This morning I had my first dentist appointment in a year. Since I got married they kind of forgot who I am so I keep having to call in to make appointments. I also hate going to the dentist so I tend to put that one off. Don't even mention the fact that it's really expensive. Thankfully I have benefits. Benefits that are covering me up to and including December 7th. I had to bite the dentist bullet (figuratively, because I'm sure that's really bad for your teeth) and go. I mean, I want to keep my teeth after all.
The dentist has never been fun, but once I hit adulthood it became seriously less fun. I'm not even talking about the fact that I now have to pay for it, or that it smells so bad, either. I'm talking about the fact that my appointments are twice as long and involve some sort of scraping with a sharp pointy object. For half an hour.
I don't have any cavities. I have never had a cavity and, Lord willing, never will. I'm also a lazy flosser. As in I do it sporadically and when I'm feeling the spirit move me. Or I have something stuck. Because I'm a lazy flosser I'm used to the dentist telling me a I have a little inflammation and bleeding from my gums. If you aren't used to that I'm not only impressed by your dental hygiene but a little disgusted. Because you're better than me. Apparently. Who has the time or motivation to floss every single day? I'm a busy, busy person, doing busy, busy things.
When you become an adult and they start doing the teeth scraping with a sharp pointy object guess what? You bleed a heck of a lot more. Fact: I take better care of my teeth than I did when I was younger. I'm aware that I have a couple potential cavities and that I want to maintain my 24 years of cavity free living. Besides, fillings for me aren't in the budget and I don't want them to ever be.
When the dentist informed me that I had some bleeding I wasn't surprised. When I saw my blood on her fingers and the sharp point object I wasn't surprised. I was a little horrified, but how could she not expect me to bleed from my uncalloused gums when she stabbed them with a sharp pointy object. It's not like my gums are out running around doing stuff to toughen them up. They're delicate! They can't withstand sharp pointy objects stabbing into them!
I'm sure she meant well, but I could feel the pain, the poking, the stabbing. I could see the extra suction coming to clean up what I can only imagine was a blood pool in my mouth that would make CSIs cringe. Like I said, I could see my blood on her finger tips, what was coming off the sharp pointy object and being wiped on a piece of gauze. Let me tell you, it was disheartening.
Afterwards, I wanted to inform her that of course my gums are inflamed, you were just STABBING them. I didn't, though, because she's my new dentist and I like her more than the old one.
I was worried that I'd have to go home for an hour to let my mouth calm down from the inevitable swelling and blood gushing everywhere. The hygienist wiped my cheek before I left. Presumably because some of my own blood was there. I should have asked her to leave it and gone as a vampire to work.
When all was said and done I checked myself out for telltale signs that I'd been to the dentist and repeatedly stabbed with a sharp pointy object in the name of oral hygiene. Aside from a teeny bit of redness around my teeth, all was normal. No blood gushing, no awkwardly swollen gums.
(One time the gums between my two front teeth decided to swell up like a little ball. It was the most disgusting thing ever and felt so weird on my tongue. I spent my mouth closed a lot, that day. If that had happened I would have come in to work later. No one wants to see a swollen gum ball in my mouth, front and center. And my gums are always on display. I have a large mouth.)
All I can think is, my teeth are clean, they're cavity free, and I've been told to floss and mouth wash to save my teeth that are teetering on the edge of cavityfied and normal/happy. Yuck. Mouthwash is for old people.
I'm glad the dentist didn't notice that I was clenching my fists throughout the gum stabbing part of the check up. She might not have believed me that I was okay.
One last thing. What is up with people who try to talk to you while they're cleaning your teeth/stabbing you with sharp point objects? This is their job, they must know that it's impossible to talk while someone has two hands in your mouth. I always feel so bad for not filling my side of the conversation with anything but grunts. But... I don't want to make the dreaded dentist visit last any longer than absolutely necessary. And I'm pretty sure distraction is how most gum stabbings occur. Like 70%. The other 30% are just mean spiritedness. (Those are real facts, by the way. Look 'em up.)
Now I don't want to eat anything. My teeth are so clean! Except I'm hungry. Guess who wins the war between teeth and tummy? Tummy every time.