Monday, November 12, 2012

Mental Dental

Late last week I got a call from the dentist's office to remind me that I had scheduled dentist appointments for all three children for Monday, November 12th. What kind of lunatic schedules all three kids' dentist appointment for the same day, the week before Thanksgiving, when we have three Thanksgiving celebrations, two birthday celebrations, and my nervous breakdown happening this week? Me, apparently. I'm sure back in May it seemed like a great idea to get all the cleanings done at one time, but as the day approached I grew more and more resentful of the Me who made the appointment. "What was she thinking, that spring Me? She could have made the appointment for next week and at least I wouldn't have to pull everyone out of school on the one day this week that they actually all have school and no Thanksgiving extravaganzas or turkey lunches that I have to attend." I gave the spring Me the what-for. The spring Me was sorry, but the fall Me was still mad and got her back by scheduling their six-month appointments for the last week of school. Ha! Let the spring Me explain to the Girl that she has to miss her 3rd grade graduation because of tartar build up!

The Girl asked me today whether I like going to the dentist. Are there people who enjoy the dentist? Since most people detest the dentist and I am simply indifferent, I think I may qualify as a dental enthusiast just by comparison. I remember seeing a commercial for a dental spa in the Atlanta area. I Googled it, because I wouldn't mind a massage or facial while getting a dental cleaning. Of course, Atlanta Dental Spa not like that at all. It's almost entirely cosmetic procedures, plus sedation dentistry. I love this description of sedation dentistry, so I have to share:
Atlanta Dental Spa has a simple solution to getting your mouth fixed and healthy. The solution is called sedation dentistry. It's a tiny pill, it's safe, and it will allow you to get everything healthy at once, and you won't even know you went to the dentist.
How does it work? A tiny pill calms all nerves and takes you into a twilight sedated state. While you're sedated, our team of dentists fixes your dental problems. When you "wake up" you're back home and comfortable.  
Doesn't that sound a like those urban legends where someone wakes up in Mexico in a bathtub full of ice with a missing kidney? I have such a high level of anxiety that all I can think about is how, in your twilight state, you are getting home from the dentist. Since you're totally out of it and don't actually wake up until you're home, maybe they transport you in one of those dirty cars that they have in the Febreeze commercials. You would never know.

After years of having basically no dental problems at all, I recently have had to get a bite guard to wear at night. Oh, yes, it is just as glamorous as it sounds. I had to get it because I was clenching my teeth in my sleep and actually cracked one of my molars. Because my tooth didn't totally break, the dentist can't do anything to fix it without making the problem worse. So, I just have to wait until it breaks to get it fixed or until I can't stand not being able to chew on the right side of my mouth, which ever comes first. The silver lining of the whole thing (and I'm not talking about a filing) is that I can use my bite guard as a teeth whitener. So, while my teeth may be cracking, at least they'll be florescent white. It's appearances that count, folks! Here is my bite guard:

Sometimes when I wear it I am mistaken for Joe Biden.

To my surprise, the dentist visit went pretty smoothly. We got the usual knuckle-rapping from the hygienist. I need to supervise the teeth brushing, I need to floss the kids' teeth every night, I need to make sure they are brushing for long enough. I mean, my goodness, what does she take me for, their mother? I thought that I was teaching them to be self-sufficient by leaving the brushing up to them, but apparently there's a fine line between teaching self-sufficiency and neglect. The hygienist who cleaned the Boy's and the Baby's teeth even gave them a little quiz:
"Do you know how long you're supposed to brush your teeth for?"
The Boy: "Ten seconds?"
The Baby: "Tuesday?"
The hygienist, looking scornfully in my direction, "It's two minutes. Would you like me to give you an egg-timer?" 
 The hidden subtext of course, is that I am too negligent to properly supervise their oral hygiene, but that the children can rise above my deficiencies by timing their own teeth brushing. I am totally fine with that and not remotely embarrassed or chastened.

My favorite part of the dentist was seeing the kids in the super cool sunglasses:

I think she bears more than a passing resemblance to vintage Elton John:

The Boy, on the other hand, rocked the Ray-Bans:

The sunglasses almost covered the gigantic cut he has on his cheek. He got tired of telling people the real story of how he got the cut (he hit a branch while playing football in the back yard). I told him to say it was a knife fight in Tijuana. When the dentist asked him what happened, he muttered, "Stabbed. By an iguana."

She was taken aback for a minute and then asked, "were you drunk?" Hmmmm. Maybe it's time to go to a pediatric dentist.

Have a great week!


  1. I just laughed out loud during your first paragraph. Not only do I also hoard throw pillows in my closet, I also scheduled the girls' and my dental appointments for this week! So apparently I am that kind of lunatic too. :)

  2. You are so funny! But I am using stabbed by an iguana for my next sick day excuse.