Saturday, January 19, 2013


I am in the dentist's chair letting the hygienist perform all kinds of atrocities on my tender gums and her blond bangs wave back and forth above my forehead.  All the hygienists are thin and blond at my dentist's office and he does not seem like a sexist kinda guy and I'm thinking maybe women of this physical description are strongly drawn to the profession.

I feel the spray of water in my mouth and bend sideways for the spit bowl and I catch myself  just in time when I remember spit bowls are museum pieces along with my 45 rpm record player and that Singer sewing machine I stitched Barbie doll clothes on.

We have a new fluoride treatment, smiles my blond hostess. It's a varnish and we paint it on your roots with a small brush. It will make your teeth feel rough but try and leave it on for eight hours. If you can't, that's fine, you can brush in four hours. I smile bravely, a medical challenge indeed. I will leave it on for two days, two weeks if it puts me in the dental patient Hall of Fame. I find it necessary to be a hero to my physicians for some unexplained reason.

I dab on lipstick in the car and immediately realize my mistake.  The varnish is a sticky glue and the lipstick adheres to my teeth and lips and I resemble a mentally challenged matron. I grab a tissue and start rubbing and now there are little red* gummy balls stuck to me and thank god for the toddler's wipes and I scrub forcefully to remove this crap. Clean again and I'm off for an egg mcmuffin and several errands. I arrive home an hour later and the big guy walks by chewing a bagel. I recite my destinations and the people I encountered.  He says,"you're gonna wanna look in the mirror."  I am in the bathroom and see a fifth of my breakfast attached in sizable chunks to my teeth and gums. I look like that homeless lady downtown I always talk to because nobody else does and she always has more goop than tooth in her mouth. I belch tasting paint fumes in the back of my throat. This stuff  probably causes cancer and night blindness and god knows what else.

*To be precise, Estee Lauder Maple Sugar, "once you go gold you never go back."

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

Ugh, what a nightmare. I have no such hero delusions at the dentist. Once he said to me "We'd better have those wisdom teeth out then hadn't we?"
"Why?" I asked.
"Well, because, they're going to affect the way your teeth line up in years to come..."
"They don't hurt."
"Yes, but..."
"If they don't hurt...why mess with them. I'll give it a miss thanks."
Still got those wisdom teeth. Got crooked teeth now too but hell, what with the cellulite, crow's feet and turkey neck teeth are the least of my worries.