When 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.
“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.
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.