squeaky clean

Today I went to the dentist.
Problem, the last time I remember going I was pregnant with Tess.
She is about to turn 2.
I pretty much avoid the dentist because…
a) I am not a regular flosser…..unless twice a year counts as regular.
b) I hate having conversations while someone else’s hands are in my mouth.
c) and I am especially afraid of the part where the actual dentist walks in and tells me that I need another crown…or worse. In other words. Empty out your savings, and there is no payment plan.
And my dentist visit today shaped up to lots of the things I avoid.
Long wait in the waiting room with only crappy magazines to read. Forget Ladies Home Journal. Give me some People. I usually have at least 3 books on me at all times, but somehow I managed to leave them in my gym bag, shaun’s truck and dresser.

My hygienist was a little too perky and asked me the same question 4 times. I wondered if she had been hitting the laughing gas. And if she would share.

The lady took 20 Xrays. And I am not just being dramatic because I am writing about it. I counted. 20 freakin Xrays. I must have high end dental insurance and they decided to milk it for all it’s worth. Also it was the fun sit still while the camera moves around. Instead it was the kind where they put the film in your mouth and ask you to bite down. And surprisingly I have a very tiny mouth. I make up for it in volume though. So every film she shoved in my mouth either made me gag or cut up the bottom of my mouth. After about 14 I told her I was through. She gave me a pep talk and told me to breathe through my mouth. It was at this point that I wanted to slap her.

Then she started the actual “cleaning process”. She gets out the horrible scraping thing and went at it. It has been years, so this took awhile. The noise was worse than fingernails on a chalkboard. I tried not to cry. Tried not to gag. Tried to somehow swallow all that spit pooling inside my mouth. And not to ask her if they taught her in hygienist’s school that this is the most opportune time to make conversation and ask lots of questions. Yes or No questions only should be allowed. Ones that can be answered with one blink or two. Instead she asks about my kids, what I do, how many pets I have, my 3rd grade teacher. I start to wonder if she is trying to figure out my online passwords or something. Until I figure she is just trying to distract me from all the horrible scraping she is doing. And why must they smear all that crap (yes I know it came from my mouth…but still I don’t want to see it). Right there on the bib on my chest. I only like to wear bibs if I am eating a lobster!

After seemingly hours of this she moves on to flossing, which is really more like trying to slice me in two starting with my lower jaw. More blood and I swore to floss at least once a week. Or once a month. Not just the night before my appointment. Eventually she polishes, using mint flavored sand. I will not even mention that suction tube thing. It completely grosses me out.

An hour and a half later ( again, not exaggerating) I see the actual dentist. He chats with me for about twenty minutes about his new iphone. The whole time I am just praying he will give it to me straight. Please don’t say root canal. And finally he just hands me my free toothbrush and sends me to the front.
“That’s it I say?”
“ Yep. Teeth look good. Try not to wait so long next time. And maybe floss a little more often. And check out that app I was telling you about.”

And I sigh a big sigh of relief and head home. Trying to tell myself it could have been worse. That I could have been getting a pelvic exam instead of just having my teeth cleaned. Which is of course exactly the appointment I have scheduled for tomorrow. (don’t worry…I can promise you there will NOT be a detailed blog post about that visit!)


Corinne said...

I feel the exact same way about the dentist. Small mouth and everything... you described why I haven't been in way too long.
Maybe you've just given me the nerve to make an appointment... it can't be that bad, right? :)

Dawn said...

So, I'll take your 2nd appointment over the dentist any day of the week. You made me glad I switched hygentists a few years ago. My old one was a parent of one of my students...She never stopped talking. My new one doesn't talk much. PERFECT!

I don't floss either...never have, never will. And, for the record, you do not have to let them floss your teeth. (Straight from my hygenists mouth!) And for the xrays...you can decline those too. They won't like it but they'll get over it!

Can you tell I like the dentist? There was a good 4 year stretch where I didn't go... It's probably about that time though.

samskat said...

I too, hate the dentist. And need to go VERY badly. I know I need at least one root canal...like you said, either empty out your savings, or dive into debt, right??? UGH...

Beth (and Eric) said...

What a perfect description! Remind me not to read this before my next dental appointment...