I did something this afternoon that I haven't done for eight years. I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning and checkup.
I realize that some of you will find it scandalous that I went so long without a checkup. Even more scandalous? It had been six years between that visit and the one before it. I can even remember the logic behind each visit: I figured I should go before we left Panama City for, allegedly, Taos, because I didn't know when I'd have the money, time, or inclination to go again. Who knows how long it had been before that one. Six years later, I went when I was planning my second pregnancy. And now, eight years later, I went because I took all my kids a few weeks ago and thought "Hey, I haven't been to the dentist since before Joshua was conceived, and he's seven!"
I don't hate the dentist or anything. I just am not a maintenance kind of girl. I am bad about not getting the oil changed in my car until it's been three times as long as recommended. I never go to the doctor unless I'm really, really sick. Or pregnant, which is a more frequent occurance. And I never think to go to the dentist because I never have any problems with my teeth.
Or at least, I never used to. That's right...duh DUH duuuuh...I have a cavity. Gasp! I have never had a cavity in any of my permanent teeth! But now I have a tiny one in the grinding surface of my third molar on the upper right side. They sprung it on me right at the end, too! After all the scraping. Oh, the scraping. It went on so long and was so disgusting and mildly painful. My mind drfted to that genius who is running the ads for something called "sedation dentistry." Before, I scoffed at the pansies who would need such a thing, but now...
It's not that I'm now scared of the dentist. It's just so unpleasant, with the tiny metal gaffs and the holding your mouth wide open for upwards of half an hour at a time, and the unfortunate timing of opening your eyes just as the hygenist's bloodstained latex hand is passing in front of them. And the bib. Oh my god, the bib! That they wipe the crud from the little hooks on. There hasn't been any advance in dental technology since the advent of the bib? Really?
It wasn't scary, and it wasn't even very painful. It was just. So. Gross. Thank goodness I don't have to go back for at least six years!