Mouth piece

It was D-Day for me today—Dentist Day.

It was actually supposed to be last Friday, but I had to stay home to look after my son. And of course, paranoia quickly set in. “You’re delaying it another five days? It’s already touch and go whether they’ll be calling you ‘Gummy’ by the end of the month.”

So I worked through “lunch” (I didn’t actually eat anything), and then made my way into town for my 2:30pm appointment. (Yes, that was the actual appointment time. Tooth hurty. Just like in the joke books I memorised when I was a kid.)

Tip: If you’re going to make a dentist appointment, make it in the morning. I didn’t want to eat and rock up with bits of food in my teeth. But by two o’clock I was close to passing out, so I ended up eating something anyway.

I sat in the chair, and the dentist lowered it to a position that so he could peer at me from above like the aliens always do in sci-fi movies when they’re performing experiments on someone. I opened my mouth wide, and he did the usual poking around.

“You’ve got a lot of tartar build-up,” he said.

I pretty much knew that. One of life’s simple pleasures is running your tongue along the bumps on the back of your bottom teeth. But I couldn’t feel any bumps, which is the usual sign that I need to see a dentist. Or possibly get a life.

But then he decided to show me what he was talking about, using a special camera hooked up to the screen above my head. And while I’ve seen “Finding Nemo” a hundred times and heard Gurgle say “Oh, the human mouth is a disgusting place” just as often, I never really took much notice until now.

I may never have a full night’s sleep again.

Then he started clearing it all away with the tool that makes the really annoying high-pitch squeal (much like kids when they get excited). This was pretty painful, not because of the noise or what it was doing to my teeth, but because I had to hold my mouth open for what seemed like hours. (On second thoughts it might be worth eating beforehand, because you might not have the jaw strength to chew after the event.)

It was all good in the end, although we decided I should visit every three months instead of every six because of how quickly the tartar seems to build up again.

Of course, the really painful part is usually when you get the bill. But today my health cover paid for the lot. So I have clean teeth and a (relatively) full wallet.

Oh, and of course those bumps on the back of my bottom teeth to rub my tongue along.

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