Who Are These People? And Why Are Their Hands in My Mouth?

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If you’re lucky, you can reach far into the recesses of your mind and grab ahold of memories inside a dentist’s office as a child. You probably squirmed in cold waiting room chairs, nervously gnawing at your fingernails, swinging your legs back and forth as they hung off the end of worn plastic seats.

After what felt like hours, no…years, of reading a tattered Highlights Magazine, stagnant air was disrupted by a breeze that smacked you in the face as the door opened, and your name was called. You shot a panicked look towards your mom and she returned a reassuring smile or the “I mean business face”. You rose slowly, knees shaking as you moved cautiously towards the doorway, sneaking a quick ‘last’ pleading peek at your mom. She was no help; none at all.

Like an inmate behind a guard, a student behind a teacher, you followed. Foreign humming of strange machinery bounced off the walls interrupted only by grunts, suctions and crying…CRYING? You immediately questioned your parent’s love.

The top of your head barely reached the shoulder area of the mechanical chair, the actual headrest completely out of reach for at least four more years. The blinding light hovering above your head surely functioned as an interrogation lamp. You braced yourself, ready to admit any sin in exchange for release.

Mini silver sharp hooks, tools, drills and strings were displayed like a table setting. Beads of sweat formed on your forehead as your heart played jump rope in your chest.

”SNAP!” You spun your head around faster than a knife fight in a phone booth.

There she stood, powder sprang into the air from the cuff of the glove now grabbing every inch of her right hand. You watched as the cloud seemingly dissipated and she, not so gently, wrestled her left hand into a matching glove with the same quick “SNAP” as before. She smiled at you through that strange floating mist of…what?. What IS that? Why is she smiling? How could she smile at a time like this?

You awkwardly opened your mouth inch by inch, lips parted slowly like an unoiled hinge. One by one, the shiny tools scratched and scraped your teeth. Muffled questions through the hygienist’s mask were about your day, your school. You tried to respond around the tools and fingers invading your mouth, but you sounded more like a moaning baby hippo. A sweat-drenched, wet, moaning baby hippo.

Your teeth were coated with a sticky, sandy substance she removed with what was obviously a mini orbital sander and 20 grit paper. Fishing line was pulled in between each tooth. Mouthwash burned your tongue. Head still buzzing, mouth still tingling – It seemed you were in the home stretch.

A thunderclap voice boomed from behind your head. The doctor, the tooth man, the bite boss was coming in. The hygienist used your mouth like a canvas to display her masterpiece to Him. Like a police officer, he performed a detailed search of each tooth surface…

****

If you were lucky, you only had to come back six months after your cleaning visit. If you had cavities and your mom was anything like mine – it wasn’t going to go over well. Lying about teeth brushing eventually catches up to you, I guess.

The dentist can be a scary place for not only kids but adults too!

In our office, we certainly understand the hesitancy. We provide almost any tool you could request to help your comfort level while you are with us and after you leave. We offer hands to hold, laughs to relax, TV’s to watch, and conversations to have. The only thing you absolutely have to do to qualify is show up! Yes, even if you sound like a moaning baby hippo!