When Will I Feel My Mouth Again and How Did You Become a Dentist?

scumbag-dentist_o_656833When it comes to going to the dentist, I am a seven-year-old boy — I have at least three new cavities every time I go and I’m loath to admit how scared I am of power drills being inserted into my mouth.

The receptionist, however, never misses a chance to call me ‘sister’ and treat me like Kourtney Kardashion (‘cuz Kourt’s the hip, grounded one) — today is no exception. As I sit in the waiting room I wonder if it’d be weird to invite her to my wedding, mostly because I like her blue framed glasses and feel like she’d be the type of friend to monitor my bad dental habits without being too naggy. My BFF daydream is interrupted, however, by who I can only imagine is an ex-reggae star turned dental hygienist. He is way too talkative, and in case you were wondering, he’s from Florida, has two crowns, and his grandmother also has digestive problems.

The dentist comes in and I recognize him as the one who doesn’t believe I brush my teeth. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE when a dentist gasps and then adjusts his tone to say, “wow you actually have kind of white teeth.” It’s super confidence-boosting. I have prepared for him today, however, by brushing my teeth before entering the room, scrubbing my tongue of all coffee residue.

I start exercising my mouth like I’m trying out for the lead part in Dentistry Training Video: When a Patient Has a Grape-Sized Mouth, when I realize I forgot to put on the stunner shades Ziggy Marley handed to me before Doctor-I’m-a-real-Dentist walked in.  I slide them on.

So regretting not

Do you think the dentist will take a picture of me in these will my mouth pried open if I ask really nicely?

“Do I look like I’m in the Matrix?” I ask the two uneasy men who now look at each other, their eyes screaming “there’s ALWAYS one.”

“Yeah, definitely,” says Ziggy Marley and I’m immediately grateful for all the life decisions that brought him to this moment.

Doctor-real-dentist is now sticking needles into my gums and shaking my lip like I’m being shot up with heroin and I’m thinking hey, buy me a drink first, guy.

Halfway through the procedure, doctor-dentist chuckles to himself and says, “Girl you are a saliva factory.” I’m sorry, sir, is the spit filling up in my mouth crowding the four hands and twenty drills that are currently occupying my grape sized pie-hole? My mouth can barely fit around a hot dog and you’re stretching my lip to my ear while complaining about my overproduction of saliva? Were you not here three minutes ago when you pumped my gums full of the tinglies? Do you realize half my face is paralyzed?

Do dentists need to take a course in condescension to graduate? There’s no place that more adequately reminds you of the consequences of your poor life choices than the dentist. Me, eat too many sweets? No way. Oh, you found pieces of cookies in my teeth? Well, okay, I guess you’re right.

“You need to rinse your teeth after you drink coffee,” says the dentist devil as he spears my gums.

legitimate attempt at smiling while mouth is temporarily paralyzed. This wasn't the first take incase you were wondering how I get my beauty to transfer so gracefully

legitimate attempt at smiling while mouth is temporarily paralyzed. This wasn’t the first take incase you were wondering how I get my beauty to transfer so gracefully

I immediately spit out the gauze pad soaking up my drool and look at Ziggy to back me up, “you saw me brush my teeth before I came in! Didn’t I?” He barely nodded. Clearly there was a dentistry code being played out here. Finally, my third and final cavity is filled and I am set free by sir-judges-a-lot. Of course, I receive no lolly pop or treasure box like the other kids, just a ridiculously hefty bill and an ultimate case of lazy mouth.


49 responses to “When Will I Feel My Mouth Again and How Did You Become a Dentist?

  1. Sigh, i haven’t been to the dentist in years because its so expensive. My dental insurance should be kicking in soon…I am afraid for my visit quite a bit

  2. Oh my… I hate to say this, as it was most certainly at your expense, but I laughed [loudly at my desk] the entire way through this post!!

  3. Girl, unemployed

    Oh jesus. There’s a dentist near me that advertises that it’s “For people afraid of the dentist.” I don’t know if that’s a sign of a great dentist, or a horrible judgmental dentist.

  4. Im fortunate that the dentist doesn’t really phase me…its the expense that hurts the most.

    • Seriously. My wisdom teeth are about five seconds from demolishing my entire row of bottom teeth but I can only imagine it’ll cost $20,000 to have them removed.

  5. This post cracked me up! I really like your writing style. You have a unique and hilarious *voice*.

  6. I loved this! Thank you for making me laugh!

  7. I had twenty-plus cavity and problem free years, but now every time I go in, there’s a crack, a cavity, bad gums. Egads, I’m falling apart like the Mona Lisa. The guy I go to now doesn’t judge, which is nice…for a change. Sorry about the laughter at your expense and the horrid case of numb tongue!

    • Thanks, I can feel my mouth again which is great except now I have a bruise under my tongue from Ziggy Marley the dental hygienist’s suctioning. I’m also using the word “egads” all the time now, so thanks for that.

  8. You’re a brilliant story teller. Reading this felt like eating a bowl of ice cream: so satisfying and gone too fast. I just went to the dentist this week too and have a similar record with cavities–8-year-old boys got nothin’ on me. But for the first time in YEARS they didn’t find anything wrong with me. I hope things go as well for you next time.

    • Aww thanks so much — what a great thing to read (especially for someone who is already obsessed with herself…) Congrats on your toothy luck, and kudos on the ice cream analogy!

  9. Dentistry is not my favorite indoor sport. I liked it better when they gave me nitrous oxide.

  10. I agree, you are great at telling a story! I am with you – are they paid to be condescending? Call me out sure, give me advice ok, but don’t comment on my involuntary saliva production!!

  11. This is awesome: ex-reggae star turned dental hygienist. He is way too talkative, and in case you were wondering, he’s from Florida, has two crowns, and his grandmother also has digestive problems

    Mindy Kaling is gonna snatch you up, girl!

    • I wish some of that was made up but unfortunately, he even chased me out the door handing me a card with the digestive medicine his grandmother uses. Direct quote from him: “Do you, ya know, need to go a lot?” Thanks for the vote of confidence! — I refuse to believe my life expectations are unreasonable. (Call me, Mindy).

  12. I didn’t know a trip to the dentist was so entertaining

  13. Andrea @ Maybe It's Just Me

    Oh dear! Just switched dentists here due to one hygienist who wanted me to show her how I flossed. Now I admit to not flossing, but was not interested in my actual ability to do so being questioned. I am sorry for your recent reggae and condescension infused experience, but am so glad you shared it in such a hilarious way!

    • That’s awful! It’s like, here, do this exceedingly self-explanatory task in front of me so I can tell you all the ways you’re doing it wrong! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your pain.

  14. My dentist spends all of 60 seconds on me. Now the hygienist? She told me last year to go back and read the instructions on my toothbrush. Yeah. For the record, no cavities, so…not cool. Your dentist doesn’t sound great. I do like your novocaine smile, though!

  15. so funny! dentists are the worst!! yes it’s always good for a chuckle – especially other people’s stories of paralyzed saliva dripping faces.

  16. Ugh my biggest nightmare – the dentist. I can do doctors and hospitals but when it comes to the dentist I become a little girl (as opposed to you becoming a little boy).

    When I had braces and had to go to the orthodontist, he always had his “assistants” do all the work and he would merely check it. There was one girl who I got extremely close to who would always say the funniest jokes about my mouth. Years later, I realized that most of her jokes were actually truth. Now I know why all the other assistants laughed along too.

    At least you got to wear those awesome glasses. A total perk.

    • The image of you as a little girl and me as a little boy at the dentist is perfect. And yeah, braces were the WORST — and they were always joking with each other about something. I had braces for literally seven years and still get bitter about orthodontist trips.
      The glasses are a definite must for me — the awkwardness of having to stare up into nothingness with two men standing over you is just too much without them.

  17. Love the part about wanting to invite the hip receptionist to your wedding. Great post.

  18. I really wish they weren’t so judgmental. Maybe we would visit more if they could make dental insurance be as affordable as regular medical. *smiles* You did great.

  19. Ok, so I wanted to comment on how much I love this piece, and I do. But I just read your “about me” section, and now I have to tell you that I think your mission to get Mindy Kaling to be your best friend and writing partner is a stellar idea. She rocks. And your writing does too.

  20. Loved this! It’s hilarious!

    I don’t have dental fear issues — I’m the idiot who falls asleep when they’re cleaning my teeth. Seriously…

  21. This is hilarious! Mindy Kaling would love it. (And I need to visit the dentist- desperately – but I can’t summon the courage yet. Too many cookies, too much shame.)

  22. I read this at work (not a dentist office) and I gotta tell you, it made my day! So funny and so well written. I absolutely loved it. I look forward to reading more of your stuff!

  23. Lol. I have “soft teeth” so I get cavities every time. I get complimented for flossing and brushing regularly, “I can tell” says my dentist…but I am cursed eith crappy British teeth. And one of the dental assisstants, a sweetheart when without dental tools, becomes as my husband calls her, “The Butcher of Brunei”. Ahh dentists…


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