Today I had a check-up with my dentist. Staying true to their motto “Emphasis on prevention”, they cleaned, scraped, poked, jabbed and washed their way around my teeth, uncovering a few small build ups of leftover food from my lunch (sorry doc).
When I was younger, I remember other children retelling their experiences with dentists. Looking back on it, I think a lot of them were scared of the actual dentist, not the processes involved. It may be that children associate the pain they experience with the person administering it to them.
My whole family goes to the same dentistry at least once a year and have become casual friends with our dentist. I’m beginning to think that our friendship may be detrimental to my comfort. Maybe our dentist has become complacent with us, or me in particular. I’m sure she’s very good at what she does and has had many years experience, but that doesn’t mean you can look away for a few seconds while you’ve got that ‘big metal hurty thing’ in my mouth.
It really wasn’t that big of a deal, the pain was only momentary. Before I knew it she was flushing my mouth with water and quickly sucking it back up again with another of her ‘big metal hurty things’. What I dislike the most about visiting the dentist is the way my mouth feels afterward. I walked out of the dentistry with cracked lips from lack of water, sore gums from where she ‘slipped’ with some painful instrument, plus some sort of toothpaste cream that tasted strongly of orange and felt like there was sand blended into it. Oh, and a sore chin from where my jaw hit the ground once I heard how much it cost me.
I exaggerate slightly, of course. The benefits of regularly visiting a dentist are much more important to me than not having to deal with some pain and uncomfort for a while. Our dentist is always happy and smiling which makes a huge difference to the experience. I’m glad that it’s over though. Well, at least for one year or so.