Monday Anecdote: I love going to the dentist

My Smile

My sassy grin

I love going to the dentist.  Not because I’m a fan of their strawberry flavored tooth polish, or because the hygienist is very kind or because the dentist is a wonderful and intelligent woman; though all of those are nice and true points.  I love going to the dentist because my teeth are great.  An appointment at the dentist makes me feel how a person who falls in the “normal” size-range must feel at regular doctor check-ups.

My husband, on the other-hand, is not a fan of these same visits because he does not have great teeth.  As such he hears much more in the form of chastisement than I ever do.

Our teeth-hygiene-habits are, believe it or not, pretty similar though, truth be told, Adam D does more for his teeth-care than I do.  He flosses more regularly, he uses an electric toothbrush in an almost mind-numbingly methodical way twice a day, and he makes sure to floss if anything is stuck in his teeth.

Me?  I brush quickly twice a day, floss very irregularly and only flossed everyday the week before my appointment and was told I’m doing everything “just right”.  Does anyone see the discrepancy there?  Adam does everything “right”; and yet his mouth generates more plaque on those little pearly whites and his gums are more sensitive so HE gets admonished and told to shape up.  I, on the other hand, have a mouth less prone to fast plaque build-up and gums which only need a week of flossing to toughen-up enough to not bleed during the dental cleaning.  Yet *I* am the one told I’m doing things “right”.

It is an interesting look into how those “in charge” don’t REALLY care if you’re doing things right or not; they care only for the results.  Obviously, if those results are seen, then the patient is “doing it right”.  This does both of us a dis-service honestly because I go on thinking that because my mouth is fine I can slack on my mouth-care; while poor Adam D wonders why all he does doesn’t produce the results he keeps getting told his actions should result in.

Talk about making me think about my own experiences with doctors, eh?  How often can you be told that you are “obviously” not “doing it right” just because your shape and size don’t mesh with the proscribed bodies expected of those following the actions we are all told, over and over, will result in a Normal Body?

Just a bit of anecdote to provide some food for Monday Thought.  What are your thoughts?  Do you have any medical practitioners you love to see because you have the privilege of being thought of as fully compliant and “Normal”?


12 thoughts on “Monday Anecdote: I love going to the dentist

  1. I always demand the cinnamon flavored dental polisher because I will vomit if I get “grape” or any other fake fruit flavored variety.

  2. I always thought dental scolding was a requirement, there must have been a class on it at dental school. When you’re done with the dentist, it’s customary to get a new toothbrush, a trial size of toothpaste, a couple of feet of floss, and a scolding. I’d been going to the dentist a couple of times a year for a decade or two and perhaps once or twice I didn’t have a cavity. Maybe I’d just run out of places to get cavities.
    About two years ago I got a disease which made it very difficult to get places. Dental checkups fell by the wayside for a while, but I’ve recently started renewing my visits, only to find out I need extractions, root scaling and planing, and an implant or two if I have any money left. Imagine teeth not being in good enough shape for a root canal!
    Anyway, I know the above is probably TMI, and not quite what you asked. I’ve mentally been going over a list of my doctors, trying to come up with some part of me that passes exams with flying colors. Skin? Eyes? Lungs? Hormones? Heart? Hearing? Gyno? General checkup? No, there always seems to be at least a minor something wrong with any one of them.
    Your post reminds me of theRotund’s discussion of shoes, as in Let’s Try to Find Some Part of Our Lives In Which We Can Pass for Normal. FWIW, that one didn’t work for me either, since I have WW feet, and the really nice shoes don’t come in double wides.
    Flavored dental polish? I’d just settle for a dental hygienist who didn’t learn her craft from the Marquis de Sade.

    • Mulberry I didn’t mean to make anyone feel left out for NOT having an exams that pass as “normal!” I need to rephrase…I was just curious if anyone else had noticed such a thing in their own experiences. Sorry to hear about the dental woes; I know that all the work doesn’t come cheap (we spent a couple of years slowly working through cavities in Adam’s mouth) so I wish you much luck with that..and with getting a decent hygienist!!

  3. I used to not hate going to the dentist, but then I had a cracked tooth and a very bad dentist then two root canals, and one of those teeth ended up having to be pulled so I had tons of dental bills because dental insurance just stinks out loud. But the dentist is pretty free and easy with the vicoden, so there’s that. 🙂

    But they do always tell me I have the straightest teeth they’ve ever seen.

    I have a great dermatologist who always treats me great. I can’t imagine that thin patients get better treatment then I do. I love that the nurse just walks right past the scale in the office when taking me back for my appointment.

  4. Aw, thanks for the good wishes April, and you didn’t make me feel left out! Maybe I just needed to complain a little. Ever since last summer’s hot weather let up, and I was finally able to get around better, I’ve been trying to take care of all the medical/dental stuff that had gotten neglected. I’m very thankful that I’m able to get effective treatment for my various woes, (don’t get me wrong) but it does get a bit wearing going from doctor to doctor for several months.
    You’re not kidding with the dental bills – I got an ESTIMATE from the periodontist which could purchase me a new car or some serious home improvements. (Also got the obligatory goodie bag with scolding.) Please give Adam my sympathies, and tell him I miss those days when the worst I got was merely cavities.
    Hey I know – I’ll go for a colonoscopy and see if that part of me gets a clean bill of health. Wonder if they give goodie bags with trial sizes of toilet paper?

  5. I always liked going to the eye doctor. Everyone in my family is so horrifically near-sighed that their appointments involved a lot more testing and checking of lenses, sometimes needing a new prescription. Hubby is legally blind without his specs. But I’ve never had a problem…that’s probably the only thing genetics gave me a miss in a positive way. Everything else I’ve inherited hasn’t been quite so gleeful.

  6. I have pretty bad teeth, and like your husband, am quite religious about dental hygiene.

    The last time I was at the dentist I was so embarrassed and afraid of being made to feel worse about it, but she was so kind, and explained to me that dental cavities have a strong genetic basis, and that the anti-histamine medication that I take causes my mouth to be dryer than usual and contributes to tooth decay. She also said to me that as a field they no longer recommend scolding patients about dental hygiene, as it makes people less likely to come back to the dentist and doesn’t actually improve dental health.

    Seems that dentistry (or at least dentistry here) seems to have understood that shaming patient doesn’t improve health. Wonder when the rest of the medical fraternity will catch up?

    • Amy your dentist sounds amazing; and right on that medical-advances-ball! I too wonder when the rest of medicine will catch up to those few who seem to have moved past the dark ages….

  7. I loved this post — I am exactly the same way! I LOVE going to the dentist because I always get compliments on my excellent “hygiene” even though, like you, I am haphazard about flossing, so she is the only “healthcare provider” I am confident about “pleasing.”

  8. I’m also genetically blessed with my teeth, and I have a way worse dental hygiene routine than you. When the dentist asks, I say something like I brush 1-2 times a day and floss a few times a week – huge lie. There’s no way I can actually tell him that sometimes I forget to brush for days and don’t floss for weeks. I know, awful; I can just imagine what a dental professional will think. The only reason they don’t really scold me is that my teeth are near perfect anyway.
    The only good thing I’ve done is be religious about the twice yearly ckeckups/cleanings, and use an expensive high-fluoride toothpaste; of course it’s not really that expensive because I don’t use it often…

    It sounds pretty weird to me that they scold someone who does everything right: what do they use as an excuse anyway, that he must be lying to them? Blaming the patient is an easy out; real medical professionals take it upon themselves to find the problem and figure out a solution.

    On a sort of related note, I have noticed that I’ve always had a difficult time in getting doctors to pay any attention to any issue I bring up, and getting any sort of tests is pretty much impossible. I now wonder if the same way their ‘training’ leads them to endlessly look for imaginary health problems in fat people, it also makes them dismiss anyone they think should be healthy, like young, ‘normal weight’ me, who must just be making up complaints and so it would be a total waste of money to have me screened for anything.
    Why no, I’m not still bitter that it took 7 months of appointments for someone to suggest an MRI that showed that huge busted lumbar disc; it’s not like obvious sciatic pain is a major symptom or anything – that’s just a pulled muscle, have some ibuprofen.

    • Alexa I know that my mother had the same troubles in getting something major diagnosed, being told though on HER end that she just needed to suck it up, lose some weight and come back. Finally they find out she had actual damage in her knees. So maybe its that the doctors don’t want to send ANYONE for tests? Odd and, quite frankly, disappointing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s