Thursday, June 3, 2010

a trip to the dentist

Going to the dentist for the first time in fourteen years is much like waiting until the end of the summer to mow your lawn.

It simply can’t all get done within an hour. And even though the hygienist tried her best, I know she broke this thing down into phases, telling herself she could finish up when I came back in in 6 months.

I’ll spare you the details about the blood that shot up onto the hygienist's face mask and how I could actually feel tartar chunks flying off my teeth. I mean let’s face it. All of that is a little gross and unnecessary.

But the worst part about being 26 years old and not having had a dentist appointment since 1996, was that I had no clue what I was doing. The hygienist would hand me stuff and I’d just stand there like an idiot. She’d point to something and mumble and I’d hurriedly lean when I was supposed to sit and close my mouth when I was supposed to keep it open.

She should have treated me like a child. Instead, when I looked at her blankly, I could hear her reminding herself, Oh, she doesn’t know what she’s doing BECAUSE SHE’S NEVER BEEN TO A DENTIST IN HER LIFE.

Hence the blood. And the flying tartar. And the most brutal flossing I’ve ever experienced. And the comments about how small my mouth was and how Dr. Matt will probably recommend surgery on my wisdom teeth and yada yada.

It was as though she was teaching me a lesson. Payback for ignoring my teeth.

So, when Dr. Matt’s verdict came that the pain I had been experiencing was actually from my wisdom teeth growing and getting situated, I was relieved. I may have ignored my teeth, but I didn’t sentence myself to death.

And THEN when he proceeded to say that it looked as though I had enough room in my mouth to try and keep them all, I skipped out of there victorious and as happy as could be.

And ate two pieces of candy.

Come on, she had to have seen that coming. Payback is a two-way street.

And come to find out, it’s sweet.


  1. lol i had 4 cavities this year! (they where under my gums lots of scrapping and peeling) i see him every 6 months!! erin is the one with the victory because she is teeth addict i am trying to do that too... did you have any cavities?!

  2. With my active imagination, definitely did not need to picture the blood geyser. But overall you had a much better decade-since-last-visit than I did. NOT THAT I'M BITTER. Just bankrupt. And bitter.

  3. I do have 3 cavities ... but they're surface cavities, so the procedure shouldn't be too bad.

    Katie -
    Oh, we should start a club. People Against Oral Hygiene. Or PAOH.
    I'd say aside from the painful teeth picking, the worst part was looking at my dentist and realizing we could have been in the same graduating class.
    Maybe that's why he didn't push for surgery ... so young and optimistic.