My Dental Demise After the Appalachian Trail: A Cautionary Tale – The Trek
Health and Medical

My Dental Demise After the Appalachian Trail: A Cautionary Tale – The Trek

ME overlooking Higher Yellowstone Falls

Hey all! Happy to be producing yet again. A minor capture up is in buy before we get started out. Soon after ending my thru hike and leaving Maltz Jupiter Theatre in South Florida, I took a guide gig with Wilderness Inquiry: a wonderful non-profit concentrating on inclusive out of doors recreation for men and women of all skills. This took me via the boundary waters,  Mississippi River, mountaineering in Yellowstone Countrywide Park, and so quite a few other wonderful areas. This filled two Summers with discovering, laughing, and private progress in a great office. Tumble, winter, and spring finds me working on the countrywide tour of “The Wizard of Oz”, as their head electrician (my authentic industry of analyze). This all adds up to roughly the very last two and a half decades of my existence exactly where I am right now. 

Let us Get Heading

What does this update have to do with the Appalachian Trail and my enamel? Time, my buddies. That is the time I did not commit brushing and flossing my tooth on the AT. It’s uncomplicated to do, skip brushing/flossing for a working day or two. I located myself brushing only mornings when confronted with significant days or even a minimal campfire fueled debauchery the night ahead of. Flossing? Yeah, didn’t do that, and I haven’t began routinely right until extremely lately that involves regular brushing and check ups also. On the AT, I was really haphazard with most spots concerning my mouth and the bones that protrude out of it.

This is a extensive winded way of me telling you my enamel are in fairly very poor situation appropriate now and it’s costly when that is occurring to you. I do not blame the AT, I blame myself. Sit again, chill out, and discover from my idiot blunders.

I would like to acquire this time to induce a trigger warning. I do mention needles, tooth injuries, and dental processes in this point. If which is not your cup of tea, test out this posting instead 🙂.

Who Hurt You?

Melanie and I posing in entrance of one of several Yellowstone Countrywide Park Oxbows

How does this materialize? Properly friends, my decline into tooth decay trepidation started April of 2018. Following much too number of trips to the dentist post AT, I go in for a cleansing. Increase, two cavities stuffed in the back again of my mouth, seventeen and 18, base remaining I have been instructed. To be clear, preceding to this I’ve experienced numerous loaded, as my X-ray reveals. I was golden soon after that and established off for my summer months gig with Wilderness Inquiry.

WI despatched me to Yellowstone Nationwide Park to startup the 7 working day household adventure journeys. I was freaking pumped to get back in the field right after my first summer season receiving to know the spot. So pumped, that at the close of the to start with trip of the year, I vacation into Livingston, Montana to rejoice with my co-guide, Melanie Langa, in tow to get a very well necessary DQ m&m Blizzard. In this article I sit in the driver’s seat of a fifteen-passenger Ford Transit van enjoying this sweet, sweet frozen moo-juice. Not even four bites in I listen to a crunch (of m&m) and then a louder sharper snap in and all over 17 and eighteen molars. Inquisitively, I pull out a tiny white shard of filling and harshly exclaim, “GOD BLESS AMERICA” (true expletive transformed to guard the innocent). Not wanting to get pulled off my second journey, I disregard the little amount of money of pain that went with that m&m mishap and kept digging as a result of the blizzard.

I have now occur to comprehend that  Ryan Zinke, our beloved former Secretary of the Interior, planted steel m&ms in MY DQ Blizzard. This was a inadequate and sick imagined out attempt to toss me off my match. He was striving to  reduce me from serving to persons take pleasure in their general public lands in a way that is not extracting assets from them or marketing the land they stand on, so I was substantially far more careful right after that. Really do not worry individuals, he failed MISERABLY. 

Grand Prismatic Spring- Yellowstone Countrywide Park

Sooner or later, the ache subsides and I pull a much larger segment of the filling out on the tail conclude of journey two. All is nicely(ish). The rest of the Summer is uneventful dental intelligent, I’ve neglected all about the overseas object that was when embedded in my tooth. I finish up journeys in Yellowstone, graciously passing the reins to the ever capable Melanie Langa and other guides previously on journeys in the park. Issues will come in November.


November will come and about half way by way of I get some rather numb soreness in the exact enamel I so elegantly self assessed in June. I was blissfully unaware of what lied ahead midsection deep in my other life of touring. The center of November fingers me numerous several hours of frustrating discussions with my insurance plan enterprise pertaining to my out of point out have to have for cavity fillings. They deny my claims and I have to shell out out of pocket to get the cavity filled in West Virginia (I’m an Ohio Point out indigenous). The great people at the dentist office fill my cavity on eighteen, do a further more X-ray and Uh-oh I have to have a root canal on seventeen. They tell me I have 5 other cavities, they explain to me the root canal has to come about quickly and they explain to me it’s likely to cost $2100. I get my filling and bounce. Who the actual heck has that type of revenue? Not me, that’s for absolutely sure. The good thing is I’m off on a particular vacation to Mexico in about two weeks with a prepare.

Pictured here is the ROOT of my troubles…. Seriously, this is the tooth in advance of the Root Canal.

Now, prior to I go on, I wager some may request,”Kevin, my silly good friend, couldn’t you have long gone to the dentist in Livingston, Montana soon after your very first excursion? You had 4 days in concerning excursions with sufficient time to do so”.

To that, I say of course.

Certainly, I confident could have carried out that.

Kevin Goes to the Dentist

Two weeks go by. We have three 7 days layoff time period in which we do not have shows in the land of Oz. The first week or so I expend climbing in glorious Moab, Utah with some of the coolest individuals I have come to satisfy (Matti, Brian, and Julia, I’m wanting at you). A quick break for relatives Thanksgiving, and I’m off to Mexico Town. Listed here, I booked a smattering of touristy activities and my dental appointment to evaluate the harm to 17. My time in Mexico City was met with friendly locals, wonderful food items, and good lodging. Getting accomplished my exploration (typically Reddit) I transpired on Best Dental Heart.

Terrific location, with extra than reasonable prices that are less that 50 % of what just one would spend in the states. I arrive, immediately after slogging by way of the streets of CDMX on-board practically nothing else other than my trusty Chicken Scooter. Winded from website traffic, I stagger in and they get me started on X-rays and assessment. Well, I have to have a crown to cap this thing.  What ever, do it.

Below I am onboard the night bus to Veracruz,Mexico. If I appear pained, I was.

I spend the superior portion of 9-hours in this dental business with some of the most sort and gifted dental industry experts I have ever had the satisfaction to have in my mouth. This wasn’t all in the chair, I was to and fro from X-rays, drillings, crown fittings, and mouth guard molding. I experienced to have 4 lidocaine shots, the previous a single going into the freaking ROOT of my tooth. That in the beginning numbed me enough for the dentist to do her get the job done.  This appointment ran for a longer time than I expected with the new crown I required and I therefore missed my flight to Veracruz, my following desired destination. This was perfectly really worth the wake up simply call it gave me from my dental deviancy. Soon after all was said and completed I pay my $800 to the Dentist, and I’m on-board a night time bus to Veracruz. I finish out the rest of my holiday with my close friend, the fantastic Megan Delwoodley (Check out out her stuff here, she does wonderful wigs by commission and can sing you into a trance). We decide for a relaxing time at the beach, wreck hopping, and sand dune cruising. All in all a wonderful conclusion to the excursion.

Wrapping it up

What is the consider away? Keep away from Dairy Queen Blizzards? Ryan Zinke is the root of all evil? Mexico solutions all problems?

No. Get treatment of your teeth damnit. Especially on trail. Especially if your diet regime is composed of  every day servings of Honey Buns and sour patch young ones. My dentist recommends brushing AND flossing at Least two times a day on and off path. If you’re likely to be eating sweets, do it with foods or drink h2o later on. I’d now propose cutting again on sugary candies like sour patch young children and the like. Test subbing in chocolates, dried fruits, or other factors that won’t stick to your tooth when mountaineering.

Let us Speak Teeth

To support everybody understand dental treatment on trail, I have carried out an job interview with my pal Sean, Orthodontist Assistant of the stars.

Sean Farley- Orthodontic Assistant

Sean Farley- Orthodontic Assistant Extraordinaire

KEVIN: How can I steer clear of cavities whilst paying out huge amounts of time absent from civilization?

SEAN: The best way to stay away from cavities is to stay away from food items or drinks that are high in sugar. One more matter to try is to stay clear of fruits/juices that are relatively acidic.

KEVIN: If you had to pick among hands for toes, or ft for arms, what would you opt for and why?

SEAN:  That’s uncomplicated, I’d have fingers for ft. I’m jealous of our primate cousins.

KEVIN: Among you and me, we really do not need to have to floss do we? Don’t you feel flossing is just a ploy from Large FLOSS to get us to use and invest in more floss?

SEAN: No, no, and NOOO! Flossing is SO vital, and I just can’t pressure that adequate. Nutritious enamel and healthful gums operate hand and hand. Inadequate oral hygiene can have critical effects on your over-all wellness. The bulk of cavities take place in concerning enamel as a consequence of not flossing enough. ALL of that leftover food stuff requirements to occur out. “Big Floss” preaches the truth. Floss just about every day, you will be grateful you did.

KEVIN: Any foodstuff that could possibly support out with dental hygiene?

SEAN: Say CHEESE! Cheese has been discovered to lessen the possibility of tooth decay, when providing your tooth with enamel-strengthening calcium and protein. Veggies are wonderful for your enamel as well, but I guess what I’m striving to get at is that you should really locate meals that are substantial in calcium and protein, and minimal in sugar. Water is critical far too!

KEVIN: Oh. Effectively, if I did system on eating A Lot of sugary substances for 5-6 months what’s the finest way to preserve my teeth shiny?

Chip Skylark- //

SEAN: If you want tooth like Chip Skylark, which I assume we all do, be guaranteed to rinse, brush, and floss frequently. As the old music goes,”So white and pearly. Brush, gargle, rinse, a few breath mints, My shiny teeth and me.”

KEVIN: Any tips for on path tooth injuries? Not all of us  have baggage of milk at the completely ready when that trekking pole smashes out a front tooth.

SEAN:  This is a tough 1. The quite finest imagine you can do is look for professional medical focus instantly to stop further more personal injury or an infection from location in. I dislike to be a Debbie Downer, but dental accidents are something to just take critically.

KEVIN:  Ok, how a lot of cavities do YOU have?

SEAN: The final time I checked, which was last 12 months, I experienced no cavities. A lot of my terrific all round dental hygiene can be credited to my parents for receiving me early interceptive dental treatment as a boy or girl.

KEVIN: Individuals of us hikers with braces, what do you suggest for a person going on a extended distance via hike? Any suggestions for these that may practical experience discomfort or food stuff getting caught sites?

SEAN: Those with braces know just how a lot usual everyday daily life can suck, but there are usually techniques to make it a minor less complicated. The best factor you can do is to remain away from meals that are chewy, sticky, and tricky. Not only do these meals crack the braces, the leftovers can be a agony to fish out. The possibilities for the enhancement of cavities are particularly substantial for men and women with braces, so excellent oral cleanliness is even far more important. If you go to the dental aisle in just about any grocery or convenience retailer, there is anything named an “Interproximal Brush” and it operates miracles

KEVIN:  Many thanks for your time Sean. You have answered all of my thoughts and additional! Any parting words and phrases for the kids at dwelling?

SEAN: Any time Kevin! I’ll leave you with this terrific quotation I have employed about the a long time, “You really do not have to brush all your teeth, just the types you want to retain.”

>>>HEY! Even though you’re right here, choose this time to pay a visit to THIS backlink to discover how to thoroughly dispose of toothpaste spit in the backcountry. Spoiler, it’s not  in the campfire.<<<

As normally, many thanks for looking through. Don’t ignore to get out and guidance/take a look at your community lands this year. If we do not, we’ll get rid of not only an essential resource of recreation, but we’ll shed a beneficial land source for the atmosphere as a entire.

Edited by the illustrious Emily Arsenijevic

%%merchandise_go through_extra_button%%