One of the most relatable childhood problems was a dislike for the dentist. There was a weird smelling waiting room with other people who did not want to be there. Sitting there was never laughing or playing, just a somber silence with the occasional sound of drilling or metal scraping teeth.The smell has a faint doctor’s office feel, yet there is something more pungent with all the spit and open mouths that makes it worse. Cartoons tend to exaggerate every aspect of one’s childhood, but even as a young adult the dislike is still there.
No fully functioning adult goes to the dentist voluntarily. “I’d love to go to the movies this weekend, but I got this sweet dental appointment that day”. If you’re healthy, there should not be a force on this earth to prevent you from not going. Except one’s mother of course.
Maybe its the pain associated with it. Having hooks scrape your teeth and gums for what seems like hours is not good for one psyche. Having to remain motionless as a complete stranger goes to town on your mouth, the only stimulation being some weird motivational poster with zebras on it on the ceiling. I have been going to the same dentist for 15 years and I still have not deciphered its meaning. Perhaps its a message from past patients who could not bear the process and bled to death from their gums.
The atmosphere sucks. The process itself hurts and sucks. But NOTHING compares to immediate feeling after the cleaning is done.
Whenever I go to the dentist I try to stay positive with the dentist. I talk about what has been happening in college, ask them about their kids, just trying to make the situation as bearable as possible. In a few minutes that person is going to be knuckles deep in your mouth with metal objects, it’s wise to keep them on your side.
I’ve always been the kinda guy who tries to keep as healthy as possible, teeth included. I floss everyday, I brush twice a day, and I brush for the full two minutes with an electric toothbrush. I only forget to brush like once a week. I’m the ideal dental patient. Dental colleges (are those a thing) should be paying me to be a model or something. Every time I go into the dentist chair I’m confident that this will be the time that they find no real problems with my mouth. I’ve finally overcame that hump. I’m no longer a disgusting heathen, brushing his teeth with sugar and Sprite.
But even if the appointment is quick, the dentist’s composure hides the truth. Before it begins, they’re talkative with me, smiling and asking questions. We’re best friends. Then they have work on my mouth. It changes them. The dentist won’t even look me in the eyes. They lost a little bit of their humanity by working on my mouth. I’m pretty sure they schedule my appointments so the dentist who works on me can go home, take a cold shower, and smoke a couple cigarettes. I change dentists or something. This horrible environment is nothing compared to the monster I am in their eyes.
I swear I do everything they tell me to, but I’ll always have a disgusting mouth. Whatever. I hate dentists. I just won’t tell that to their faces.