I got my teeth cleaned the other day.
America’s favorite past time, right? Don’t get me wrong, I love it when my teeth are freshly cleaned, but there is something about being at the dentist with my mouth wide open that makes me feel nearly as exposed as when I’m at the woman doctor… and they love to talk about the weirdest things in the middle of your appointment (both kinds of appointments!) to try to distract you from what’s happening (go to your happy place in 3…2…1…) which never really works for me. Maybe they’re just trying to distract themselves. I would want to be distracted if I had that (either) job too.
Getting xrays is always a hoot too. Seriously, I think that the TSA should just contract with dentists and doctors and let you just get it all done when you are at the airport, being screened for exploding toothpaste and underwear bombs. They could just put films in your mouth and squish your boobs all at the same time, in one single big ass dose of radiation. One stop shopping. I’m already half naked anyway.
My girl was super careful about covering up my thyroid as well as my “reproductive organs” as she put it. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that those organs had seen the last of their designed action. Someone is really going to catch hell if I’m pregnant. Seriously. But I guess it was better than if she had looked at me and said something like, “Well, no need to worry about those. You’re clearly too old to be getting pregnant.” I might have punched her- even though she might be right.
The great news is that I have no cavities, carrying on my 42 year cavity-free streak. Surely there is an award for this? In fact the hygienist told me that she has never seen an adult with no fillings before. I think I must have been her first patient; She did seem far more tentative than most hygienists, which one could easily interpret as lack of experience. Usually they are not shy about shining that bright light in my eyes, splashing me with spray from the little rinser or making me gag on poorly placed xray films. This girl was apologizing all over the place. In fact I probably said, “It’s fine” more in one hour, than I have to my husband in the whole 24 years I’ve known him.
She was so sweet, that when she gave me the little home-care lecture about brushing twice a day and flossing everyday, instead of rolling my eyes at her like a snarky teenager and saying, “Yeah, right, floss every day!”, I eagerly agreed to everything. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my daily activity list is reserved for things like breathing air and drinking wine. I just wanted to make her happy and feel like she had done a good job. I’m proud to say it’s been three days and I have breathed air, drank wine AND flossed three times. And not on the same day just to make up for missing a day, either. Although I’m not sure if that would be so horrible. I’m going to try really hard not to make my flossing promise go the way of my New Year’s Resolutions. Hopefully I can last a week. I’ll consider that a success.
The other REALLY great news is that I don’t have any loose teeth. When she said she was going to check for loose teeth, I nearly had a panic attack. WHAT? Why would I have any loose teeth? It’s not like I’m a boxer or anything. Is this something they just assume happens with age? That your teeth just start getting loose? I’m not entirely apposed to having the tooth fairy come and leave me money, but I am certainly not willing to trade one of my teeth for money- any amount. Seriously, I have a teeth issue. I’ve told you before, here and here. I need my teeth. It’s not even funny to suggest to me that I might have a loose tooth. Some people have nightmares about suddenly realizing that they’re not wearing any clothes, I have nightmares that I’m suddenly missing a front tooth. Anyone care to interpret? Maybe I don’t really want to know.
It doesn’t help that I was traumatized by a dentist when I was a child. With the intention of getting me to floss every day, kind of like trying to scare someone straight by taking them to the morgue, he told me that if I didn’t take good care of my teeth, I would need dentures by the time I was forty. First of all, when you are young, you can’t believe that anyone is still ALIVE at forty. That is OLD. Second of all, old people have dentures, so telling a little kid that if you don’t take care of your teeth, you will have dentures when you are old, just reinforces what little kids already know, and that is that old people are scary. I’m sure that he is the cause of my teeth issue, but strangely, even he didn’t scare me into flossing everyday. It took sweet little hygienist, Tessi, to get me to consider even trying. I just don’t want to disappoint her.
So, high-five to me. No loose teeth and no cavities. Think of all of the money I just saved myself. I should go reward myself with a treat. Maybe something sugary?