I have teeth pain and I have to go to the dentist, but I’m terrified.
It all started when I was 12. I arrived at the dentist after school for a bi-yearly cleaning. My mom brought my toothbrush along with her, and the plan was to hop into the bathroom at the dentist’s office real quick to scrub that turkey sandwich and Doritos from the sack lunch off my teeth. I’d be minty fresh when I hopped on the chair.
As I headed to the bathroom, they called my name.
“Can you give me one minute? I have to brush my teeth,” I said.
“You should have done that before you came to the dentist,” the hygienist said.
Right when my ass hit the chair, a constant berating from the hygienist began. And didn’t stop until I left the chair.
“Why didn’t you brush your teeth before you came to the dentist?” she said through angry scaling and scraping. I pondered defending myself, but I was imprisoned in “A Clockwork Orange” Ludovico technique of sorts, with my mouth clamped open. Brushing! She screamed. Flossing! Mouthwash! She ripped the floss in and out of my teeth as I fought back tears.
When I got in the car to go home, I burst into tears. Since my mom is amazing, she called them right when we got home and ripped the technician a new asshole, canceled all future appointments for me and my four siblings and found us a new dentist.
So I’m not really a big fan of going to the dentist, and it’s only gotten worse with age. Mainly because I smoke. That buys me at least three lectures every time I step foot into the office. Plus, I have ultra-sensitive fangs from a lifetime of stress and anxiety grinding and clenching. So that “quick squirt of cold water” feels like getting disemboweled to me.
And it’s not even the dentist who is mean; it’s usually those diabolical hygienists. I hate to Trump clump them into a stereotype, as I’m sure there are fabulous ones out there, blah, blah, blah, but I have yet to get one who doesn’t emotionally beat the shit out of me due to the way I take care of my teeth. Those fuckers take it personally. Like they can’t sleep at night thinking about that pocket of plaque between my tight bottom snaggletooth that I could eventually remove if only I flossed more.
So instead, I am guilted with apocalyptic scenarios of my teeth falling out and rotting into puddles of baby blood that will seep into my organs and make my guts explode inside me.
We should all know by now that this is not the way to trick Fantz into tasks. I’m too busy flushing down Catholic guilt to give into dentist guilt. Like church, I’ll just stop going.
But then, when I have to schedule an appointment with emergency pain, I get: “You haven’t had your teeth cleaned in five years? Jesus Christ, fire up the mouthguard mold oven, Chad. We need to singe this bitch. Oh, and you smoke? It’s really a disgusting habit. Do you have any idea what smoking does to your health? Not to mention your mouth and teeth?”
Pray tell. I haven’t read any literature in 41 years on smoking. Then fix my teeth and shut the fuck up.