Lookin’ into the mirror, I’ve got a large maw full of pearly whites staring back.
Not actually though, ’cause teeth are naturally more of that weird yellowy french vanilla. Wait, was that a taste or a colour. It don’t matter, because I got an oral check-up. After almost 2 years, the prognosis is that my chompers are still in sharp shape. I’ll be scarfing down solid foods till they put me in the coffin. Unless food stops being a thing by then and we all just gain nourishment through transference of light. Please no.
It’s weird going to a dentist after quite some time. I’m a conversational chap, but I realise that a dental appointment is neither the time nor the place to talk about the weather. Apparently my dentist didn’t. She was doing an excellent job, but it seemed strange that she tried to instigate conversation throughout the appointment while she had her tools picking around my mouth. I would’ve loved to respond, but I figured it’d only get in the way. A hairdresser I can understand, but smalltalk doesn’t fit in the dental scene half as well.
Do you ever have those experiences where things are ticking along as per the norm, but suddenly you’re hit by some kind of awareness? You suddenly think about the fact that you’re breathing automatically, then fall into the pit trap of breathing manually? You find yourself slumped over in front of the computer and do your part to adjust your posture? You realise that your brain controls your body, that you’re essentially a small blob of grey sponge in charge of a large, boned meat puppet? Those kind of intrusive thoughts. I had one at the dentist.
Me : You know when you’re spooning with a partner and you don’t know where to put your arm?
Her: Yeah, but where are you going with this?
Me: That’s how I feel about my tongue right now.
Her: That… Was a perfect analogy actually.
You’ve got a little mirror in your mouth and you’re thinking wait, am I allowed to rest against this? Your dentist starts up with that whirring cleaning thing and your tongue darts out of the way like a secret agent on a table headed towards a buzz-saw. Suddenly no matter where you are, your tongue is in the way. It feels like you’ve got a friend leaving your house with bags, but you’re standing in the way and it’s a tight hallway. It’s clumsy and your best course of action is to just go limp and let things happen naturally, but you’re thinking about it so that’s not gonna happen.
Dental technology is crazy. Did you know they’ve got this ultra violet flashlight type thing that detects cancer? They just put the thing in your mouth and everything is cast in a certain colour. If things are normal, they shine green. Any signs of bacteria glow orange and any scar tissue or cancer is a dread black. I’ve got a little scar tissue in my inner-cheeks from grinding and accidentally biting my cheeks. Or else I’ve got cheek cancer, but she didn’t seem to think so.
She also went through and measured all of my gums for signs of inflammation. She re-taught me how to floss and brush, then set me up with some mouthwash, a tongue scraper, some new toothpaste and floss. It’s not like I was doing a terrible job. I brushed twice, flossed once per day. Now though, hooooo boy. I’ve got a fresh new dental routine that’ll probably last me about a week before I get impatient and cut corners. Let’s be realistic here, it’s very easy to justify anything to yourself if you can’t be bothered doing it. Best of all though, the nigh 2 hour visit and loot bag were entirely covered by benefits. Crazy Town (Butterfly. Sugar. Baby). 4 months left to go until another cleaning and here I am just tonguing the now smooth, polished curves of my teeth.
All the better to eat you with.