noise and floss

I was at the dentist yesterday to have a tooth looked at. Over the holidays, I took a nice bite of peppermint bark and crunched away until I realized there was a little piece of ‘bark’ that wasn’t dissolving . . . . Yuck! A piece of tooth! Gross!

I fished the offensive bit out of my mouth and felt around and located the spot on the tooth that had broken off. It was a minuscule bit of enamel but was very noticeable to my mouth! Isn’t it amazing how the smallest difference can be perceived as gigantic! I was quite relieved that it was as small as it was, but knew I needed to get it taken care of. I so dread going to the dentist, even for a cleaning. But I made the appointment and a week later found myself signing in and sitting, waiting, listening.

The young, beautiful dental assistant walked me back to the room, put that lovely blue bib under my chin and left the room. (Just love it, demeaning preparation + fear makes for such a lovely experience!) As I was reclined in the dentist’s chair (sounds so relaxing but it wasn’t) waiting for the doctor to come take a look, I heard the whirring, grating, buzzing, jackhammering sounds of equipment in other rooms. 

My mind journeyed back to my childhood, sitting in the chair, waiting for the dentist to come in, hearing all those frightening sounds, planning an escape, and then a thought, a question came to mind. Why, WHY am I still hearing the same exact sounds 4 decades later? Let’s say I was 10 at my first visit to the dentist (I was really much younger and cavity prone) that means 40 years later things haven’t changed much if at all, especially in the noise department!

I thought to myself how my washing machine is almost silent compared to the one we started out with which used to fill the entire house with its racket.

There are vehicles that are quieter than dentists drills! How is it that some cars are nearly silent and yet dentists are still grinding away with noisy, fear intensifying drills?!

I love my dentist, I really do! He has taken exceptional care of my teeth all these years and he is quiet and kind and gracious and gentle, nothing at all like the tools he uses! 

Is it because dentists don’t want to spend the money to update? “They work just fine, thankyouverymuch,” or is it because no one has taken the time to improve dentist equipment? Is there a dental conspiracy to keep everyone in fear? haha

Whatever it is, it keeps me flossing, because I don’t want to go back for a very long time! 

I used to have this dentist when I lived in Kentucky who would tell me each visit, “Only floss the ones you want to keep.”

Gee, thanks. That’s helpful.

I’d go home and have nightmares of losing my teeth and gumming my food! Seriously! Every now and then those words play back and I want to run upstairs and floss! His technique worked, but like in so many areas, fear is the worst motivator. Effective, but awful.

I will eventually have to get a cap for that tooth that broke; it’s structure is weakened, but I was relieved to learn that my dentist could patch things up and keep me going for a while, before I have to pay out the big bucks for a shiny new crown, which will entail lots of chair time and lots of noise.

All I know is I’m staying away from the peppermint bark and keeping floss in my pocket!


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4 Responses to “noise and floss”

  1. Marva Says:

    Sounds like several of us went to the same dentist as a child! As an adult, I once went 7 years without seeing a dentist because I hated it so much. But I have found a dentist who I love, she has replaced all my fillings, and I even fell asleep once while she was doing a filling. Of course, it was right before my daughter’s wedding and I was exhausted!

  2. Mom B. Says:

    Dearest Kris-I always hum “O God Our Help in Ages Past” while in the dentist’s chair. (Dad and I go twice a year for check-ups because it’s a frightening exp.) One time he asked me if I were singing. I replied, “Oh yes, it blots out the noise of the drill.” All laugh. God Bless you. Hope your crown is a far distant experience for you.
    Love, Mother B.

  3. Sarah Thielfoldt Greer Says:

    I am glad to hear I am not the only adult who fears the dentist; and for the same reason – bad childhood memories! I loathe taking my children (who love the dentist, by the way) because hearing those sounds makes me light-headed. It amazes me how simply being in a dentist office impacts me in such a negative way after all of these years. I keep thinking I am going to outgrow that feeling but I never do. =(

  4. Wanda Says:

    Oh, Kris, I hope you enjoy peppermint bark again someday! But, I know what you mean, as I avoid caramel popcorn or at best enjoy it with caution, since it broke my tooth and I had to have a crown. So much of what you shared reflects my feelings and experiences as a child too:>) Thanks for sharing, you are too funny!!

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