Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pearly Greys

Got a pat on the back from my dental hygienist today. She complimented me on my fine job of flossing in the last six months. This, just before scraping them until my gums bled. What's the point, I wondered, of setting a Floss Alarm?

True, my phone is set to ring every night at 9 pm to remind me to floss because my brain seems hardwired to overlook this daily task, much like taking multi-vitamins.

Ring, ring.
Is that your phone ringing?
No, floss alarm....

Who still goes to the dentist, every six months, besides me? I have to image that unless you have dental coverage under some insurance plan the answer is Nobody. I pondered this question while contemplating how to swallow with an assortment of fingers and instruments hanging out of my mouth. I wondered why I wasn't seeing someone in cosmetic dentistry rather than my family dentist. As it turns out I'm the only one in the family that sees this dentist, so why not? It sure sounds preferable to scraping plaque. Cosmetic dentistry sounds spa-like - and you know how I like my spa time.

According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry:
...traditional dentistry focuses on oral hygiene and preventing, diagnosing and treating oral disease, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of a person's teeth, mouth and smile.

Doesn't that seem less painful? Doesn't that appeal to your my vanity? Why bother with oral hygiene and preventing, diagnosing and treating oral disease (scrape, scrape, scrape), when I could have a pretty smile? (As if those two goals were mutually exclusive....)

What difference would it make? Right after I got my pearly whites all polished up (for which I paid, out of pocket, good money), I had a nice cup of coffee just for spite, followed by a glass of red wine with dinner. I don't know why I did this, exactly. Maybe it's because all I got was a blue toothbrush and some floss in my goody bag. (Yes, they still give those out even if you're well past the age of eleven.)

Maybe if I didn't rush to stain them, I'd get a lollipop as well.


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