And So Does Life
Yes, plaque happens and I don’t want it lingering on my teeth, beneath my gum lines or anywhere else near me. That’s why I visit my dentist, Dr. K., every six months. And with my son Max home for spring break I dragged him along for good measure. Many of you may remember Dr. K. from two previous posts in December 2009, “Queen for a Day” and “The Queen Lives.” He hasn’t changed, nor has his loyal office staff.
Max and I arrived, breathless, since every event seemed to conspire against us today: Tory slammed her left thumb in the car door getting out at school this morning. Result: She can’t put her softball glove on so she can’t throw, pitch or do much of anything softball-related. And this is tryouts week at her high school. Needless to say, with a black and throbbing thumb (not broken), she’s just not able. Big Drama.
I was late for everything today. Little drama.
It’s the second Monday of the month. My favorite! My Garden Club had a most excellent speaker/demo today. Do you remember me mentioning Bartlett’s Greenhouse when I posted “NJ Flower Show – Setup Day?” Well, Marietta and Nancy, the co-owners, gave an almost two-hour demo today at the club meeting. It was fabulous. And I brought my friend Renita with me to listen and learn (and maybe convince her to join). Only thing is with the demo going over the normal one hour, I had to leave for said dentist. To the rescue came my good friend Adelle. She offered to take Renita back to my house to pick up her car. With that arranged, I sprinted out to my car and headed uptown to pick up Max, fight the traffic on the highway east and got to Dr. K’s office a little late.
It’s always iffy in our family who pulls the short straw and goes first. Since I was late picking Max up, I bit the bullet and volunteered. I snuggled into the comfy seat and leaned back. The sunshine streamed in the western window and I actually began to relax! Maybe for the first time today!!
Dr. K’s trusty and cute, young assistant let me know today was the day for two bitewing x-rays. Okay! That’s easy. She plopped the heavy lead shield on me and prepped the little thingy that holds the x-ray cards in place. I obediently opened my mouth then bit down hard on the plastic holder. She stepped out and took the photo. With gag reflex coming on quickly, I helped her pop the little thingy out of my mouth. Whew. Relief. She efficiently x-rayed the other side and I, equally efficient, popped the little thingy out of my mouth for her.
“No damage. Good to go,“ I think.
Dr. K. rolled into the room. Smiling, he asked, “So how are you? Anything bothering you? Any problems?”
Smiling tightly I replied, “No. No. Everything is great.”
“Okay, then, let’s take a look.”
With that he plunged into my mouth and started the high speed teeth cleaning machine. Spit and water flew as he worked his way, slowly and carefully, from tooth to tooth, front and back. I pressed the drool-catcher paper towel clipped under my chin to my lips as he continued.
I heard the high pitch scree of the cleaning machine in my ear. The sound reverberated through my skull. I clenched and unclenched my fingers. Wringed my hands. Flapped my feet back and forth, back and forth. Anything to take my mind off the feeling and the sound.
Dr. K., after two passes, finished my top teeth, and we took a break. I swallowed the pooled spit in my mouth and braced for the bottom cleaning.
Off he went. The high-pitch scree. The reverb in my ear. The clenching. The wringing.
Then he was done.
He polished my teeth. It tickled and I laughed as he cleaned the inside edges of my top teeth.
“You laugh in exactly the same spot as your daughter,” he said.
Relaxed and happy, I began to get out of the comfy chair and Dr. K, who had been gazing at the two bitewing x-rays, said, “Wait. I see something! Sit back down and let me check it out.”
I slumped back.
Off he went with the hook thingy. Oh, how I hate the hook! He dug. He pried. He pulled. Finally. Finally, he was satisfied that I didn’t have one speck of plaque (or anything else) left for him to extract.
Score points for a dentist who cares!
P.S. My mouth is still aching.
And you? When was the last time you visited your dentist?