Part of the reason I’m alright with going to the dentist is because they don’t keep you waiting in the waiting room forever. Pretty much as soon as you get there, you’re called back and when you get back there, you aren’t locked in a room to panic until the doctor gets done with 12 other patients whose appointments were 30 MINUTES BEFORE YOURS and he gets the chance to stop by and tell you you have bronchitis, which is what your mom told you over the phone without even needing to see you, and all you said was, “I can’t stop coughing.” (P.s. I don’t have bronchitis right now). Plus, the dentist has the happy gas that smells like strawberries so they don’t have to surgically remove me from the chair when needles are involved.
I always know what to expect at the dentist, too. They’ll check my gums, tell me I need to floss more often, clean my teeth and give me a “goody bag” that has floss, toothpaste and a Dora the Explorer or Go Diego Go toothbrush – on account of the smaller toothbrush makes it easier to reach my back teeth, which I have a problem getting as clean as they need to be, apparently.
So it was no surprise, when today, the hygienist asked me if I’d been flossing every night and I said “Not…every night..” And that, friends, is when the weirdness began. She threatened me with future tooth removal if I didn’t get to flossing more frequently. And I must’ve looked nervous or she must’ve felt she was too mean, because she quickly said, “You have beautiful teeth though.” I thanked her, and she said it again, “Beautiful teeth.” Mmk. Got it.
Then, while she was checking the pockets around my teeth or whatever that’s called, she noticed my two top front teeth – once crooked, thanks to thumb-sucking until age 5 but remedied by a couple years of oh-so-flattering retainer-wear. Apparently, my gums come down pretty far between those two teeth, because she said that exactly. “Your gums come down pretty far right there, you should probably have a gap there, but you don’t.” Right, genius, I don’t. So I told her about the retainers and how I’ve never had a gap between those teeth. And she said, “Wow. You’re lucky.”
Yeah. So. The final bit of awkwardness and backhanded complimenting came towards the end of the cleaning. When she had me rinse and used the little saliva-sucker thing, she felt the need to make another comment. “You’re my Saliva Queen for today.” Oh yay! Aren’t I lucky? Also, “Saliva Queen” just sounds all kinds of wrong. I looked at her a little like she was crazy and she clarified, “You produce a lot of saliva…………….but that’s good because it cleans out the germs and prevents you from getting cavities.” Well, good, since I’ve only had ONE CAVITY IN 25 YEARS OF LIFE, so, suck it, hygienist weirdo!
I don’t know what was up with her and all her random comments, but after a while I wanted to just say, “Shut up and clean my teeth already!” OBEY THE SALIVA QUEEN.