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Son, be a dentist; people will pay you to be inhumane

I have a whole post I’m working on but I don’t have the time to do it justice because it’s just now 8pm and I’m only sitting down to blog. And at some point, I would like to get some sleep. Because sleep is a good thing to get, sometimes, or so I hear.

So instead, let’s talk about my trip to the dentist. That’ll be good times, right?

What is happening here? This would not make me want to go to this dentist.

What is happening here? This would not make me want to go to this dentist.

First: I have excellent teeth. MOST excellent. They are straight and mostly still white (shut up, MOSTLY, I’m not a teen anymore, age makes your teeth lose their pretty luster eventually, you know) and I never needed braces and I only have one cavity and it’s WAY in the back of my mouth so you’d never know if I didn’t just tell the whole internet.

This is due to the fact that my parents both have terrible teeth and they didn’t want me and my brother to have terrible teeth, so they insisted we take fluoride pills all through our childhood and visit the dentist religiously every six months. This obsessiveness over our teeth led to us having all-American mouths of teeth. (Well, my brother less-so, only because some kid knocked him into a sink with his face in grammar school so one of his front teeth is a cap that you can kind of see, but that’s hardly my brother’s fault. And I totally got together a group of kids and we walked past that kid a couple days later and gave him the stink-eye and he never bothered my brother again. Because I am PROTECTIVE. And, as you can see from this story, always have been.)

My mother said if I talked about dentistry on the internet I had to say, “THANK YOU MOM FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF MY TEETH.” So I am saying it. THANK YOU MOMMY. (And peripherally Dad, who I’m sure drove us to the dentist at one point or another.)

So I went many, many years without cavities, until about 5 years ago I had a SNEAK-ATTACK CAVITY way in the back of my mouth and I was so mad because that meant I could no longer say “BAM, PERFECT MOUTH, MOFOS!” and I felt like I’d failed at life. But it was actually kind of an adventure because my dentist is sort of crazy and her dental tech didn’t show up the day I went in to get it filled and so she made me be her assistant and hold all the tools, and why didn’t any of you people tell me how awesome that numbing stuff is? It made the side of my whole face numb and when I tried to drink water when I got home I was all dribbly and that made me giggle.

I sprung for the white filling. Because it was CLASSIER.

I sprung for the white filling. Because it was CLASSIER.

Anyway, my last dental appointment was supposed to be at the end of last July. But, who remembers what happened right before that? Yeppers, fired from my terrible soul-crushing job. Which had dental. And if I wanted to keep the dental insurance through my COBRA coverage, it was like a kajillion extra dollars a month. (I think it was like $50, but when you’re unemployed, that seems like a kajillion.) So I called the dentist and cancelled the appointment because who can afford tooth-care when you can hardly afford foodstuffs?

So since then, I’ve kind of put off going to the dentist because I’m a lazy person who sometimes doesn’t do things in a timely fashion. And also because I can’t figure out my new job’s healthcare to save my life. IT IS VERY CONFUSING. I almost started crying all over friend A. at work over the whole thing. Who is like the levelest-headed person ever, and he was all “Um…there there? Don’t cry?”

How I feel friend A. is mentally looking every time I lose my shit.

How I feel friend A. is mentally looking every time I lose my shit. (He’s much more attractive than this, just as a side note. But also engaged to my wonderful friend K. So HANDS OFF, ladies!)

So I called all the health care places (we seriously have four, one for regular healthcare and one for REIMBURSAL for healthcare, and one for dental, and one for vision. THAT IS TOO MANY PLACES!) and tried to unravel the mess that is my office healthcare.

Mainly what I learned is that I don’t HAVE vision care, because, according to my HR lady, I opted out of that when I started there. (Why the hell would I have done that? That seems suspect. I have glasses! And wanted new ones! But she just gave me some papers to fill out and said she’d take care of it. I hope she meant it. I REALLY need new glasses.)

So the dental place was all, YES YOU CAN GET AN EXAM! ALSO FREE X-RAYS! And I was like, THANK YOU LADY ON THE PHONE! And friend A. was all “See? Why are you crying at work, you are sometimes scary.” (OK, he didn’t say that, but that’s the look he gave me.)

So I called my dentist and at first the receptionist said, “No appointments until September!” but then she said, “Oh, wait, we had an cancellation, can you come in Wednesday?” and I was all YES! Because I hadn’t been to the dentist at this point for a year and a half and I was pretty sure I was going to start looking like a gap-toothed hobo.

OK, I might be exaggerating. Just a little.

OK, I might be exaggerating. Just a little.

So I went to the dentist today.

FIRST, you see the tech. You don’t actually see the dentist. When did this start happening? When I was a kid, I always saw the dentist right away.

So, as mentioned, my dentist (and the people in her office) are a little kooky. I think that’s why I like them. They keep me entertained.

The tech decided she needed to take a kajillion X-rays. She wanted to put me in some sort of gigantic dental X-ray sarcophagus thing but she said I had to take all of my earrings out. Now, listen. I have a LOT of earrings. And they’re really, really hard to take out. So I was all, “I need a little time to PREPARE for the X-ray sarcophagus” and then she decided to do a ton of SMALLER X-rays which took a lot of time. And she had to leave the room for every one, which seemed both time consuming and also if she had to leave, how dangerous were these X-rays for me? (I did like that she put a lead thing on my neck to protect my nonexistent thyroid, though. That was thoughtful.)

So she left the room and came back in and was adjusting the X-ray thing (which, BTW, HURT LIKE HELL, it was all digging into my gums and lower-mouth-area, why are things so hurty?) and this glass table in the room FELL APART ALL ON ITS OWN. Like, with no impetus. No one was walking or shaking anything. The glass on top of the table just FELL RIGHT OFF and BANGED ON THE FLOOR. And all the things on the table went smacking all around, including what would be my little samples of toothpaste and floss and my new toothbrush. I sure do like free shit.

Oooohhhh, I AM HAUNTING YOUR DENTAL OFFICE! By TIPPING OVER YOUR TABLE!

Oooohhhh, I AM HAUNTING YOUR DENTAL OFFICE! By TIPPING OVER YOUR TABLE!

So I was all, “that was disconcerting and this room is potentially haunted” and the tech was all “JUST A MINUTE” and ran out and then ran back in with ANOTHER tech and the secretary and the dentist, WHO WERE ALL WORKING WITH PATIENTS, so those patients were…just…sitting around waiting for them to get back? I don’t know. And they all WONDERED OVER THE GHOST TABLE. And the dentist got on the FLOOR to see why the glass fell off, and hauntings were discussed. And I was sitting in the recliney chair just laughing because it was all so bizarre.

So the dentist finally put the glass and all the things back and gave the table a VERY stern look and left and the tech finished my ouchy X-rays. And an ADDITIONALLY ouchy scaling. Scaling is the worst. That’s when they scape the hell out of your teeth. I don’t care for that. They’re really aggressive about that scratchiness. I’m always afraid they’re going to break one of my teeth off.

Oh, the billion of X-rays? They turned out perfect. As I knew they would. VERY GOOD TEETH BABY!

Then the tech cleaned my teeth and THEN she said some very bad news.

“You’ve been grinding your teeth,” she said. “That’s what this little ridge here is. And your teeth are showing wear. You’re probably doing it in your sleep.”

Heh, bruxism. That sounds naughty. And totally like something I might have.

Heh, bruxism. That sounds naughty. And totally like something I might have.

I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WEIRD! My top two teeth have this little…I don’t know, crease along the bottom. And my bottom teeth are wearing down a little. And sometimes my jaw hurts when I wake up. (NOT A EUPHEMISM!)

So she said I should go to the drugstore and get a mouthguard and try that for a while, and they’d also contact my insurance company and see if they’ll pay for a custom mouthguard.

Yes. You know what’s sexy? A MOUTHGUARD, baby. I’m gonna be on a lot of people’s shortlists for lovin’ with this thing in.

GRINDGUARD! I think it's going to guard against anyone grinding me, that's for sure.

GRINDGUARD! I think it’s going to guard against anyone grinding me, that’s for sure.

“Most people who grind their teeth have stress. Are you stressed?” the tech asked.

If I wasn’t so stressed about my RAPIDLY RECEDING TEETH that I am GRINDING AWAY IN MY SLEEP I would have agreed.

Then the dentist came in for .000001 seconds and said I had amazing wonderful excellent teeth and make sure to use a soft toothbrush and concurred on the sex-ay mouthguard and said, “Ooh, you’re a FLOSSER, aren’t you?” and I nodded that I was but that was totally a lie. I’m not. And it worries me that she thought I was. Shouldn’t she know such things?

Then I got my bag of goodies (fine, I don’t think you can really call dental supplies “goodies” but, as stated, I sure do like free shit) and went back to work.

What have we learned today?

I AM GRINDING MY TEETH DOWN FROM INNER TURMOIL AND TORMENT.

GHOSTS LIVE IN MY DENTAL OFFICE AND ARE THROWING GLASS TABLES AT ME.

X-RAYS ARE OUCHY.

BUT YOU GET FREE STUFF AT THE END OF THE TRIP!

Bye, dentist. See you in six months. I will totally floss in the meantime.*

(*No. No, I probably won’t. But I will go buy, and take a photo of myself depressedly wearing, the mouthguard for you guys.)

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

25 responses to “Son, be a dentist; people will pay you to be inhumane

  • becomingcliche

    I hope they let you pick a prize out of the prize closet.

    Like

  • cynthiaw

    lol – my dentist always thinks that I floss, too. And I totally DON’T. Unless there is something stuck in my teeth and then I floss that food particle right the heck out. I do, however, have a Sonic toothbrush and that is apparently just as good as flossing because my teeth aren’t overcrowded, so I rarely get stuff stuck in them.

    Your dentist’s office sounds like a hoot though. And I totally grind my teeth and I worry about it all of the time. But not enough to put in a mouth guard at night.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I think that’s what happened – I’d had something stuck in my teeth so I flossed for three days leading up to the visit. I think I fooled her.

      I’m trying the mouth guard for the first time tonight. We’ll see how long it lasts. (Damn thing was $30, I’m hoping I can tolerate it!)

      Like

  • elaine4queen

    I’ve had the mouth guard before. It’s a great look.

    Kidding.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      SUCH a sexiness. I totally molded it and wore it around and talked and laughed and laughed tonight when I got home. I’m a nerd! It’s finally happened! I’m so proud! I sound like an 80s movie!

      Like

  • Charleen

    First of all, WordPress has been doing this thing lately where they load the entire page perfectly, pictures and all, comments no problem, but NOT the like button. So I have to reload in order to like your post. Which I suppose I could just skip hitting “like” (especially if I’m leaving a comment anyway), but, extra page hit for you on the reload, so whatever. (I know one hit is probably a drop in the bucket for you, but we little bloggers take our page hits any way we can get them!)

    (*sigh* I’m so rambley in my comments here. You bring it out in me.)

    Anyway, to the point… I just went to the dentist too! It was pretty harmless, especially compared to the time I went FIVE YEARS between visits (moving around a lot, just never got around to finding a new dentist) and it was the MOST PAINFUL CLEANING EVER!!! Seriously, if you’re going to go five years between visits, you might as well just never go again until all your teeth fall out and you need dentures.

    The irony is that I used to work in a dentist office so I know all about the terrible things that can happen if you don’t take care of your teeth. (And also about how superior the white filings are. I will never get a silver filling again. Ever. I don’t care if my insurance only covers the cost of a silver one, I will find a way to pay the difference.)

    And I don’t floss either. The hygienist always makes it seem so easy, but whenever I try I feel like I have the biggest hands and the smallest mouth ever. I just got some of those nifty single-use horseshoe-with-a-handle-looking things so we’ll see if I can get in the habit of using those.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      YES! It’s been doing that “like” thing for me, too! What’s up with that? I hate it!!!

      (It’s not at all a drop in the bucket for me – especially in the summer. My stats are in the toilet. What are all the people doing, out LIVING their LIVES? It is SHAMEFUL!)

      Yep, as I just said in the other comment – if you go too long between visits, that is a TERRIBLE cleaning. I went – oh, two, three years, probably, before I went to her for the first time, and OW. I was not happy when I left. SO OUCHY.

      White fillings are the best. I didn’t even know they were a thing! You can’t even see that I have a filling. I love it. (And I DID have to pay extra out-of-pocket for it, and I happily did – who wants a big silvery glob in their mouth if they can avoid it?)

      I’ve never used those horseshoe things, but I think I have some, somewhere. Let me know how they work!

      Like

  • Samantha

    All the people going to the dentist! :D I laughed so hard at your dentist’s office (apparently the whole office) coming to look at the table top catastrophe. This makes me giggle quite a bit.

    I finally went to a NEW dentist a couple of weeks ago and I hadn’t gone in about a year and a half. Which made the scraping ouchy. And the hygienist kept accidentally suctioning my tongue in the same spot and it was sore the next day.

    See, I didn’t know the drugstore mouthguards looked like that. I thought they were like the football ones. I will have to get one of those, because my custom one stopped fitting and it hurt so badly I started taking it out at night in my sleep. So…pain with it, pain without it, I suppose? :/

    I don’t floss either. I really should though. The nice thing is the hygienist gave me these soft gummy flossers that feel really nice on my gums. So maybe I’ll start using those instead. My teeth move a lot (because I had braces) and are sensitive (so I use Sensodyne).

    And end rambly comment. Either way, I am glad that your teeth are still pretty much perfect. One cavity in your life is pretty darn impressive.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I went a long time before going to this one (quite a few years back) and YES. That first exam/cleaning – OUCH.

      I molded my new mouthguard when I got home. (That totally sounds like a euphemism.) It’s pretty comfy. I’ll make a video of me wearing it in the near future. It makes me talk like a stereotypical geek. And also drool a little. It’s quite comical.

      Ooh, gummy flossers. I’m curious!

      I do love my teeth. They’re probably my most proud thing. Sadly enough.

      Like

      • Charleen

        Back when I had braces, I actually had a headgear. A HEADGEAR!!! Talk about stereotypical geek! They never made me wear it to school, thank goodness, but I had to wear it pretty much all other times I wasn’t eating… and then later only when I was sleeping… and then eventually not at all. I had braces for seven years and the headgear for only a few of them, but oh, man, it was terrible.

        Like

  • The Waiting

    I haven’t had my teeth looked at by a dentist in 2 1/2 years so I’d say you’re doing really good to go at least once a year. Scaling is the absolute worst. When you go to the dentist for a cleaning in Korea, that’s ALL they do: nothing but scaling. It was the absolute worst experience of my entire life. (OK, maybe not my ENTIRE life, but as far as dentistry goes, Koreans are total masochists.)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      ALL SCALING? Oh. No thanks. *shudder*

      The scaling is the worst. The sound gets in my head, and it’s really hurtful. I just sit there hoping it’ll be done soon. And it NEVER is done soon. Not even ever. Ugh.

      Like

  • Krysty

    I hate going to the dentist. Every time I go in for something routine I end up with a root canal or an operation :(

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I think the only reason I tolerate it is because it’s usually very quick. In, out, clean, done. Only once have they found a problem, and I’ve never had to have anything painful done, thank goodness.

      Like

  • mfennvt

    I grind my teeth, too, and tried a mouthguard for a while. It worked, but was way uncomfortable. I hope yours is better!

    Like

  • poetlandia

    The hobo is really me. But not anymore. So depressing to always feel like I’m a hobo. It bugs the crap out of me and makes me cry. (Really.) Even though I’m sure I was a hobo and will be again. To paraphrase Bruce Cockburn’s One Day I Walk. Which is a freaking brilliant song of the most brilliantness. Actually, maybe I’m getting the next hobo lifetime out of the way now. Which cheers me up.

    Anyway.

    If I could get people to do one thing, it would be floss. Because it’s not the condition of your teeth that matters as much as it is the condition of you gums.

    Okay. PSA over. As you were.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      You’re not a hobo. Not even ever. No matter where you live or the state of your teeth. You are always wonderful glorious you.

      I know how important gums are, but SO LAZY! I really need to be flossing more. Sigh.

      Like

  • sortaginger

    It’s amazing how much dental care costs, but I guess it makes sense.

    I got braces when I was 32 at the same time as my 12-year-old son. Mine were on 3 years, his were for 1 1/2 (lucky). Now I am super diligent about all tooth care; I am not going through that again. Super flossing, all the way!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I should be better at flossing, but I’m lazy. I admit it.

      I think dental care’s so expensive because who wants to spend the day with their hands in someone’s mouth? Ew. They deserve all the money they get. Dentists and podiatrists have the WORST jobs. Blech. (Oh, also probably colo-rectal surgeons.)

      Like

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