Zen and the Art of Teeth Whitening
Drooling onto my keyboard is not what I had in mind when the dentist gave me the teeth whitening trays to take home. Oh well.
Have you been to a dentist lately? I recently went after a two year hiatus. I was positive I had a cavity because there’s a dark spot on one of my back molars. Turns out, my tooth is just dirty! That sure made me feel better. Almost as good as that time my chiropractor told me I am deformed or when the ER doctor laughed at my face injury.
I was in the market for a new dentist, since I hadn’t gone in forever and my insurance had changed. I settled on a business that I heard about through the radio. They advertised free teeth whitening for life for all new clients. Sounded like a good deal to me.
My how dentist offices have changed. I remember when you had to come prepared, teeth brushed and flossed before your appointment, no food or drink. I walked into this office and they offered me coffee and free wi-fi. Um, I’m good for now, but can I come back tomorrow just to write in your lobby?
Their bathroom was full of not only toothpaste and toothbrushes, but hair products and lotion too.
When the dental hygienist came to get me, she gave me a tour of the whole agency. I saw all the offices and the cleaning centers and the “sterilization station.” And then I was asked to stand underneath a contraption for X-rays that I fully believe was a spaceship.
The hygienist asked me to step forward and underneath a large gray and yellow space shuttle. I had to bite down onto a marker while three prongs lowered over my head and clamped down. Then a side panel started whirring around my skull really fast.
“Will I be flying somewhere?” I asked.
“Oh no,” she laughed. “But I can see why you would think so.”
You and I both know that thing was a spaceship, and I was probed, G-dammit.
When we got to the room where she would clean my teeth she handed me a “spa card.” That’s actually what they called it. I had the option to watch a TV in the ceiling, use headphones for music, and request a blanket and neck pillow!
Tell me again that I WON’T be needing my passport for this.
Both the hygienist and the doctor let me check out my X-rays, which was both fascinating and disturbing. I have a newfound respect for my sinus cavities now that I’ve seen them on a computer screen. And I could see her marking off teeth that I no longer had on a separate chart. I don’t have any wisdom teeth and several others have “gone to pasture” as well. I think she was a little freaked when I told her I’d had a total of nine teeth pulled.
“That’s a lot,” she said.
“Well, you know what they say, big teeth, big talkers. Had to get some pulled to get a word in edge-wise.” I joked. “It’s a family thing, really, we all have giant teeth and not enough space for them. I’m grateful. The tooth fairy was my main source of income for years!”
I’m lucky I had a hygienist with a sense of humor.
Anyway, I came out of my appointment with a good report card. I wanted to get my picture taken and put up on the “No Cavity Wall,” but there seemed to be an issue about my age. That’s fine. I’ll bring my own crown and a selfie stick next time. #GrillOnFleek
Since my mouth probing went well, I qualified for their teeth whitening package and went home with 5 kits. I’m willing to believe there’s a learning curve with these things. I’d give myself a 7 out of 10 for technique, and an 8.5 for style. I inserted the upper and lower plastic trays filled with the whitening strips and made the smooching face I was told to make in order to adhere them to my teeth. I was not anticipating the frothiness and goo-factor of the strips and now regret trying to type this as drool falls on my keyboard. But it’s ok, I too have a “sterilization station” in my house.
Been to the dentist lately? What was your trip like?