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?
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.)