Aside from the costs involved, I don’t mind going to the dentist. In fact, at the risk of raising my weirdo quotient up a bit, I will admit I kind of even like it.
I’m very OCD with my oral hygiene and have only had one cavity in my 31 years, always getting my Polaroid picture on the“No Cavity Kid” wall and picking a cheap plastic toy out of the toy chest or stocking up on free stickers when I was younger.
As an adult this distinction is no longer special.
I don’t get my picture on a wall, but instead get the bill and a “see you in six months.” This follows an hour of poking and prodding in my mouth with sharp metal objects while asking me questions and making conversation, all the while knowing full well I am in no position to answer with their hands shoved in my mouth.
I still try.
And because I will blog about anything, here is a rundown of my last visit:
- Even though I arrived early and had to endure 15 minutes of waiting in the lobby listening to the secretaries make witty banter about the women on “The View,” I was soon taken back to the exam room promptly on time. That was nice.
- I was immediately offered a paraffin wax hand treatment—yes, a paraffin wax hand treatment. The hygienist took me to a small tub of heated wax, dipped my hands and then covered them with plastic and something that resembled giant oven mitts. That was nicer.
- Arriving back in the exam room, I was given a hot neck pad to put behind my head and then immediately fitted with some sort of new space age goggles and the requisite paper bib that hasn’t changed in 50 years. (The fact that I was wearing oven mitts, a paper bib and goggles is the reason why I wouldn’t want a hot dentist. Mine is old and considerably balder each visit I see him.)
- The prodding began, followed soon by a few polite questions that—as I mentioned above—I was in no condition to reply to. Between swallowing and opening my mouth to the precise degree of angularity requested, I somehow managed to tell her that I did floss (constantly for the past week leading up to this visit) and I would prefer mint paste and ALL THE STICKERS!!!
- Several times throughout the cleaning she expressed her awe of my “spectacular home care,” used the words “oral,” “cavity” and “swallow” and made reference to moisture and tight spaces. This caused me to giggle, which resulted in me questioning whether I had really matured since I was 12 years old and requested the bubble gum flavor of toothpaste (and ALL THE STICKERS!!!)
- After slipping the oven mitts, goggles and plastic bib off, I was given a new toothbrush, floss of the mint “easy-slide” variety and a water bottle.
So even though I didn’t get my picture on the wall, at least my teeth were clean and my hands were soft and supple.
Plus, she gave me a sticker.