I’m ashamed to admit that it has been quite a long time since I’ve visited the dentist. We only acquired dental insurance in the last year and so for the past few we’ve concentrated on paying ridiculous amounts of cash to keep the kids’ teeth in shape. Which leads me to realize why I’m falling apart. I could have lasted longer but because it’s either me or them. That’s why the kids have beautiful smiles and I look like Mr. Ed.
Sam and Sydney had appointments scheduled for this afternoon and since I thought they would have ball practice (which ended up being cancelled because the sky over our heads mistakenly thinks we are in Seattle and has soaked us for days now), I bumped them and took the spot for myself. I took the new patient forms and got all psychotic when it was time to note the date of my last cleaning. I bounced between leaving it blank or telling the truth and risking the scorn of the dentist. I finally put the date and put a big frowny face beside it. Translation: You don’t have to tell me I’ve been bad because I know I have sinned and I repent of my unclean mouth so please don’t judge me because I AM FRAGILE. Who knew a frowny face could say so much? The whole episode was akin to some strange form of chart confessional. After I turned in the paper work, I closed my eyes and prayed for absolution or at least a workable payment plan (penance?) for all the fillings/etc. I was convinced were coming my way.
The hygienist took me back and immediately wanted to know how long it had been since my last visit. I went in to ‘over explain’ mode with the ‘I had to take care of my babies before myself’ saga when all she really wanted to know was did she need to take xrays. Intensely embarassing. I clinched my eyes shut when the needles and pics came out and tried to think happy thoughts. However, for some moments when it got a little uncomfortable I started having flash backs of some spy movie I watched years ago that involved horrifying dental torture. Which made me think of persecuted Christians. Which made me think, ‘Would I really be strong enough to take this if it was either have my teeth mutilated or recant?” By the time it was all over I had to fight the urge to jump from the seat and shout, “I WILL NOT DENY HIM!”
Yes, it is exhausting to be me.
The dentist came in after the cleaning and did not judge me at all. In fact, he told me my teeth looked great and we even share the same crooked tooth in the same exact location. And then we bonded over the fact that we don’t get braces for ourselves because our kids need them instead. Then he chuckled over my frowny face on my chart and told me I could have a sticker or a prize from the treasure chest.
Instead, I chose Cinnamon-flavored mouthwash for hyper-sensitive teeth which I apparently have from brushing too hard. It cost $12.50.
A small price to pay for absolution.
(So, are you a regular at the dentist? Hoping its not just me.)