I know it seems like yesterday that I was at the dentist. But time flies when you’re not flossing and I headed in yesterday for a cleaning.  I’m sorry, correction – I headed in for “periodontal maintenance.” 


I was crabby and I didn’t want to go.  The only good thing that comes from these visits is that I can bask in the glow of my incredibly sound blood pressure.  Yes, they take my blood pressure at the dentist (and they slightly massage my temples, which is nice, I admit).  It’s 110 over 70, thank you very much.  I know, I am incredibly undeserving of such great blood pressure. I have no explanation for it either.


Anyway, I HATE having that perky dental hygienist stick that freakishly long probe into a my sweet little gums and then tsk tsk tsk her way through the rest.


My girlfriend said the other day “I’d rather have an O-B exam than go to the dentist!”


Amen, sistah.


So I decided to try a different tact.  I looked at my hygienist who, instead of being perky, was rather groovy in her Birkenstocks and cute, shaggy, Chrissie Hynde haircut, and I laid it all out on the table – or rather on my bib.


“Look, let’s save everyone some time and trouble today, okay? You’re going to stick that needle deep into my gums and tell me how horrible my gums look.  You’re going to tell me I’m at great risk for periodontal gum disease and how I need to come in right away for four to six deep gum cleanings where you scrape my gums and inject antibiotics between my teeth and I want to crawl through the ceiling.  Just for the record, I’m not going to do that, okay?  Then, you’re going to tell me that gum disease leads to heart disease and you’re going to pull out a copy of that New York Times article that talks about how gum disease is indeed linked to heart disease.  Then you’re going to refer me to your computer screen where you’re going to show me some fancy pictures of my yucky gums that you took with this little tooth camera. Then you’re going to demonstrate The Proper Flossing Method.   So, here’s the deal. I know how to floss and I know I should floss.  Much like exercise and eating right – I KNOW what to do.  I just don’t do it.  Can we just get through today and I’ll try to do better the next time. After all, isn’t that all we can ask of each other?”


She looked at me.  “You said all that with a smile on your face. I like that.  I’m with you, let’s get through this.”


Wow, that was easier than I thought as I settled in to listening to some cheesy but welcomed Christmas music.  I wonder if it will work with my internist…