Because today is National Dentist’s Day, our Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is Dentist. If you decide to write a post based on this week’s prompt, be sure to go back here and share your link so everyone can see how you interpreted things! Here’s what I did with it…
Initially, I thought about making the prompt “birthday” since today is my birthday. But I like sticking to the whole national random day thing. And since my birthday is not celebrated nationally (yet) I figured I’d go with dentist…
Besides, I have plenty to say about a dentist and dentistry and the dental profession.
By the way, I feel the need to preface this post by saying it is in no way meant to offend any dentists who may stumble across this blog. I’ve had a few dentist friends over the years. I’m not, as Seinfeld may describe, an “anti-dentite.” But I have some strong feelings and opinions.
Throughout most of my life, I never went to the dentist. As a kid, I never really understood it. So many of the other kids I went to school with would get to leave early because their parents picked them up for dentist appointments. I don’t remember getting to leave school once for a dentist appointment.
In fact, I only recall visiting a dentist one time as a child… maybe around the age of nine. Beyond that, I have no recollection of visiting a dentist’s office again until well into adulthood.
It’s possible that my parents never saw the point in taking me to a dentist because I had a mouthful of decent teeth. Everything grew in straight, so there was no need for correction on that front. They made sure that I brushed twice a day, so I was doing well with the personal oral hygiene. And I apparently never complained of any kind of toothache. So I can appreciate their logic.
It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I decided I needed to see a dentist. Because it was at this point I could feel my wisdom teeth at the back of my mouth and I knew something wasn’t right with those things. At the time, I was living in North Carolina and I made an appointment with a dentist I visited only once.
This guy took all the X-rays of my mouth. But it wasn’t the convenient thing where you stand there, stick your chin in the chin strap, then the camera rotates around your head. No… these were the tiny little X-ray film things that he shoved into my mouth and made me bite down hard. Pretty sure he made my gums bleed with those things. It was not a pleasant experience.
Being my first trip to the dentist in nearly 20 years, I expected him to tell me I had a whole mess of cavities. But no… not a single one. I was kind of impressed. But the wisdom teeth… they were really jacked up. He informed me they would need to come out and he was ready to refer me to an oral surgeon. But I decided to put that off…
Fast forward to roughly five years later. I’m back in Virginia and working a job that comes with a pretty good dental plan. So I decide to try this whole dentist thing again… Because now I’m starting to get irritated by those sideways grown wisdom teeth and the bits of food that keep getting stuck back there. Once again, I saw a dentist who took more X-rays (this time with the more convenient stand-up machine) and showed me the jacked up wisdom teeth and zero cavities.
Still zero cavities?! Am I good or what?
Six months and four missing wisdom teeth later, I returned for another cleaning. This time, I was shocked to discover that they had found four cavities in my mouth.
Hold up… You’re telling me that I’ve gone 35 years without having a single cavity and in the six months since you provided me with a “cleaning” I suddenly have FOUR?! This is outrageous and I won’t stand for it.
I couldn’t stand for it… I was still laid back in the chair with my mouth pried open.
I had to schedule an appointment to come back the following week for fillings. Fillings! Such a thing had never been done!
I continued with this cycle of six-month cleanings and random occasional cavities. Then it occurred to me that this is what they want. They want you to have to come back over and over again… otherwise, how do they make money?
You go to the dentist’s office and that pretty hygienist gets you in the chair and gets you mumbling about your job while she “cleans” away all the protective junk on your teeth while you, none-the-wiser, become more and more vulnerable to food and drink and the harmful damage of sugar. Suddenly you have cavities and you have to pay an insane amount of money to have them drilled and filled.
Tell me that’s not a scam!
I never had a cavity in my life until I started getting those regular cleanings. Coincidence?
And tell me this… Why would dentists recommend a certain type of toothpaste that’s going to do a great job of keeping your teeth clean? Would that not eliminate your reason for visiting their office in the first place? Yeah… think about it.
Thanks to everyone who participated this week and shared your links! Please visit their blogs, give them a follow, and take a look at how they interpreted the prompt.
Be sure to come back on Wednesday for the next Sunday Scribblings prompt! Encourage other bloggers to challenge themselves with the prompt! Remember that there are no rules for what you write, other than responding to the prompt! You can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, biography, instruction… it’s all up to you!