I spent the morning at the dental hygienist getting my teeth excavated from underneath layers of plaque. Yuck, I know. Because I'm self-employed, I don't have dental insurance, something most Canadians get from their employer. We have universal medical coverage here for bodies, but not for teeth. It's a huge gap in the Canada Health Act.
I'm embarrassed that I let my teeth go for this long (it's been at least five years since I had them looked at). I felt guilty every time I biked past my old dentist's office.
The most embarrassing thing is I could have had my teeth taken care regularly, for a reasonable fee, with minimal inconvenience if I had just researched it sooner. My care is being provided practically for free by the Dental Hygienist School down the street. It takes me two minutes to get there on my bicycle.
This year, my care was free because the hygienist who treated me covered the administration fee herself. Apparently, they have trouble finding enough people for the students to practice on, so the students do their own recruiting. That's how J found me - through Craig's list!
So here's my public service announcement for the day:
If you're not insured and can't afford to shell out $200 several times a year for dental cleaning, make friends with your local hygienist school. By the time my cleaning schedule was finished (I had to attend three appointments), I had been examined multiple times by a kazillion qualified dentists, my teeth were clean as a whistle (and double-checked), I had x-rays, a full oral examination, fluoride treatment, plus they gave me a free tooth brush and floss.
I get to keep my x-rays to take the dentist if I need further care (and I do; a filling is loose, there may be a cavity). In four months, they'll do it for me again, and in another four, again. I get three cleanings a year.
So that was my morning. Clean tooths and there was a bit of Astanga in there too. I got up early and did half-Primary before I started my day.
A reader recently asked what I do for half-Primary. I practice right up to Marichyasana D, do one Navasana, then cut to the closing sequence (no backbends). It takes about 55 minutes with Savasana. When I practice half-Primary, I rein myself in and do a more subdued practice.
Now that I'm back on a heavy teaching schedule, I'll be varying my practice a lot more. There will be more half-primary, more hatha, more (and shorter) vinyasa practices. There will be days when I don't have the energy to do very much, but I'll always try to do something.