Tears and Flossing

I have two things to say–both involve tears, one involves flossing.

1. About a month ago, I came across a blog that interested me, Bring the Rain. I actually saw the link on Jessalee’s blog. Bring the Rain is like reading a novel that you can’t put down. Make sure you have blocks of time to read, you won’t be able to just read one entry at at time. When I found out about this blog, I read the first month’s blogs in one night. I kinda forgot about it until last night. I was up until 1:30 this morning reading the blogs through May. I finally went to bed but couldn’t go to sleep for the tears streaming down my face and the thoughts running through my head. I read Psalm for about 30 minutes and just sat still in my bed praying for this family. I just finished the entire blog and am now completely up to date with the family and I encourage you to be also. It is long, but you will be blessed. Bring the Rain is a blog about the Smith family (Todd, Angie, Ellie, Abby, Kate, and Audrey). If you have ever heard of the extremely talented group Selah, Todd sings with them. I do not want to give away any information. You need to start at the very beginning of the blog and go in order. Make sure you have a box of kleenex, or just let the tears fall off your face and soak your PJ’s, like I did.

2. I went to the dentist today, one of my least favorite things to do. I have never met a person that enjoyed the dentist. Until today, I never minded or dreaded the dentist, just didn’t enjoy the exam. That drastically changed today. I don’t ever want to go back to the dentist. I feel like a kid who has had a really bad experience with something and will kick and scream if she is ever put in the same situation again. My last dental exam was May 2007, 1 week before our wedding. I have always been consistent with my appointments, every 6 months, until I got married, switched insurance, moved cities. Time just slips away and you forget things like dental exams. Coming in to the office today, I was twice overdue for an exam. I immediately missed Dr. Spink’s office in Cahaba Heights. They know me by name and everything looks new and smells clean. At this office, the waiting room was tiny, there was an Hispanic family speaking German, and a butch girl sleeping on the sofa. I had to sit under the TV…which meant my only option to pass the time was reading year-old family/children magazines. I finally got called back by a very frazzled-looking hygienist with bedazzled black rimmed glasses. I forgot her name, but I will call her Janice. She was a very nice lady, but not a very experienced hygenist. The room was cold (not temperature cold, but the non-welcoming kind of cold). The tools were gold, the chair was that old mauve pink color, the tray was yellow, the horrid light was scratched, the whole shebang was very shaky any time either one of us moved, and there was dust all over the walls. Needless to say, I didn’t feel very clean or at ease. Janice was disorganized from the very beginning. Usually a hygienist has a routine that is very predictable. I think she just wanted to be at Six Flags because she was rolling all over the floor in her mauve pink chair. I kept thinking she was going to break something or run into the wall, but no, she obviously does this a lot. She began by taking full mouth x-rays, which usually isn’t an issue for me. It was today. She would put whatever that thing is in my mouth and then sit there and talk to me. One, I can’t talk back because I have something painfully crammed in my mouth. Two, I am drooling all over my bib. Three, I am gagging. After she gets done with our one-sided conversation, she gets the x-ray camera positioned just right on my cheek, leaves the room and clicks the machine. She did the same thing on the other side. Little did I know that was the easy part. She picks up her little gold tools and starts picking at my teeth, getting all the plaque off. She gets to my permanent retainer and went to town on that thing! Janice picked and picked and picked and picked and finally moved on–still rolling all over the floor behind my head, breathing heavily in my face–to the rest of my mouth. I was so relieved, but only for a short moment. She rolled over and came right back to that retainer and picked some more. She finally realized that I may need to swallow, so she put her gold tools down, rolled to the other side of the room and picked up the mouth vacuum. However, it took her so long to shift tools that I had already swallowed so that by the time she put the vacuum in my mouth, all she did was give me dry mouth. She did this several times. After she was done picking at my retainer (keep in mind that she still has not finished picking the rest of my mouth), she grabbed some floss. Janice suspected that I don’t floss, but she asked anyway. I didn’t lie. I very bluntly said, “No, I don’t floss.” And she made a funny noise, like a snort. Janice snorted in my face! This is the point where my eyes started to well with tears. I know I should floss and the pain probably wouldn’t have been so bad. But, I have never been a consistent flosser and it never hurt this bad when other hygienists flossed my bottom teeth. When that was over, Janice finally figured out that I could hold the mouth vacuum myself so that I could be in control of when I needed to swallow. Great Idea! Except, she was now moving onto a tool I had never seen before. It looked just like a pick but it sprayed water and FILED YOUR TEETH! Probably the worst feeling in the world, having the nerves in your teeth filed away. If you have ever had braces, you know the feeling I am speaking of–when they get all the glue off and file your teeth to make them all even and get rid of the ridges. Terrible, awful, cringing feeling. The tears that welled during the flossing were now multiplying and flowing down my face. She kept appologizing and snorting. Then she says to me, “You know, I really should have filed before I flossed. I guess I will have to floss this area again.” Well, the second time she flossed was not so bad…wanna know why? BECAUSE SHE FILED THE CEMENT OFF OF MY RETAINER! Of course it’s easy to floss my teeth with nothing is hindering it! My retainer is still in tact. It just has much less cement holding it in now. That explains why she kept saying, “I can’t tell if this is cement or built up food around your retainer” and continued to file away. She finally got through picking, about 20 minutes into the exam, and picked up the polisher. She did half my mouth and the spinner stopped working. She rolled around to all these drawers and cabinets trying to find another polisher, all the while I have chunky mint paste in half of my mouth and no water to wash it down with. But low and behold, she sticks the mouth vacuum in there. Thanks Janice, that really helps. The exam is finally over and she calls the dentist in to see my teeth. Janice explains to her that I don’t floss and I was in extreme pain and was bleeding when she was picking at my teeth. What she failed to tell her was that she was very harsh with her tools in her unsteady hand and that she filed my teeth…no wonder I was in pain! The dentist gave me a lesson on flossing and how I need to make a habit of it so that my next dental visit would not be so painful. She went through the spill about getting gingivitis, receding gum line, gum disease, cavities between the teeth. After she was done, Janice asked me what color toothbrush I wanted…like it mattered, how old am I? Then, she said, “And here’s some floss. You can use it for sewing or even fishing line if you want.” Thanks for the suggestions, but I’ll just use the floss for flossing. Thank you also for your time, Janice, you are a nice lady, but I just can’t allow you to work on my mouth ever again. I plan on finding another dentist.

3 thoughts on “Tears and Flossing

  • I am so sorry to hear about your horrifying dental experience. I would have probably stopped the cleaning at some point after tears started streaming down my cheeks and would have refused for “Janice” to have any further contact with my teeth. I might have then sued her for intentional infliction of emotional distress and maybe assault if I could pull it off. Just kidding! I had to justify reading your blog while I am supposed to be studying. Missed spending beach time with you and hope to see you sometime soon. Love you! Les

  • I found the website “Bring the rain” several months ago and it has blessed my life more than I could have ever imagined. I was just like you I cried the whole way through. Angie has made me realize how Amazing God is even through the trials.

  • Ok, You’ve inspired me to blog about my own dreadly dentist experiences! Be on the look out for it later tonight or in the morning. It’s just as bad as yours! Although, I don’t know, I don’t have a Janice in mine.Love you, let’s catch up soon!Rebecca

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