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At the Dentist

15 December 2010

Dentists think about teeth every minute of every day. Constantly before them are the contrasting results of what frequent brushing and flossing will do versus what not brushing or flossing will do. The rest of us usually think about our teeth twice a year when we are sitting in the dentist’s chair.

I love going to the dentist. I look forward to it. I anticipate it. I chomp at the bit. I can’t sleep. (Okay, there I’m lying) No flossing only the night before to try and fool the dental hygienist. No flossing four times a year either: I floss every night. I am a serious convert to flossing. I play mind games with myself, like “Finish the old dental floss and you can have the new mint-tasting one.” Once you get used to the slightly aching just-flossed-teeth feeling you just can’t go to bed without it.

Lying back, eyes closed, listening to the music … I would fall asleep if the dental hygienist didn’t engage me in conversation, always asking me questions right as she puts a tool in my mouth. I’m chatty today, though. Happy to be here and to hear them say, “Well done!”

“Looks good,” says the dental hygienist. “Looks like you’ve been flossing.

I beam.

“Looks good,” says the dentist. “Been flossing?”

I couldn’t be prouder if I’d been given an A+.

My friend Jamie went to the dentist and he told her she must have been eating a lot of tortilla chips. She does. She’s a chips-and-salsa fanatic. Since then I’ve been worried about what other psychic powers dentists have. What all can they tell about me just by looking at my teeth?

The dentist suggested that I consider orthodontic work on my lower teeth. What she doesn’t realize is that I’m quite attached to my crooked bottom teeth: they give me personality. Anyone can have a perfect smile; it takes years and years to develop the configuration I have.

Besides, I’m lazy. Braces involve a lot of hard work — and pain. When they perfect laser surgery so that all they do is zap my teeth and the teeth go straight, then maybe I’ll consider orthodontia.

In the meantime, I’ll keep brushing and flossing. As the saying goes, “You only have to brush the teeth you want to keep.” 🙂


2 Comments to “At the Dentist”

  1. This is a great little inside story of your dental habits
    and dental I Q. Loved this and would like a copy to
    share with my colleagues.

  2. I love the reference to yours truly! Your writing is getting better and better!


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