Last week I had to go to the dentist.
I’ve heard that you should only floss the teeth you want to keep.
Turns out that’s right.
I went to a pediatric dentist until I was 23 years old. My feet hung off the end of the chair, but I couldn’t imagine going to anyone else.
Carl Davis was one of the kindest men I knew growing up and besides that, he was tall and handsome with the bluest eyes and a quick smile. He hummed the whole time he worked on your teeth. His voice was deep and calming and he always patted my arm while he worked.
He once told me I was so good at spitting that he was going to enter me in the spitting Olympics.
And I liked the fact that he could understand my questions even though my mouth was full of his hands and dental apparatuses and lots of spit.
So he started explaining everything he was doing to me before he did it.
Saved a lot of time.
Maybe it’s the fluoride or that hideous paste they polish your teeth with that feels like cement mix, but all dentists’ offices smell alike.
This new dentist’s office smelled just the same as Carl Davis’ did in 1971. The last time I had to have cavities filled.
Back then it didn’t matter that I was getting out of school early. It didn’t matter that I would get a coupon for free ice cream from Baskin Robbins when it was over. And it sure didn’t matter that I was going to get to pick out a fake plastic ring.
I always wondered what kind of good stuff the boys got to pick from.
My new dentist reminds me a lot of Carl, only with brown eyes and no humming. But he smiles and pats my arm and I never felt a thing while he was filling the first of six cavities.
No ice cream coupon, but I didn’t deserve one after eating way too many Hot Tamales and going to bed without brushing my teeth.
For someone who still has all her wisdom teeth, you’d think I’d know better.