Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Needles (not the knitting kind)

If I can impart a single piece of wisdom, it is this: Get your teeth cleaned every year, for the love of god! I did, until I moved to Taiwan -- just over four years ago. I just never got around to it while I was there, even though dental care was very reasonably priced. (Refer to Anne's new T-shirt here.) For the last two years, I've been a grad student here in Ontario with dental coverage -- still didn't get around to it. Until yesterday.

I went in to get my teeth cleaned yesterday morning, and boy, did they need it. You know how the dentist usually scrapes your teeth with that long silver tool? Well, that wasn't good enough. My plaque and tartar laughed at the long silver tool. The dentist had to bring in the big guns, some machine that screeches and sprays a mist of water all over your face while it breaks up the crap on your teeth. She said, "Let me know if this is uncomfortable," which just shows that everything in life is relative, because on a normal day I'd say that, oh, knitting with cotton is uncomfortable. So yes, as a matter of fact, having a motorized plaque-scraper inside my mouth is uncomfortable on principle alone -- I gave it about ten seconds before asking for freezing.

The dentist said, "You know that means getting a needle." Me, I'm not scared of needles, but even if I was, even if I seriously had to weigh "needles" against "half hour of motorized plaque-scraper inside my mouth," I think the needles would win out. Even though the needles dentists use look like props from the original Frankenstein -- those big stainless-steel needles with the finger holes. So she froze the bottom half of my face and cleaned my bottom teeth. Yep, just the bottom ones. I'm going back this afternoon to have the top teeth done. Two teeth-cleaning appointments for one set of neglected teeth. (My dental plan covers one cleaning a year -- I'm thinking I might only get reimbursed for one of them.) And apparently I have wisom teeth! I had no idea. They're on top, and they need fillings, so I'm going back next week for that. (My first fillings -- a little scary.) And then, in July, I get new front teeth! This is very exciting. Have I told you before about my (fake) front teeth? Maybe not. I'll save that story, though, since I have to run.

Anyway, please go to the dentist. Because she told me my teeth "really weren't that bad," and you really don't want anything worse than a four-needle motorized teeth-cleaning, do you?

p.s., First day of summer, my ass. It's only 17 degrees outside, it's dark, and a thunderstorm is brewing. Egads.

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