Sunday, February 17, 2008

By the skin o' my teeth

"If suffering brought wisdom, the dentist’s office would be full of luminous ideas." ~ Mason Cooley

How do I explain my dislike for the dentist? I've been jaded. When I was younger I went to a very aggressive dentist. He pulled out most of my baby teeth because they weren't falling out fast enough. In the fourth grade he put me in a set of partial braces. I endured skin abrasions and many, many appointments to tighten the braces over four years. Oh, and I had head-gear, which I only wore at night, to fix my overbite problem. After four years, I was in the 8th grade, he informed me that he wanted to put me in a FULL SET of braces. I told him he was crazy and to take all that mess off my teeth. So he did, and then told me I would have to wear a retainer for the rest of my life. As long as I cared what my teeth looked like, that's exactly what he said. Well, I think he was full of crap. I haven't worn a retainer in years and my teeth are fine. Stupid dentist. The last dentist I went to told me that my teeth were beautiful, lined up great, enamel looking good, I even have my wisdom teeth in and didn't have to get them pulled (yet...eek!).

My poor husband has weak enamel. Those sodas he drinks are bad, very bad, for his teeth. He has been trying very hard to step up his chopper care. Special toothpaste and two different kinds of mouth wash. I think it's helped, but not in time to save two of his teeth that have cracked. So, the dentist needs to put, caps?..well, whatever they are..on those two teeth. We still haven't made the appointment for that. We're working on it. Oh, and he had all four of his wisdom teeth yanked out all at once. It was not fun.

The picture above is my nephew, Mack. When his father took him to the dentist and he was informed that he would be getting silver caps he was so excited. He says, 'You mean I'm gonna' have a grill?' He's five! Where does he come up with this stuff? He pulled through his appointment with flying colors. No pain and no fear. Hopefully he won't end up as jaded as I am.


  1. We have the same love of dentists. Well written.

  2. Yup. Teeth seem to be necessary evils. I can't think of any really warm fuzzy emotions involved with teeth. I love your nephew hoping for a 'grill'.

  3. Dentists, ahh... even worse, their secretaries.

    Lol, I am afraid of my dentist and his secretary. I mean he is a really nice dentist, he talks me through anything but my anxiety jumps right through the roof.

    Everytime I go, his secretary is telling me what I need to do with my teeth... grrr..

    Recently I started taking my CD player and when they drill, I turn the music up and when I talk I turn it down so I can hear what's going on, even though I don't understand half of it. I still squeeze the hygienist's hand when I get needles and try to talk or make a stupid joke when my mouth is frozen. Yes, I have bit my lip!

    But even more, I think I am afraid of the cost of the dentist, once they were going to fill a tooth that almost needed a root canal and I was not afraid of the pain - there are meds for that, but there are not meds for my bank account!

    I sympathize with my fellow dentist-phobians.


    p.s I wish we had "grills" when I was a kid!