Posts Tagged ‘flossing’

Throughout the ages,  many philosophers have attempted to answer the question, “Why would I rather be tied up in a glass box and left for dead in the Sahari desert than go to the Dentist?”

For me, it started when I was six.  It’s bad enough that I inherited my mother’s unbelievably awful teeth, and I always had an average of three cavities EVERY visit and they could never get the novocaine right.  As horrible as that was, it is not what drove me to camp out by the mailbox so I could tear up the “time for a checkup” postcards the minute they arrived and bury them in the garbage before my mom would notice. 

Flouride.  Do any of you recall having trays oozing with grapebubblegum” or “mint flavored flouride shoved into your mouth to protect your teeth from cavities?  Then once the trays were in place you had to sit there struggling not to gag as the slimey goo (which resembled windex more than it did any of the above mentioned flavors) started trailing down your throat,  all the while you’re gasping for air because that ridiculous vaccuum was sucking it from your airway.  I remember each visit (which ended up being once every two years, when the postcard sabotoge went according to planlying there, staring up at the ridiculous poster of toothbrushes hidden in the forest,  shuttering in fear, and wondering if maybe – just maybe – they would forget the flouride this time.  But they never did.  It’s as if they possessed some other -earthly -futuristic -robot memory. and i didn’t stand a chance.  Eventually, I started pleading with them.  “come ooooon, my teeth are going to have cavities no matter what, don’t you see?  Look at my mom.  That’s just my lot in life.  I’ve made my peace with it.  it’s time you got on board.”   But all my attempts proved futile.

Flossing.  I have done this section in red.  Red, for the color of the blood that my gums have shed at the hands of various hygenists throughout my childhood.   As i grew into my adult teeth, I was relieved to find that flouride would no longer be a part of my torture.  FREEDOM AT LAST!  That was until I discovered a whole new world of anguish. Flossing.  Throughout the duration of high school, every conversation with my hygenist would follow this format:

her: “hmm..  how often do you floss?”

me: “bout once every couple days.”  [lies. lies.  all lies. straight from the pit of hell!]

her: “you really need to do it at least once a day.  not flossing can lead to Gingevitis and gum disease.  do you know how to properly floss?”

[then she does the whole demonstration with the index finger blah blah]

me: “yea.  yea I know.  I just forget sometimes.”

her: “hmm.. I’m a little concerned.  do your gums normally bleed when you floss?”

me: “no, no actually they don’t.  only those times when I tug on them with the power of Hercules and probe them with sharp metal objects.”

Root Canals. Finally, when I was “of age” and “of my own insurance” I could choose my own dentist.  So i set out with my suitcase in hand and all the optimism in the world.  I didn’t stop searching until I found a guy who specialized in gentle, no drill dentistry.   plus, he was chinese.  I don’t know what it is about chinese people, but I automatically assume they are smart.  This guy won’t be shoving tubes down my throat and destroying my gums for no good reason, he’s above that.  He also informed me that ALL my fillings were leaking and  and that the reason I couldn’t chew on the left side of my mouth for the past two years was because my root was dead and I needed a root canal.  Smart dentist? maybeMore costly than adopting my own chinese baby and putting him through dental school?  definately.

After shuffling around to the better half of all the dentists in the white pages, my dad recommended his childhood dentist,  Castrogiovanni.   On my first visit, I was pleased to discover that Mr. C’s hygenist was as gentle as a feather blowing in the summer breeze.  I smiled on the inside..  Could it be?  Then the dentist comes in and as he’s examining my mouth I realize he’s not wearing a mask, his face is really close to my mouth, and he is really old.   afterall, he was my dad’s dentist.  Thats ok, that means he has lots of experience.  Experience? maybeHalitosis? definately.

The search continues…




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