Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random Notes from the Dentist's Chair

The hygienist pulled a file from a tray that gleamed the silver shine of something sterile and applied it--with quick, cursory strokes--to the tip of the dental pick. When she took the instrument to my teeth, sweeping the metal just under my gums, my eyes shut into a grimace that pulled my cheeks with it. I widened my jaw to counteract the scrunch.

As she worked on my teeth and more than likely rehearsed the ol' "perhaps it's time you acknowledged the existence of dental floss" lecture in her head, I was left to my own mental devices. This is what I thought as I lay there with a bloddy, gaping maw: I would rather get weekly pap smears than go through this crap twice a year.

If flossing is the answer, it's not an easy one. I mean, do I even know anyone who flosses? The Partner doesn't. My parents don't. I saw a lot of things amidst the communal indiscretion of dorm living during my college days, but flossing wasn't among them. I can only come up with one friend that I know for sure used to floss on a daily basis (while watching television, no less)--but she is now the mother of infant triplets and I have to wonder how she could possibly find a spare minute, let alone the requisite amount of energy, to suck on tooth string once every 24 hours. If I'm wrong, I hope she'll comment below. I may very well be wrong. The girl is shockingly disciplined.

When the dentist came in to poke around the hygienist's handiwork in an effort to at least make it look like he was doing something to earn the $300/hour being billed to my insurance company, he told me I really work my jaw like a pro. Okay, he didn't use those exact words, but I'm sure I'm not flattering myself too much. What he said was, "you're the ideal patient, the way you hold your mouth open so wide."

That's not what he tells all the girls, is it?

9 comments:

Heather said...

My husband is a flosser. He's a little like a reformed smoker...since he does it he tries to convince me that I should as well. And I just don't. Unless there's a way to do it one-handed while nursing an infant, it's just not going to happen. Even then? Doubtful.

I used to go to a dentist who kept asking me to open wider and wider and couldn't just face facts that I have a small mouth. It was so disappointing for him.

But, you go girl.

Tuesday Girl said...

God I hate the dentist.

Lauren said...

Haha, i would've taken that as a compliment too! What doc? I can't hear you over that suction. Did you say I was GOOD AT GIVING HEAD?

Ann said...

I hear you, but there is a way, its called BrytonPick - new string free and reusable flossier. It is also made from a flexible metal so thin you wont get funny metal feelings, especially if you will try it after a snack for the first time. Check it out.

Jennie said...

I never floss either. Never! My husband is pretty good at it. I don't even lie to the dentist anymore! Unfortunately I am going in tomorrow to finish an inlay and have a cavity filled. Ugh. No way to spend a Friday afternoon. I occasionally think about flossing more, but it won't happen. I feel better knowing I am not alone!

Daisy said...

As long as we're confessing, I floss occasionally. It seems to be enough. I only get a partial lecture each time I go in for cleaning.

Jerri Ann said...

I hate it. I go through spells where I floss but when I do, I floss 3 or 4 times a day while I watch TV or work (I work from home). It is addictive, I'm not kidding.

Sarah said...

Yes I still find time to floss - I haven't TV flossed since my college days and my good habit waned for a while, but I do floss at least a few times a week!

Jess said...

As one of your less disciplined friends, you may be surprised to hear that I'm a flosser. After college and sans insurance, I decided that flossing was my best defense against losing my teeth. The thing is when I eventually returned to the dentist it was a revolution. No blood, no pain. Really, a few minutes every night or a couple of nights a week, it's revolutionary. And a lot easier than weekly pap smears.