A Big, Toothy Grin

64 Arts

The other half of this art is teeth and, well, I can’t think of a reason (aside from Halloween or theatrical purposes) one would actually want to color their teeth. Usually we’re trying for whiter, brighter smiles, right?

I hate the dentist.

Oh, sure, you’re thinking I’m like all sorts of folks who say they hate the dentist but don’t really meant it.

Nope. I really hate the dentist.

I hate the way they make you feel  like a 2 year old as soon as you lean back in the chair. The distinct physical disadvantage you’re at when in that chair. The pokiness (<– should be a word) of the instruments. The ridiculous manner in which they ask you questions when there’s 2 (or more!) hands, multiple instruments and a suction tube making it impossible for you to reply.

See, I spent nearly 5 full years in braces. It did not help that I inherited some of the worst dental genes in the world and began this process by having 9 teeth pulled (some of which were only partial, there were issues with my baby teeth not wanting to leave the nest). After that, Mom needed to run an errand. At the Mall. With me puffy-faced and stuffed with gauze.After that, Mom needed to run an errand. At the Mall. With me puffy-faced and stuffed with gauze.

Then they attached the bands and wires that would then rotate my molars into something akin to a normal alignment.

Silly me, I tried to eat spaghetti that night and thought I was going to either choke or starve. Seemed like everything wanted to get hung up on that wire in the roof of my mouth.

Once that part was done, they put on the bottom braces for a while, then added the top ones just in time for pre-season Marching Band. I played the Baritone. I had to relearn a proper embouchure while also learning to march on asphalt in August with a large piece of brass bumping against my lips.

Oh, and did I mention that my orthodontist had a habit of looking into the parking lot while he was working? I distinctly remember (possibly when they were grinding the rotator-wires off the molar-bands–ew!) him talking to the hygienist about the shiny red sports car out there rather than paying attention to whatever it was he was doing to my poor mouth.

Thankfully the one humiliation I was spared was headgear.

Since then I’ve done my level best to avoid dental visits.

It’s less about orthodontia (I couldn’t care less that my teeth aren’t as straight as when they originally took all that crap off just a few weeks after having senior portraits done) and more about the sneaky way they just start in on you. You who are trying to be responsible by coming in for your 6-month cleaning only to be hit with a several-hundred-dollars bill when you leave for the extra  stuff they decided to do and didn’t tell you about. The extra stuff, by the way, that is not generally covered by insurance.

Ambushed. I hate being ambushed.

Screw that.

The last time I thought I was going to have to make an appointment I went from calmed to panicked in about 60 seconds and was physically ill from the anxiety. Thankfully my toothache was temporary and I dodged that bullet.

That may have been a bit of a tangent, but it’s merely to explain why I cannot for the life of me understand folks who go to the dentist for optional, cosmetic reasons. Are white-than-white chompers really worth another trip to that blasted chair?

Much less volunteer to have those trays full of icky gunk (that I swear is going to slide down the back of my throat) shoved in your mouth to make molds for who knows what?

No sir. Not me. I’ll just stick with the whitening toothpastes (those strips make my teeth too sensitive) and keep my happy butt outta that chair.

And the next time I DO have to visit that vile office? I’m trying out the one that practices “relaxation dentistry.” If by relaxation they mean sedatives, I’m so there.

Okay, folks, let’s hear your dental horror stories. I promise I’ll read ’em, even if it’s through half-closed fingers.

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Speaking of teeth (nice segue there, yes?) indulge your sweet tooth with some serious eye candy by entering to win a copy of What’s New, Cupcake? over at my Circle of Food guestpost!