Saturday, April 02, 2005

vivi goes to the dentist

I'm very sorry to report that this isn't the horror story it could have been. I hope you're all not too disappointed. And all you non-Americans who make fun of us for our "perfect" teeth? You're not gonna like this too much either. ;)

I am one of those happy few that have never had problems with my teeth. My mom took my sister and I religiously to the dentist every year (or was it six months?), and she stuffed us full of vitamins with fluoride (which, we believe, has more to do with the good teeth than good genes, as both my parents' mouths are filled with metal). I never needed braces, and I've never had a cavity. I had my wisdom teeth out when I was 20, and then I went seven years without going to the dentist, either because I didn't have insurance or I couldn't be bothered. When I finally went again, I only needed an extra good cleaning. Since then, I resumed going every six months again, though now I'm motivated more by the fear of the drill than anything else.

The last time I went to the dentist was a week before we moved here. Since Steph has been going to the dentist every week since December (his three bad teeth have been repaired in stages), I thought I'd take the opportunity to go with him and have mine checked out. Yesterday my appointment was right after his.

Considering that I had to beg him to come to the doctor with me for translating, I was very surprised when he followed me into the dentist's office, and explained to her that I'm American and didn't speak French well! Now I think maybe he didn't want to come to the doctor's office with me, because I was going about "female issues." Well, that's a whole other post. Back in the dentist's office, she invited me to sit in the big scary chair and asked if I was having any problems. I said no, and she poked around a bit. After saying something like, "Wow, they're really good," she offered to remove some of the tartar that had built up behind my bottom teeth (always a problem area).

She removed the tartar with some kind of electric scraper which was a surprise, as my dentist back home was still using Ye Old Dentist Pick, and was done very quickly. She laughed and said, "I have nothing to do!" and then polished up my teeth a little bit. That was it.

I was out of there in under 15 minutes. I thanked her profusely and we headed out the door. In the elevator, I admired the lovely new gold and silver fillings in Steph's mouth, and said a silent prayer in thanks for my good fortune.

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