Posted by: GeekHiker | July 27, 2009

Dental Confusion

I had absolutely the strangest experience today.  At the dentist’s office, no less.

I mean, it wasn’t a bad experience by any means, just…


I had the examination, which went fine.  No problems, no cavities, all the old fillings look good.

I had the cleaning which, well, you know how that goes. Any time someone takes a sharp metal object and sticks it straight into your gums, it’s pretty much going to hurt.

(I once had a hygenst say that if I just brushed and flossed more (approx 3,000 times a day, I assume) that “it wouldn’t hurt at all.”  “Oh, yeah?” I retorted (sadly, only in my mind (she did still have sharp metal objects and more work to do)) “you sit in the chair and give me the sharpened metal, and we’ll see how well you do.”)

Anyway, turns out that I was, on this visit at least, quite healthy (dentally speaking, at least; mentally speaking they weren’t really qualified to comment on).

The weird thing, though, is this: there were to guilt-trips.  No comments on how I should run to the bathroom after every meal or snack, clutching my toothbrush in my hand like a knight defending his castle.  No suggestions that I really, really should carry dental floss around in my pocket, on guard and prepared to use it at a moments notice should a Defcon-5 dental emergency suddenly spring out of the shadows.

It’s not like my teeth and gums are perfect.  It’s not like they didn’t know it.  They just didn’t do the whole “you should really be more of a hypochondriac about your teeth” guilt-trip routine.

And to be frank, it confused the hell outta me.



  1. When is your annual physical? Hope you will get the same “guilt-trip free” experience at that too!! 🙂

    Dentists/hygienists are not the worst offenders when it comes to the “telling you what’s best for you” thing — I find auto mechanics (esp. those at Jiffy Lube) the most annoying! Every time I bring in my car they always manage to find real (but minor) or imaginary problems with my car that will cost hundreds or even thousands to “fix”, only ironically, each shop will give you a whole different set of “problems!!!” Aaarrrggghhh!!!

  2. Same thing happened to me last time I went – I was stymied, but heck, if they think my teeth look good and aren’t going to complain, well, I’m good with that 🙂

    As for the ‘You sit in the chair and give me the sharpened metal and see how well you do!’…oh, how I agree.

    I’ve had the hygienist say to me a few times, “Oh, your gums are bleeding a lot today.”

    The whole time I’m thinking, “Might it have something to do with the sharp metal object you have in your hand and are repeatedly poking at them?!”

  3. Great news on the tooth front.

    I’ve got an appointment in a couple of weeks. I hope it goes as well as yours but I doubt it. It’s been too long since my last (year and a half). He’s also a new dentist so it will all be new. Hate that.

  4. That IS odd.
    Isn’t it in the job description to nag about flossing though? I think the last time I went to the dentist, the hygenist was stoned. Not that I could be sure, but she certainly did nothing to convince me otherwise. Then my dentist came in and said he never went to the dentist when he was in college.

    I am currently looking for a new dentist. 🙂

  5. Maybe they realized you’re a lost cause… 😛

    You should look into ultrasonic cleanings if you don’t like the sharp instruments. My sister has her cleanings done that way and says it’s great.

  6. Do dentists really do that? I guess I’m lucky I’ve never been sent on a guilt trip.

    Or maybe I’m just really good at blocking out lectures.

  7. i floss my teeth for 2 weeks straight right before my dentist appointment. then i don’t feel like i’m lying when i say “oh i floss every day or every other day.”

    when i get back from the dentist, i stop flossing.

    they also want me to get an electrical toothbrush b/c apparently the best things about them are the 2-minute timers to let you know you’ve brushed your teeth for the right length of time. i guess i must look incapable of using a watch simultaneously as i brush my teeth

  8. You know what I think? They didn’t lay it on you because either your teeth are awesome, or they’re awesome compared to the other 100 people they saw earlier and they’re realizing it’s all relative. But sounds like it must have been pretty good. Did you change something about your routine? This happened to me after I got an electric toothbrush. No more guilt trips… very confusing!

  9. ps. are those your flickr photos?

  10. K – Is it bad I don’t do a physical on a regular basis? Oops. The auto mechanics may be an experience I don’t share as bad, since they tend to do that more with women (at least according to the women I know)

    ECT – Maybe they were expecting a tip?

    Homer-Dog – You never know, you might be fine, especially if you’ve been brushing every day!

    MissMcCracken – I think it’s DEFINITELY time! LOL

    Mel Heth – Aren’t those pricy?

    Rachel – Welcome to the blog. Or maybe you just have a really, really nice dentist!

    Seine – Doesn’t everybody do that? 😉

    Spleeness – I wish! But the bleeding proved them otherwise.

    Spleeness – Nope, just the random Flickr function. And since the pics right now are of really beautiful women, I wish they were mine!

  11. Lol, I must be immune to “that” sort of guilt. Anyway, dentist should not used those lines too much as they are paid to treat such problems. In fact, they should berate people who don’t have anything to cure.

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