Thursday, February 10, 2011

Shower at the dentist-

Written on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 10:47pm

Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting my teeth cleaned - probably one of my least favorite "maintenance" things to do. It may be due to the fact that 4 years ago the dentist, with a smile, dug into my gum's like he was excavating every last bit of bone fragment. Every minute it seemed I was turning my head to spit out a mouthful of blood as if I was at the end of a heavyweight bout- not fun. It turned me from a grown man into a clammy, cold-sweat-soaked boy. Ever since, I keep these beloved visits bi-yearly.

So with hesitation I walked through the doors, already hearing the soft hum of the instruments of torture steadily at work. I walked to the window and faced the receptionist. Not another person was in the waiting room. The lady was all of two feet away; deep into conversation about office politics. I didn't say a word as I knew she knew I was standing there but it was quite obvious that she felt her conversation just had to continue. A full minute passed. All of a sudden a head popped out behind the frosted glass to the right of, lets call her . . . Ms. Story. She said, "Can I help you?" "As a matter of fact you can.", I said with a smile. She asked who I was and everything else they do in medical offices, all the while reaching over to Ms. Story's computer with her left hand to punch it all in. Ms. Story didn't budge. I bet you they have a great working relationship ; ) Then, as if this was all completely normal, Ms. Story turns her head towards the other lady and says, "Wow! Are you doing all this with your left hand? That's pretty amazing . . . Oh you're actually left handed right?" and then continued her conversation. Wowwww! I hope she was at least one of the dentists' wives.

I sat down for a bit. After about five minutes, a young lady bopped into the lobby waving me into the back. She was throwing off a pretty relaxed vibe. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Like I always do, I gave her the run down on not inflicting pain. How I could care less if she gets all the crud off my teeth. She laughed as she fastened the bib around my neck. I warned her that almost all dentists think I smoke because of the severe coffee stains on the back of my front teeth. She was only half listening but then understood why I warned her after sticking that little mirror thing in to take a look around. Her exact words: "You weren't kindding! What do you do? Drink the stuff black and thick like mud!" I could see that this discovery was a bit of a challenge to her. It was apparent in her eyes.

She grabbed the spit sucker and tucked it in tight under my tongue. One question, does that thing do anything but just add to the gagging? Never have I been like "Oh thank goodness I have the spit sucker in. I might have drowned on my own saliva if not!" It just gets in the way and makes your spit glands go into over drive because it dries your mouth out into something resembling the Sahara. Have you ever noticed that it makes your lips super dry too? Annoying!

First tool in was the spinning wheel thing. No big deal just annoying as all get out. Kind of like scratching on the chalk board with your nails but for your teeth. Funny part was that she stopped halfway through my bottom row and said, "Geez! You're skeetering (sp?) all over the place. You've got some pretty active spit glands." Ha! After going through my whole mouth she stopped and said, "That didn't even come close to getting the stain off. Time for the big gun!" She grabbed some goggles and threw them on my face along with something stuffed lightly into my nose. "You're going to need both of these. It's about to get messy!" What? Needless to say, this thing shot a tiny jet stream of salt water at your teeth like it was a mini sand blaster (her description, not mine.) Once, she missed my tooth and it hit my lip. I was sure she just inadvertently pierced the dang thing! Didn't really hurt because it was so quick but the force was incredible. Water was everywhere. I was laughing (as much as I could without choking) because I could hear, not see, her saying stuff like, "Oh . . .woah! Oh man, I'm soaked . . . . Glad you're my last appointment today . . . And so on. She wasn't mad. She actually seemed to be having some fun.

The waterworks stopped. The floor was wet. My shirt was soaked. My face felt like it had been dipped into the Dead Sea it had so much dried salt on it. And she says, "Hmmm . . That didn't really work either. I guess I'll have to pull out the last line of defense." I quickly said that wouldn't be necessary. She argued it wouldn't be ethical as a dental hygienist to leave it. I countered with "Well I don't really care. Having the back of my teeth shining gloriously white doesn't matter to me. Game over." She laughed-

I must say . . . It was almost fun this time.

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