Monday, January 21, 2008

The Dentist

Last week, I had my regular cleaning and check up with my friendly neighborhood dentist. I do not like to go to the dentist. I don't know anyone who does. But, the dentist is trying to make it a positive experience and I appreciate it. We have gone to the same dentist in Mukilteo for 18 years and they have made some changes. This time, they took my blood pressure for which I applaud them. The dental assistant explained that people visit the dentist about three times as often as the family doctor so checking blood pressure keeps closer tabs.

In addition to blood pressure checks, you can choose to watch TV or listen to music with head phones for each. I don't like the headphones because with the big pair of plastic glasses and the bib and everything and no hands, it is just too much for me--like I have on a helmet or something. No hands? I'll get to that in a minute. So, I watch the TV without sound because usually headlines of some sort are scrolling across the bottom telling me the stock market is crashing. I wonder if I should ask for her to check my blood pressure again?

You know, instead of the big plastic glasses, I frankly would prefer a blindfold. The posters on the wall of broken teeth, deep pockets, and peridontal disease are terrifying. My gawd, do my teeth look like that? And then if you go home and use the magnifying mirror and pull out your lips, you wonder if some of those poster smiles are secretly yours.

After my appointment, I did some errands with my son and as we were driving, I told him to feel the back of my hands. "Aren't they soft?"

"Yea, so?" he replied unimpressed.

"Well, I just got back from the dentist!"

"Oh, OH... yea?! What in the world is that all about anyway? When I last went in there, they asked me if I wanted to dip my hands in wax. Seriously, I thought I was losing my mind? I looked around and wondered if I had walked into the wrong strip mall office," Lucas answered with recognition.

Curious about his response, "So, what did you do?" I asked.

"I had no frickin' idea if it was required or what. I couldn't figure out what dipping my hands in hot wax it had to do with my teeth. They were scaring me so I did it. The woman said it would help me to relax! What the....?"

At this point I could hardly drive because I was trying to picture my clueless son at the dentist's office being asked to dip his hands in wax. I couldn't stop laughing. Yes, he spread his fingers so they could spray the anti-bacterial spray. He rubbed the lotion into his hands and followed the directions to dip each hand twice, allowing the wax to dry in between dips. Next, the dental assistant put a plastic bag and warm terry cloth mitten on each hand. The mittens were left on for the entire teeth cleaning process.

Afterwards, when she peels off the plastic and the wax, your hands feel like newborn baby skin. It is quite wonderful. I love this portion of my dental appointment. When we arrived home, we proceeded to have a discussion with Dave about the wax. Lucas asked his Dad if he dipped.

"Ah, no! Do I appear to be the kind of guy who wants my hands all fancy shmancy?" Yikes. Perhaps this is not the best answer from a father to a 22 year old son just entering full fledged adult manhood.

"Well...well, I did. I thought you were supposed to. I was having trouble with the connection to my mouth but...Oh my, what do they think of me at the dentist's office now? I swear, I am never going back."

"Yes you are, Lukie. I made an appointment for you for next week. And this time, they will check your blood pressure, too," I pronounced. "And go ahead and dip your hands again. It feels good. Your Dad must have manhood issues if he is afraid of a little hot wax."

Now, if I could get them to cover up those posters!