I’m not a big fan of the dentist’s office. I never have been. It’s not because I’m one of those people with an irrational fear of the dentist, assuming that the trip will be filled with the worst and most unimaginable pain to ever exist on this planet. In fact, my dentist is very pleasant and, for the most part, I never feel like my mouth has been through a garbage disposal when I’m done.
No, my issue is much different. There is far too much awkwardness.
When I go to the dentist office, the first thing that always happens is the initiation of a conversation between my oral hygienist and myself. Since I never have the same oral hygienist twice, the conversation is always the same.
“So where do you work?” she’ll ask, as she shoves her hands in my mouth.
“HUIFGHJPOHGEJWNPOW,” I say, attempting to maneuver my tongue around her tiny hook and mirror.
“Oh, that sounds fun,” she says, but I know she has no idea what I just said.
This goes back and forth for a few minutes like the worst first date a person could have. Then, without warning, the conversation just fades away. The next step is always…
She begins to scrape at my teeth with her stupid hook. It doesn’t hurt at all. It seems like one of those things that should hurt, but it never does. Unfortunately, especially for someone with my attention span, the scraping lasts for more than thirty seconds.
There’s not a lot you can do to entertain yourself when you are stuck in a dentist chair, facing the ceiling, unable to move. I could listen to the music that they’re playing, but it always seems to be Celine Dion or Jimmy Buffett. Listening to that makes me want to grab that hook and jam it forcefully in my ear, so that is out.
I usually sit there, silently wondering why she is poking that spot for so long. Maybe it’s a cavity. The world’s biggest cavity ever. What if it’s some sort of rare tooth eating bacteria? Worse, what if my tooth has grown so strong that it is becoming its own entity? It will build an entire tooth-army and take over the world, creating a tooth-empire. All mankind will fall before the power of the mighty tooth, bowing as…
“All done,” she says, interrupting my fantasy of tooth world domination.
The next step is always the worst: the floss talk.
Statistics say that only 28% of people say they floss daily. Of those 28%, probably 10% actually do floss daily.
I am not in that 10%.
I sit there and endure the talk, head down like a child being scolded for drawing on the wall with crayon. She goes on for what seems like hours about the importance of flossing, about gum disease, about tartar buildup. Sometimes, they even show me how to use dental floss, a step that is far from necessary. How hard can it be to shove string in between your teeth?
I agree that it is important and receive my goodie bag. It always a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss inside. One day, I hope that I’ll look in and find a thousand dollars or the keys to a new Corvette. It doesn’t seem likely, but there could be a possibility.
Maybe that will happen if I start flossing…