I have always loved teeth.
My relationship with my mouth pretty much started at birth and it was soon after that I started to obsesses about my pearly whites. As a very young child I’ll never forget the day the dentist told me that my teeth were “Just About Perfect”. I was in love. He was approximately 45 years older than me and I still traveled by stroller but that compliment was all it took. Considering I was cross-eyed, with little hair and had a giant gap between my two front teeth I really languished over any and all compliments that came my way. By age 4, if given the opportunity, I could floss our family dog in under 10 seconds before he even knew what hit him. My teeth sparkled. When I met people who told me they’d never flossed I was immediately suspicious, partially repulsed, but mostly eager to pop the cherry on their flossing virginity. Flossing was AMAZING. Flossing is the Q-tip’s first cousin. Get in there!
My cavity-free mouth was a point of pride, an opportunity for smugness and a great conversation starter amongst people who were mostly too polite to tell me to shut up.
I’m sure one of them voodoo’d me.
Because my friends, I am no longer cavity free. I’m cavitied’. The drilling was like getting a bad hair cut and lamenting all the hair debris on the floor. Only it was mostly teeth dust and saliva ricocheting off the saliva vacuum in my mouth. I cannot lie. It was a sad sad day.
With a frozen face and two mouth openers still in my mouth I asked the dentist:
“HAAA E ES HAEYEN? (How did this happen?!)
Dentist: Believe it or not I see this a lot in new moms.
Me: EAEE? (really?)
Dentist: Absolutely. You just don’t take care of yourself like you used to.
Me: HA OT EWW! (That’s not true!)
Dentist: Did you ever fall asleep breastfeeding at night? Or give up flossing at one point?
Me: - guilty – (aaa) (ya)
Dentist: That’s all it takes.
Me: meeaaaoooouu. (meeeaaaoooouu)
Me: naaeeen. I uhh aking ad oun ow. (Nothing. I’m just making sad sounds now.)
So with a frozen face, sensitive teeth and a right eyeball that felt really funny I went home and did the only thing that made sense: I ate a gigantic piece of left-over birthday cake.
I see the irony. I don’t care.
But I did go purchase myself an electric toothbrush and have now been flossing like a hobbit looking for a golden ring. I’m determined to ward off any more cavities but have not completely given up on introducing titillating dentist talk into dinner party conversation. Plus, “Have you ever had a frozen eyeball?” is a better lead in than “Let me share with you the fascinating story of my cavity-free mouth.”
p.s. Go floss.
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