I have a vague memory of kicking my dentist when I was younger. It’s a vague memory, but it’s there. I think my sister may have done worse to him because the guy was a douche of the highest order. I’ll give him points for his office since it had this neat little attic area in the waiting room where kids could go and play, but the rest of my memories of the dentist are horrifying and painful. Strange tools were shoved in my mouth, getting the x-rays and fluoride was scary because I hated having these huge pieces of cardboard and trays shoved into my mouth and having the dentist give me needles to numb my mouth was simply one of the worst experiences that I can recall as a child.
The last time in my childhood that I can remember going to the dentist was when I was 12.
Then after that was a whole lot of nothing…
Until one of my closest friends got into dental hygienst school and eventually needed a live guinea pig to practice on. Now, just think about some of the things that your hygienst does to you: She cleans your teeth with all kinds of sharp tools. She sits there staring into your mouth with all sorts of freaky assed tools in hand that she is shoving into your mouth as she does her job. Not only that, but she sometimes gets to give you a needle to numb your mouth. She finds all the icky, sticky, gross things in your mouth and she digs, scrapes and washes it all away and then shoves this suction, reverse straw thing into your mouth that tries to suck your tongue up and snatch it clean out of your mouth.
And that’s just in ONE visit.
Because my friend was in SCHOOL for this stuff, she needed a lot of practice and got this practice through weekly appointments with a number of different patients. One of them was me. Week after week, I dutifully marched my way to her school, sat in her freaky dentist chair and let her shove all of those freaking looking tools that look like torture instruments into my mouth again and again.
However, as time wore on and I sat in that chair week after week after week after week, I realized that her dentist chair was super comfortable. I also noticed how pretty my friends eyes were since the rest of her face was covered up in a mask. It was kinky in the extreme as I found out everything about everything to do with my mouth. I now know what pockets are and that I have them, I learned about why you really should floss everyday and mostly I learned that a pretty mouth is key to an overall great facial appearance.
Seriously, after weeks and even months of having my mouth cleaned and brushing my teeth constantly so I could get my plaque index down, I really started to notice how it effected how I looked and saw myself in the mirror. My new bright and clean smile was like the centre piece to my face that seemed to light up my eyes and, to me, made all of my facial expressions all that much more…expressive.
I mean I thought my mouth was clean before until my friend dug this little black grain of something out of my gums that had apparently been there for a super long time. Gross. Actually I was pretty amazed at the stuff she picked out of my mouth. A little horrified at some of my mouths shenanigans, but I was actually amazed at what my mouth had been up to all my life.
Though the most amazing thing was the fact that my friend broke my abject fear of the dentist. Through many an appointment, I got used to the dentist tools as I got to play and fiddle with them and learn that they weren’t these terrifying instruments of torture that had attacked me as a child. Besides the probing part of my appointments, my life in my friends chair was painless, fun and a really good gab session. Heck, I can honestly say that she has given me the least painful needles that I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Yes, I let my friend give me needles…in my mouth. A number of times. While she was in school learning how to do all of this stuff. I can honestly say that she was a pro even as a student as I let her numb my mouth a number of times for our appointments.
It was after playing with all of her tools and weeks of sitting in a dentist chair and letting one of my closest friends stick needles in my mouth that I finally realized that my fear of the dentist was completely broken. If I could trust my friend with something as important as my oral health care and helping me stay cavity free for over two years (I had a small one appear last year) to avoid any serious and literal face time with an actual dentist, then I’m sure I could handle anything else she put me through even when she found a cavity, noticed my gums were getting beat up by my tongue piercing and saw that my chipped tooth had gotten worse and needed a cap.
I mean, when my bi-yearly dentist appointments are awesome hang out times with one of my close friends, how could I not look forward to going to the dentist?