a positive experience in the dental chair. I had encountered someone who changed my perception of the dental office to being a place of comfort.
This encounter occurred during a very pivotal time in my life, a time of decision making for life beyond high school. Dental hygiene had become my goal and I would now take the steps necessary to become not only a dental hygienist but a dental hygienist that cares about those in my chair not just about their teeth.
So here I am: I help people take steps to improve their oral health everyday.
Wait what I REALLY do is: Use my passion for comforting people by looking for ways to make them as comfortable as possible while in my care. These comfort strategies have continued to develop over my 20 + year career and have been very successful in treating not only fearful clients but those feeling embarrassed about lack of professional care in the past.
I take the time needed to explain things in as much or as little detail as my clients want. Appointments are scheduled with each clients needs respected, so that they will never feel rushed or misunderstood. Instead my clients feel cared for and in complete control, they don't need to be told that they matter to me, they will experience that each and every visit.
So I invite you to seek out an alternative choice for your dental hygiene care, the choice that eliminates wait times, loud noises, and instead turns the focus on what I can do for you.
As I have been doing every morning for the last week or so I woke up early and posted a beautiful picture of a smile with a smile quote on my business Facebook account and Instagram feed. When I realized I had a slightly later start at the office I took advantage of my extra time and scanned my Facebook feed to catch up on friends and family and came across a post advising me that today is World Mental Health Day. As someone who posts to social media for my business I scanned the web searching for something to post to bring attention to this important day, but that still small voice within me told me what I needed to do. So in order to be my authentic self and listen to that voice, I will honour it by telling my story.
Yesterday was a struggle for me, that’s a hard thing to put into print. I usually know my limits pretty well and work within them, but I am also a people pleaser and that can get me into trouble. So when my part time job requested some extra days and extended hours from me, I made it work with my office and said yes. Yesterday was the final day of a 2 week stretch of the extended hours I had committed to. I had been feeling the pressure of it since Monday, every day was a little bit harder than the previous. The good thing is I recognized it and had been vocal with my boss and coworkers who were very supportive in making my day as stress free as they could. You see they know my not so secret, I've always been very open with people in my life with it because once I knew what it was, I was finally ok talking about it.
I have been diagnosed with depression since 2003, how long I was suffering before that I don't know. I just know that tears can come easily for me (that’s the embarrassing part), I feel things happy and sad what feels like 80 % more than others. I am sure that's not true but happy and sad things bring me to tears. Being with people brings me so much joy but as an introvert, I need to manage this with down time in solitude. The last two weeks were just far too stimulating for me and what resulted was a day filled with struggle.
Tuesday afternoon I could sense it coming I considered calling in sick, but quickly decided I couldn't do that as I had committed to my boss, coworkers and clients that I would be there. In hindsight if I were supporting myself and as committed to my health, (yes mental health is part of my health) I should have let them know Tuesday night that I just couldn't do it.
So when my alarm when off on Wednesday morning I gave myself permission to sleep in and give up my 5 am power hour and was quite proud of myself for doing so. You go Kim listen to what you need! I say that tongue in cheek because that was the one thing that may have gotten me through the day, you see I spend part of my mornings in meditation, affirmations and visualization and the other half in study or business mode. The key here is I do it alone in solitude the thing I was requiring the most. The first 3 things I listed are also essential for my mental health. (Along with prescribed medication that I take daily) My clients still got the best of me, but inside there was so much negative talk and feelings of I just can't make it till the end of the day, it made it unbearable. At lunch I took my lunch to my car and sat in solitude and listened to a guided meditation and this helped immensely, even my co-worker saw a difference in me. However one hour in my afternoon and I was back to the struggle. At long last my day at the office was finished I went to Harvey's and filled my face with foods that don't help my mental clarity in the long run but give me a quick high in the short term and headed home. At home I went to bed with a night time meditation and woke up feeling clear and ready to take today on, feeling blessed my depressed state had lifted.
I share this today because there is still stigma around mental health issues with many. Sometimes it’s from the very people who have it. As a health care provider I see people going off their medication without consulting their doctors or not being forthcoming with the diagnosis when I update medical histories. Even while booking my doctor’s appointment my nurse whispered to me what my appointment was for and I confirmed in my regular voice yes just a follow up to discuss my depression. To be honest I think the whisper is for privacy reasons, but I choose to be very open about it. I love that we see more open dialog about mental health every year and special days like today are the reason behind that. So today I openly say I’m Kim Murray and I have depression. I chose to not suffer alone, on bad days I share my struggle with my family, friends and coworkers if needed and I encourage all others to do the same.
So even if I post pictures of smiling people I know they are difficult to produce on some days and that’s OK.
Take care my friends, reach out when needed it is not a sign of weakness.
You've received the list from your medical professional on the do's and don'ts of a healthy pregnancy and you keep up to date on what's to expect when you are expecting, but are you missing any other vital information?
A common misconception during and after pregnancy is the baby took away all of my calcium on my teeth. This is a myth tooth decay that comes about after pregnancy is from lack of preventive care or insufficient healthy habits that will reduce the decay causing bacteria from damaging your enamel.
A very real concern during pregnancy is that the changes in hormones in your body now make your gums more susceptible to disease. The same amount of bacteria in your mouth prior to pregnancy now can cause your gums to be puffy and bleed. In the early years of my practice as a dental hygienist when I found out my client was expecting I would simply prepare them for the inevitable and advise meticulous home care practices. We now know so much more about the importance of a healthy mouth and the effects of poor oral health on our entire body as well as the growth of your unborn child.
We now follow higher standards of practice when addressing the health of all our clients a little bit of bleeding in the gums is not OK, and we strive to keep bleeding to a minimum and ideally nil. In a perfect scenario women would seek out their dental hygienist before trying to conceive to confirm all oral health issues have been addressed. In preparation of pending conception you would be placed on a healthy cleaning schedule of every 3 months.
What the 3 month preventive cycle will do is reduce the bacteria load on your body and ultimately help keep your gums as healthy as possible. Research has shown that women with unstable moderate to advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) are at higher risk of having babies with low birth weights.
Steps to a healthy mouth during pregnancy include:
1. have a full assessment with your dental hygienist prior to pregnancy
2. see your dental hygienist every 3 months to reduce bacteria load on your body
3. practice healthy home care habits such as brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, choosing a power or manual toothbrush with a small head, cleaning between your teeth with floss, toothpicks, inter-dental brushes or a water pick.
4. eat a healthy well balanced diet low in sugar
Hanover Dental Hygiene Care
519 506 8586