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Dental Anxiety

I always get a little nervous when I go to the dentist. It’s not that I fear pain or procedures. I went through years of braces and humiliating retainers when I was just a pup and came out swinging. I have this subtle fear of disappointing them, and it always seems to revolve around that look they give you when they know you haven’t been flossing enough.

I’ve canceled and rescheduled appointments in the past when I realized there wasn’t enough time to try and cover up the fact that I haven’t flossed in months. Usually, it takes me about two weeks of continuous flossing to make it look like I’ve been doing it steadily all year long. At first they get puffy and bleed a bit, and then it calms down and looks normal after a few more days. That’s the look I’m going for; the one that provokes the “nice set o’ chompers” comment from the dentist.

It’s not that I gain any satisfaction from a dental hygienist’s praise. It’s just that I don’t like to let anyone down. I can’t help but promise to do better when they give me that sad face. They must have a class for disapproving looks at dentist school.

I just realized that I probably have more anxiety about disappointing my dentist than I have about disappointing either of my parents. That’s messed up.

Categories: pondering
  1. Mike Manzer
    September 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Totally agree! I just sat through my 6 month dental appointment yesterday. I had been frantically flossing the last week in an effort to cram for this thing. Dr. Cameron has mastered that look and I did not wish to disappoint my old landlord. Good News! I got the “no cavities and a lot less build up” praise. Bad News. I was an epic failure in the “wearing my mouthguard” department. Apparently, I have the teeth of a 65 year old man due to all the years of grinding.

    • chad
      September 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm

      Nice work. I’m giving you an affirming nod as we speak. Did you get to pick out a toy for being in the No Cavity Club?

      • Mike Manzer
        September 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm

        No, just a toothbrush. Although, Brennan had informed me the night before that I would receive a sticker and a toy if I walked down the long hallway and waited patiently. Disappointing!

      • chad
        September 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

        What a letdown. Maybe Brennan will let you play with his toy or run around with his sticker

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