Something To Chew On

Posted on April 20, 2013 under Storytelling with one comment

Our granddaughter is just starting to teeth and, with any luck, will not inherit her clan’s predisposition for less than perfect teeth.  Most of us have been to the dentist at some point in our lives.  It is probably not on the list of one’s top three destinations.  For some people the thought of going to the dentist is almost as bad as a toothache.  The good news is that technology and equipment in dentists’ offices have improved and nowadays a trip to the dentist is a much more palatable exercise.  And, if you can find the right dentist, it can be something that a person might actually look forward to.

Many years ago I lived out west and was a client of an aging dental practitioner.  He was a wonderful, sweet man but going face to face with him was somewhat unsettling.  Kind of like stumbling upon a skunk.  Not life threatening but none too pleasant.  I am sure that his skill set in his early years was commendable but age, alcohol and tobacco had taken their toll.  I only scheduled an appointment with him when I was truly desperate.  We all know what that is like.

My appointments followed a pattern.   If I needed a filling he would examine me, just after having had a smoke.  I didn’t need to take up smoking; I just lived vicariously through his fingers. I only kicked my nicotine habit when I changed dentists.  He would then freeze my mouth and head for the diner down the street for another smoke and a coffee.  Sometimes he would get distracted and one more than one occasion, arrived back just after the freezing was wearing off.  The ensuing procedure was sort of like the crossroads between purgatory and hell.

I’m not about to suggest that my current dentist’s office will ever be mistaken for a comedy club, but I have rarely gone there where I didn’t hear laughter.  The staff is uncommonly friendly and there is always a good natured banter going on among them, their clientele and the dentists.  The only part of the exercise that is painful is paying the bill, but most of us spend more money on vehicle maintenance than we do on our teeth.

There is a certain vulnerability to lying in a dentist’s chair, especially when they fill your mouth with all manner of contraptions.  I am forever exchanging barbs with my dentist and it is frustrating when he insults me and I can’t say anything until the damn dam is out of my mouth.

I particularly enjoy my time with the dental hygienist.  We get caught up on all the news between the poking and prodding.  She invariably asks me if I floss.  The fact that I am in her chair with my mouth wide open is evidence that I don’t.  I usually pass on the stickers but she always dutifully gives me a new toothbrush and some dental floss.  I will use the toothbrush for its intended purpose and I keep the floss in the car.  I might come upon a brook and decide to do a little fishing.  The floss makes excellent fishing line for minnows.

Though I am getting long in the tooth, I will grit my teeth, fight tooth and nail and promise not to bite off more than I can chew.  I will never bad mouth my dentist especially when he is armed to the teeth.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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One Response to Something To Chew On

  1. Barb says:

    Again, thanks for my morning chuckle! Luckily, I have a wonderful dentist, although I still dread pretty well every visit! lol

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