This’ll Only Hurt a Little Bit

I’ve always been a believer in the old adage, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And the corollary of that is of course, if it don’t hurt, don’t let the doctor mess with it. Apparently this doesn’t necessarily apply to a person’s teeth.

I’ve always had really good teeth. It’s a gift from my father. He always had real good teeth too. The few cavities I’ve had actually stopped on their own. As a result I never paid a lot of attention to my teeth except for an occasional cleaning. But I have to admit that I haven’t had the tartar scraped for over a decade. Nothing hurt so I felt there just was no need waste time in a dentist chair.

Then, a couple of months ago I bit down wrong during dinner. I felt it and heard a crack but all seemed solid and it didn’t hurt so I just forgot about it. Until two weeks ago when I looked in the mirror and noticed that one tooth wasn’t in quite the same position it used to be. This didn’t freak me out till I saw the gap between two others was a little wider than I remember. I didn’t want a new whistling talent so I told Snowball I needed a dental appointment. She needed her teeth cleaned too so she made appointments for both of us.

After the dentist looked in my mouth to see that everything was still in there solid, he gave the ok for the hygienist to start the cleaning. Now please excuse my ignorance due to a ten-year absence from the chair, but there were some things the hygienist used that were a new experience for me. Because it had been such a long time and there was so much tartar buildup, she pulls out this mouth-sized version of a power-washer. Holy crap, if the pain associated with that thing is any indication, I need to apologize to my backyard deck.

During this ceremony of pain I was reminded of a crazy ex-girlfriend from long ago. She had this nasty habit of banging her head on the wall, I asked her once why she did this. She answered, “Because it feels so good when I stop.” Of course that explains the ex-girlfriend part but while in the chair all I could think of was how good its gonna feel when this cleaning was over.

And eventually it was over. The hygienist slapped my wrists one more time about not having a cleaning for so long and made me promise I’d be back to see her in six months. The dentist inspected the x-rays which showed that all was still holding on solid. Then looked in my mouth again, poked and prodded and declared my bones and roots were in good shape and there were no cavities. Thanks again, Dad. See you in six months, Doc. Here’s hoping I won’t have a new whistling act ready by then.