September 6th, 2007

1,674 Days

I tend to think in streaks – I haven’t thrown up for 21 years, I haven’t been a soda drinker for five and a half years, and up til today, I hadn’t been to the dentist for 1,674 days. While some streaks will garner a person all sorts of applause and praise, that last one won’t impress anyone.

It was suggested (read: strongly suggested) to me that going to the dentist might be a good idea – there was something about the health of my teeth or them being the only teeth I had or some such. It made sense to me at the time, so I made an appointment a while back, and today was the day.

Really, the whole experience wore me out. I had to be there at 7 this morning, which wasn’t so bad, but the teeth-scraping, the brutal flossing, the polishing — it all was a bit much. About the time I realized my jaw was sore from holding it open for the dentist, I also realized that my right bicep was sore from me clenching my fist against all of the violence.

I know much has been said about dentists over the years, so I won’t rehash it all here, other than to quote Steve Martin’s song from The Little Shop of Horrors. He’s singing about the words of advice his mother gave him when he was younger:

You’ll be a dentist.
You have a talent for causing great pain.
Son, be a dentist.
People will pay you to be inhumane.

My teeth have hurt the rest of the day, but they feel clean! You know how you hate to drive your car around after it gets washed lest you soil it? It was the same way for me – I didn’t want to dirty up my teeth with anything.

Not much has changed since I last went to the dentist – except that the x-rays are digital now. Other than that, all the scraping and polishing and spitting and trying to swallow with two hands in my mouth, it’s all the same. Oh, except for the fact that the dentist offered to file my teeth down today. That was new. Yeah. Apparently my front teeth had gotten kinda raggedy. I’ll be honest, I had noticed it. The dentist says he can put a high-speed drill to ’em and smooth ’em out. After some initial apprehension on my part, I told him to go for it. So now my teeth are smooth. I wasn’t expecting that when I went in today, so I guess that’s something.

I’ve been assured that if I go to the dentist more frequently it won’t be as difficult. We’ll see. As long as they keep handing out Batman stickers, I guess it’ll be okay.