A sucky (yet good) early birthday present from the dentist

My teeth are a disaster. This, from the girl who didn’t have any cavities all growing up and who brushes and flosses daily. I started having problems on my mission in Switzerland but my downhill spiral began after my pukey pregnancies. A couple of years after Bode was born, I spent thousands of dollars fixing up my mouth–root canals, crowns, you name it.

I haven’t been back since. This is in part because 1) I hate the dentist 2) We’re self-employed and it’s generally cheaper to pay out of pocket than the ridiculous dental insurance premiums and 3) I haven’t wanted to spend any more money on my mouth, especially since we finally paid off our garganuan medical bills.

The kids and I went for a check-up last summer and they had a perfect bill of health. Me, on the other hand? Over $3,000 in work. And so I did what any rational, cheap, dentist-hating person would do: I didn’t go back.

However, the right side of my mouth constantly aches, particularly after I eat sweets like gummy bears. And because no person should have to live a life without gummy bears I went back for Phase 1 of my treatment plan on Monday.

Note: dentists and Mondays go together like fish and water.

One of my pet peeves of dentists is they carry on a conversation as if you can somehow answer back. Mine particularly liked pointing out all my mouth’s shortcomings, observing, “We’ll have to have a conversation later about all this decay and why it’s happening when you’re so young.”  Sure, Dude. Can’t wait for that one.

He didn’t keep me in suspense for long. After fitting me for a crown (nope, not the royal kind), he asked me my age. “I’m 41,” I replied.

“Really? I thought you were 10 years younger!” and he didn’t pursue the “you’re too young to have rotting teeth lecture.”

My takeaway was two-fold. 1) He thought I was in my early-30s (hurray!) and 2) apparently my level of decay is perfectly acceptable for an over-the-hill 40-year-old.

Either way, I’ll take it.


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