I just recently had my quarterly teeth cleaning at the dentist. Yes, quarterly. It takes some work to have a flawless smile, you know. Like many of you, I detest going to the dentist. I even try to make it as painless and convenient as possible by selecting a dentist that is in the same building where I work. I can just hop on down there before work or during lunch and not have to worry about the added annoyance of the commute. The dentist office is and will always feel like a familiar place for me as my mother was a dental hygienist when I was a small child before she became a registered nurse. I would hang out in the lobby reading Highlights magazines waiting on her to finish work sometimes. You would think the dentist chair would feel as natural to me as sitting on the Iron Throne of Westeros should feel to Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons! There are a plethora of reasons as to why a trip to the dentist can be… the polar opposite of pleasurable. Even Queen Taylor does not like going…
It’s the elephant in the room. It’s inevitably going to be asked. You try to prepare and ponder all the possible responses you could provide. I would rather be subjugated to the truth serum from the Divergent series knowing my answer may result in a bullet to the head. “How’s your flossing?” No matter your answer, it is NEVER good enough and you will be made to feel like pond scum. Or worse. Lower. The pus that infects the mucous… that cruds up the fungus… that feeds on the pond scum. Suddenly my dental hygienist becomes Commodus incarnate from Gladiator…
Then when I tell them I am flossing twice a day I get scolded, “You only need to floss once a day.” Make up your mind! Regardless of how much I do or don’t floss, I always have sensitive, inflamed gums due to my bleeding disease and the clotting, bruising symptoms that come with it. I tell the hygienist that the swelling and bleeding have both lessened since the last visit, but that it is still present. Do they care about my trials and tribulations?
What is with all the chit chat and prodding for conversation? I totally understand connecting with patients and establishing a friendly rapport, but are you seriously going to become my BFF when you have my mouth propped open, a suction device inside, a band around one tooth, and a water device in yours while the dentist has a sickle probe and a mouth mirror in me, too? I can try to talk but I guarantee you won’t understand me and the likelihood of you drilling into my tongue will increase by 200%. I can barely talk with a milkshake in my mouth let alone the entire office of dental supplies. I bet porn stars make GREAT dental patients.
It seems like every time I go to the dentist I have to wear more and more things on my face and items that cover my clothing. At first it was just a bib. Now they have me in some fancy sunglasses and a bigger bib. What’s next? A swim cap and a fur coat? Is this a visit to get my teeth cleaned or a trip to fashion week in Paris?
Obsessed With Cotton
I understand that cotton is “the fabric of our lives” and it has all these useful benefits, but using 10x the recommended amount in my mouth for just one tooth is not necessary. It is quite the opposite and borderlines on obscene, wasteful, and equates to assault charges in my opinion. You want to dry my tooth? Use your little air wand and blow it dry and give me one, MAYBE two, cotton swabs. Sometimes I am convinced they are stuffing me with super jumbo tampons and secretly laughing behind that mask…
Overall I am pleased with my trips to the dentist and how great they make my teeth and me look and feel. I am thankful to live in a place with so many options and to work for a company that provides such great benefits for my oral health. Other countries may ACTUALLY provide dental services like we see in torture spy movies for all I know. I just know that my surrounding environments are sterile and my dentists have the ability to numb the hell out of me upon request. We all like our pretty smiles, right?
In the end, I guess dentists would prefer that we were more like Beldar Conehead. They could put however many instruments inside us that they wanted and they have tons of teeth that need work to fund their golf vacations and early retirements. Do you have any funny or scary stories about a trip to the dentist?