Gone Mental for Dental

The dentist displeases me. Translation: Fuck, I hate the dentist.

You must understand, I typically feel scolded like a misguided child when I’m at the dentist. Have you been flossing? Well, maybe I better look at your flossing technique. Are you scraping between each tooth? Uh, scraping, well, uh, of course, I’m scraping. Who doesn’t scrape when they floss?

Who comes to the dentist with clean teeth? Who are these people? I want to know who you are. I’m going to personally come to your house and force coffee down your throat.

But I’m all joy and positive energy with my children. It will be just a little scraping cleaning. Come along children. My children both have their teeth cleaned at the same time so I sit in between the rooms. You can accomplish this at the dentist with the special divider that is not completely flush to end of the wall. I ask myself, is this merely a construct in which to better hear someone’s pain?

Scanning the scene, watching their squirming bodies, wincing, and talking whilst fingers stir in their mouths, the hygienists chide them about the white furries (that’s what they call them), tartar buildup, and possible calcification. This is a good, new word for my six-year-old. Scrape, scrape.

The squirming doesn’t fly when the doctor arrives. Behold, the doctor. When I have an appointment with doctor, we chat about the gym or mowing the lawn. However, when it comes down to business, it’s about precision, intensity, and focus. Watch out if the hygienist has committed an error, heaven forbid. You don’t want to fall out of the good graces of the doctor. I feel the air sucked out of the room, and clutch the chair tightly, swallowed up inside the fiery inferno.

I can always tell, too, if the hygienist screwed up. I can feel it. There is nothing she can do (I’ve only had women as hygienists.) And if the computer screen freezes up. Holy Moly! The hygienist pleads, It was working just a minute ago. I say to myself, Release me from this chair. Release me. The doctor holds sharp instruments and he’s scowling.

Imagine my horror when my six-year-old is misbehaving, sticking his tongue out every which way. Put your tongue inside your mouth. Stop moving. Be still with your tongue, says the doctor.

Be still, I urge my child. Be still like a statue.

My ten-year-old interrupts this scene with his announcement that he is going to partake in some hot cocoa at our orthodontist downstairs. Momentarily, I reflect that although this is definitely a bad idea just having had a fluoride treatment, and he’s saying this right in front of the hygienist who worked mercilessly on his teeth…I think why not? What that ortho outfit wants for braces…he should wander into their lobby, enjoy a little cup of cocoa, a handful of goldfish crackers, their gourmet cookies…oh, and they also offer coffee by the cup, assorted flavors available. My mouth waters.

The doctor and the hygienist await my response, the room quiet. Of course you can’t. You can’t, son. Remember? Fluoride? My son simply leaves the office with no explanation. The hygienist swears he’s hormonal.

We leave the dentist all smiles and pearly whites, with toys, and the promise to brush better and floss scrapier. Still no cavities. I’m renewed with hope. From now on, we will brush for two minutes twice a day. What better way to do this than with a delightful brushing song, an iPhone App? Certainly this will do the trick; it’s technology lighting the darkness. A spunky dab of toothpaste, with shoes I might add, sings a song about brushing his teeth the right way, doing it twice in a day, and tells you when to switch every 30 seconds. The dab sings:

Brush them back on the inside, top and bottom, down and up and down, brush ’em cuz you got ’em, never let it dangle, brush my tongue, brush it an angle, ain’t it fun….

Or, something like that! My goodness that dab can boogie and even does split jumps.

Upon hearing this song, my six-year-old spins out of the bathroom and into the living room, with arms flailing, the toothbrush nowhere near his mouth. He then flings the toothbrush into the abyss of the toy bucket where I spend the last 45 seconds of the tooth melody searching for said toothbrush. Mom, that song is horrible, he tells me. Remove that app from your phone immediately.

Personally, I thought the song was a little catchy. What’s not to like?

photo credit: kerryj.com via photopin cc

Advertisements

78 thoughts on “Gone Mental for Dental

  1. What I hate is when they have their hands inside your mouth and then ask you questions! And you try and respond but just end up drooling over their gloved hands and making grunting noises. I also tend to hold my breath when they have their implements in my mouth because I don’t want to steam up their mirror, so if it goes on too long I start to feel faint!

    Like

    1. I had many a time, Vanessa, when I have felt faint in the dentist’s chair! The thought of conversing is kind of ridiculous, but it seems to continue to happen in the very limited way that it can. Lots of grunting! Yes, definitely.

      Like

  2. I just like that you said FUCK in the first line. Well done. (And yes, I’m not a big fan of the dentist either. Then again, the reasons I get scolded and such like a child are basically my fault anyway.)

    Like

    1. Mike for some things there’s no other word! Thank you. Isn’t that the truth. We can always do better I guess, but I always try my hardest to get a good checkup. I seem to have problem areas…

      Like

  3. I HATE the dentist. I have put off going for the past three or four months because I know they will make me feel guilty. I HATE feeling guilty even when I haven’t done anything wrong. I HATE going to the dentist.

    Like

    1. I understand, believe me I do! I wish they could just put me under every time, even for cleanings. I know people who have this done. Well, I hope you go because putting if off, you know…maybe if they offered massage that would improve things.

      Like

  4. When I was a kid I hated the dentist. Now, I think he hates me, I go every other month, he tells me “Leo, you don’t have to come that often, your teeth are clean” to which I reply “No, I feel something here, my gum kina hurts” he rolls his eyes and sigh.
    Hey, my insurance covers full dental, so I might as well use it.
    Funny how the song was torture instead of motivation for your kid lol

    Like

    1. Leo, this isn’t a bad idea to be really on top of your dental care! I admire you for it. Your teeth must be sparkling. It’s the waiting between cleanings, right, that build up the tartar. I suppose if you could get them cleaned all the time, it would be better. Now why haven’t they invented some supersonic cleaning device so we would never have to have cleanings again?! Yeah, the song is dead in the water. Back to 30 second brushing!

      Like

  5. “scolded like a misguided child” … Exactly. Never thought of it until you wrote it, but that’s exactly the problem with the dentist. There is never a visit where I get positive feedback.

    Like

    1. No, that’s not fair! You need a positive morsel. Everybody needs this, and especially at the dentist. I always feel my whole life is being at the dentist. They could say something nice…like, your brushing has improved! That would be something, right? The worst for me is the test with the numbers to measure the pockets…then it’s all numbers. We need kind words.

      Like

      1. Completely agree. That test you mention is the worst. Why don’t we just agree it’s not going to be good and skip it? Now my kids are being exposed to the twice annual “so you aren’t flossing?” shame. Which just adds to mine. … “What kind of parent are you?”

        Like

      2. Don’t get me started. “You chew ice? And hard candy?” “Yes. My entire life and I’ve never chipped a tooth. So don’t expect me to stop now.”

        Like

  6. I hate being scolded at the dentist too! I thought I was just being overly sensitive. I’m so glad someone else cringes at the thought of this. Also, I had no idea there was an app for tooth brushing. There really IS an app for everything!

    Like

    1. Ashley, I always to put a positive face on things, but always feel a little crushed by the end of a dental visit. No, you are not alone. I can’t believe this app. You should check it out. Most kids would probably like it…all but mine!

      Like

  7. I have never minded going to the dentist most of my life.
    My dentist was the same man since I was very little. I watched his kids grow up on his walls in tandem with my own life. He has retired now and I haven’t found a dentist I can tolerate since. It turns out I do care who puts their hands in my mouth.

    Like

    1. It seems to matter most, Michelle, if you need significant work on your teeth, too. Knock on wood…so far so good for me. Just the usual grind and decent check-ups. I actually feel for my hygienist. I’m poking fun here, but she’s quite good at what she does. I hope you can find someone you feel comfortable with soon. My dentist has his kids on his walls, too, and they’re roughly the same age as mine.

      Like

  8. Haha, YES. I hate the dentist. All that condescending “you need to brushhhhh and flosss” while they’re working in your mouth and getting all grossed out. Well, dude, that’s your job. Clean teeth. Pretty sure it was in the job description. Pretty sure that’s why you get a much bigger paycheck than I do. And what’s with the conversation while the tools are in your mouth? How are you supposed to respond? Belag garg wharf.

    When you mentioned the song I thought of that old commercial for toothpaste from the 80s, I think. With the cavity creeps saying “We make holes in teeth!” It’s in my head now. Arghhh.

    Like

    1. Belag garg wharf…I’m sure this is exactly what I sound like too. What is the point of this? Maybe they can translate. Sometimes I have good conversations with my hygienist, although come to think of it, duh, they’re kind of one-sided. Hahaha. I feel bad for my hygienist. She works very hard on my teeth.

      You know you wanted to think of that song, Alice. If you want a different one, you can always download the app. You’re welcome!

      Like

  9. Great post, Amy. I hate the dentist, too. I think there is some kind of code with them that NOBODY brushes their teeth right. Or flosses right or whatever. And then they use that ultrasound cleaner thingy that makes me jump out of the chair every thirty seconds and I’m ready to confess every crime I ever committed or make up confessions so they’ll stop. Maybe I need to look for a new dentist…

    Like

    1. Oh my, Cathy! I’m sorry if I brought up a sensitive topic…hahaha…maybe detectives should use this device too. I know, I feel like no matter how hard I try, it’s never quite good enough for the dentist. My checkups have been good, probably a B grade. See, lots of room for improvement. But, I’m sorry…I will never give up coffee. Can’t do it!

      Like

  10. I was about to say that I don’t mind the dentist except for…but then I realized there were a lot that I don’t like about the dentist. As long as I don’t have any terribly painful work done, I don’t mind them too much.
    Speaking of the hot cocoa, I remember leaving dentist appointment as a kid and loading up on candy as a treat.

    Like

    1. Exactly, David. If you don’t have any major work to be done, you’ll manage with the bi-annual cleaning. I always breathe a sigh of relief when they tell me, kind of half-heartedly, that everything looks good.
      Well, you were one lucky kid I guess. It’s funny that the orthodontist offers all this stuff. The kids eat it before their appointments, but they don’t seem to mind.

      Like

      1. I love the way you say they tell you half-heartedly that everthing looks fine. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can imagine their face. “Aww, shucks, no cavities. Well, better luck next time.” ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

  11. Hi Amy,
    I have only been to the hygienist once. She was a big breasted girl and forced my head and my right ear into her cleavage as she worked on my mouth. I could hear my blood boiling or the milk churning in her breasts, either was quite pleasant!! ๐Ÿ˜† Ralph xox

    Like

    1. Ha! Good story, Ralph…why, oh why do I not believe this? First of all, I don’t believe that you’ve only been to the hygienist once. I think you’re lucky, and even luckier if I’m to believe your story. Only in Spain, I guess! – Amy xox

      Like

      1. Of course it’s true Amy. It was in 1990 on the Isle of Wight in England and every time I went to the dentist after that they kept pulling teeth out with one hand and taking money with the other until I had no teeth and no money left. Then I had the pleasure of having dentures made in Spain for 700 Euros. I miss my hygienist ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Like

  12. Amy, you’re not alone. Just last night, I was thinking I need to get my kids in for a visit. Whenever I get a check-up, I take my earphones and turn it to iHeart Radio so I don’t have to hear any of the tools scraping against my teeth. My dentist already knows I’m a big baby!

    Like

    1. Yes, the sounds are horrible. Sometimes worse than the actual work being done, oh, but not really, huh? It’s all just yucky! Hey, that’s a good tip to bring your earphones. I never thought of that one. That sounds like an excellent coping strategy, Anka.

      Like

  13. I’ve actually fallen asleep at the dentist! I find that light they put above your mouth to be hypnotic in a way.

    My last dental experience was NOT fun, and I must say that my new dentist here in Oregon is lacking a bit. I think who you go to makes a big difference because I used to love going when I was with my old guy.

    Like

    1. Jen, I think I know that light you’re referring to. There must be something to this. It wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing to fall asleep and get a little nap in.

      I hope you can find someone like your old guy. I think Portland would have a great selection!

      Like

  14. “I ask myself, is this merely a construct in which to better hear someoneโ€™s pain?”—Yes, yes it is.

    Is it just me, or is your dentist a little on the grumpy side? Perhaps he was the dentist in “Marathon Man”? Is it safe?… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG5Qk-jB0D4 If you haven’t seen this movie, just check it at about the 3 minute mark. You’ll never go to the dentist again…

    Like

    1. My dentist is delightful compared to this guy, Carrie. Yikes!! I’ve never seen this movie. I’d like to see it some time. Just seeing him unwrap the instruments sent chills down my spine. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

      1. It’s a great movie, but despite how sweet my dentist is, I think she’s getting sick of my asking her “Is it safe?” every time I go see her. But the joke never gets old for me…

        Like

  15. I used to hate the dentist, now I’m… sort of… coming around to the idea that they aren’t all bad. (Where I go, the receptionist offers coffee before the appointment and I’ve not yet had the dentist tell me that I need to stop eating anything specific… Unlike many others in the past. But I do sympathise…

    Like

    1. Coffee before appointments? I want to go where you go. I’m there! Mine isn’t really so bad, but I know I’m not imagining the bit of tension. I have a instinct for these things. Generally, my teeth need a good scraping, so no matter where I went it wouldn’t be any fun. Too bad it just can’t wash away.

      Like

  16. Iโ€™d just recently been to the dentist (finallyโ€ฆnew appointment, though).ย  Itโ€™s hard to believe that, with all that scraping, the enamel is still intact! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  17. Interesting piece Amy. I just came back from the dentist this minute. it was actually a nice break from work — and this dentist office is all women. A totally humane environment. No lectures at all, just lots of support (or else it seemed that way, but that’s good enough.) Well written, and funny as usual!

    Like

  18. Dentists seem to be so high and mighty! They DO scold and I absolutely love the way you wrote this piece, Amy. The dentist always makes me feel like a child and I should probably go more often, but I really have to build myself up to the fact that I’ll be sitting in a torture chair for an hour – YIKES! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Like

    1. Thanks, Dianne. Dentists do seem to have the upper hand. I sure don’t know anything about teeth, so I must trust they know what they’re doing! I hope your next visit isn’t all torture. I think incorporate massage into it. What do you think?

      Like

      1. Oh – what a brilliant idea! A massage and then a box of chocolates and glass of champagne at the end – now that’s what I’m talking about! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Like

Take it away.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s