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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Tale of Teeth

One of the things on my to-do list before leaving town was to get my dental cleaning out of the way.
I kept putting it off for obvious reasons.
I mean, it's the dentist.

So I called yesterday hoping they wouldn't be able to squeeze me in.
No such luck.
If I had wanted a haircut, or maybe a massage, I'm certain that I wouldn't be able to get an appointment.
But the dentist?

"Oh, no problem. How about tomorrow at 2pm?"

Gee. Thanks.

Do you think they know that no one likes to go see them?

But off I went at 2pm like a good patient.

It was the slowest cleaning of my life. Painstakingly slow.
Like 5 minutes per tooth slow.

This is weird, because my teeth are not that dirty. I know, because I spend about an hour before I go to the dentist brushing, flossing, and scraping any last food or plaque particle from every tooth surface. I'm a touch obsessive about it.

Then I have to explain why my gums are swollen and bleeding before I even get in the chair.

I think I have a mental hangup about the dentist.
You see, I was a good kid. I never got in trouble and I always got good grades.
I was a people-pleaser, and getting a good report in any event was important to me.

And I can still remember hearing that I had my first cavity.

Devastating.
I felt like a second class citizen.
I was so sure that the dentist would think I didn't brush.

But I did! I promise!
And my mom would check our mouths using this scary sharp implement from her sewing basket to scrape our teeth to see if she could get anything off.
If so, back to the sink.

(Incidentally, that was about the only instrument my mother ever used from her sewing basket. Hi, Mom! Remember how you used to try to keep us from joining any plays at church because you didn't want to have to sew the costumes? If I never win an Academy Award, know that I will always blame you.)

And yet, year after year, cavities and more cavities.
Apparently I have "soft" teeth. And a Swedish Fish addiction.

Back to today. The technician kept asking me questions, and then we would slow down the whole process when I stopped to answer them. Why do they ask questions when they have their hands in your mouth?

It's a mystery.

And do you know what else?

I have a cavity.

7 comments:

Jaime said...

I'm so sorry.

P.S. I like swedeish fish too.

Proverbs 31 Wannabe said...

I'm so sorry you had to go to the dentist. I feel the same way you do and I had to go last week. See my post here http://proverbs31iwannabe.blogspot.com/2010/06/im-back.html
They also used to tell me I have soft teeth.

Joyce said...

I think they know we despise going. How can they not? I have a mouthful of fillings thanks to my soft teeth and love of anything containing sugar.

I've just spent the last two months reminding (she might call it nagging) my 22 year old to book her appt. She finally called this week and they had a cancellation the next day...lucky : )

Have you ever tried freezing Swedish Fish? yum!

I'm Erin. said...

Joyce, you just opened my eyes to a whole new world.

Freeze the Swedish Fish? That sounds yummy. And think of how long I can suck on them (while the sugar saturates my teeth).

My dentist will thank you, you're going to earn him lots more $$

;)

Teresa Dawn said...

For me, my hate with the dentist is opening my mouth. I have TMJ and my jaw sticks into position, and I just can't open it wide at all with out severe pain... It's always very sore after a cleaning.

I didn't have my first cavity until I was 23 years old (And it is still the only one I have fortunately... that's not to say that half of my front two teeth haven't been fake since I was 7 after falling off a bike haha)

I probably should go soon because (I know I'm a late bloomer) I'm starting to have my first wisdom tooth pushing through. Last time he told me I didn't need it removed because my teeth are so small that I have lots of room for it. I don't have coverage though, so I'm avoiding the expense until I get more hours at work.

Mish said...

I'm right there with you. :(

thelumberjackswife said...

I would like to take this time to gloat and remind you that I have never had one cavity.

Don't be hatin'.
I am just more awesome than you.