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Signs you probably should have gone to the dentist sometime between the summer you turned 16 and last Friday:

1. When the Dental Hygienist returns with your X-Ray results, she gives you an incredulous stare, and, straining to maintain her professional composure, asks “So you’re sure you’re not in unbearable pain right now?”

2. The Dentist comes in a few minutes later: same look, same strain, same question.

3. When you shrug and say, “Eh. It comes and it goes,” they share an intense, meaningful glance. Neither is able to make eye contact with you for the rest of the exam.

Signs that, no matter how many trappings of adult life you try to smother it under, your essential nature will forever be disgustingly infantile:

1. The dentist, clearly puzzled at how such a good set of teeth could have fallen into such shocking disrepair, suggests excessive sugar consumption as a cause, and asks you if you drink a lot of beer. You are too embarrassed to tell him that your moderate alcohol consumption is dwarfed by your epic Skittle consumption.

2. Upon exiting the dentist with a $1000 dollar root canal quote and what should be some fresh wisdom from cruel experience, you become immediately excited when it dawns on you that the Fred Meyer where the dentist has instructed you to go to pick up some fluoride rinse for your rotting molars also sells those awesome sour balls that the Jelly Belly people make.

Yeah. So my mouth is basically a calcium compost site at this point. That’s the bad news.

The good news is my shiny new Vicodin prescription. When I wake up in the middle of the night with a stinging lower jaw now, I can pop a pill and be back to sleep in less than 20 minutes. It is amazing.

I can easily understand how people get addicted to painkillers. There is this perfect moment, about 5-10 minutes after you down that little white pill, where you realize the pain has subsided, and then you’re completely warm and content and ready to fall into the deepest, most pleasant sleep of your life. If I’m going to go down that road, though, I sort of want it to be on Klonopin. That’s what Stevie Nicks went to rehab for, and I would like to pay homage.

Signs that you’re probably not going to be enjoying a chemical dependency anytime soon:

1. Um…were you paying attention? That root canal is going to cost me a full fucking Grand. I’m not going to be eating anytime soon, let alone ordering mother’s little helper off the goddamn internet from some fake-ass “100% legal” pharmacy in Mexico.

2. I hate you, teeth. (I’m gnawing on a Blow Pop as I type this, by the way).

My mom’s getting in on Friday. It’s the first time she’ll have been on a plane since I was born. It should be a pretty nice time. I’m taking her to Cannon Beach, natch. I feel like the most impressive thing about Oregon is a giant black rock on the beach, mostly because they don’t have those in Florida.

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3 responses »

  1. It’s fun when the sites you compulsively refresh actually change in between refreshes. Exciting, even.

    Also, is it sad that I know exactly what you’re talking about? I broke a tooth and had to have a root canal, but the tooth had been dead for so long that it didn’t hurt at all. And then they told me that even though it was clear I’d been taking care of my teeth and my gums were superb, I had eight cavities. I told them I didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford to fill them (at like, $275 a pop or something silly like that) and they gave me that look. I still have eight cavities. Maybe even more.

    Do you really need the root canal? Could you price it around? Mine was only like…$400 something, and that was without insurance.

    Also, I don’t think Skittles are vegan in the US. I’ve had this conversation with someone in the dorm. Like, UK skittles aren’t made with the same gelatin that US skittles are. I’m not bored enough to look it up.

    Reply
  2. For some reason I feel incredibly compelled to schedule an appointment with my dentist. Not sure why, though…..

    Oh look! A bag of Skittles! OM NOM NOM.

    P.S. When do I get to take you out for a belated birthday booze?

    Reply
  3. You may not think so now, but you will need your teeth later on in life.

    If you let them rot, you will be faced with having to give up Skittles altogether because YOU WONT HAVE ANY FUCKING TEETH TO CHEW THEM WITH. (Yes, I’m yelling.If I were closer I would not only be yelling but smacking you up upside your pointed head!!)

    Go ahead, try to eat a Skittle by sucking on it, rolling it around on your tongue, pressing it between your lips…om nom nom like hell! Bleaah. Being a vegan will be no problem at all– you won’t be able to eat anything but steel cut oatmeal– the original ‘gruel’, incidentally, they are referring to in the phrase, ‘eating cold gruel in the rain’ gruel. Bleeaachk.

    And you’ll look sooooo cute toothless!

    Or, you can bank on being able to afford to spend the $100,000 it will cost in 10 years for cosmetic dentistry (the kind of dentistry that insurance doesn’t cover, like ‘cosmetic’ surgery is the kind of plastic surgery that insurance doesn’t cover, either) to have someone cut open your gums, drill holes in your jawbone, screw in titanium rods and attach fake teeth to attach bridges of more fake teeth so that you can eat something besides gruel. Or, if you don’t end up with $100,000 to spare, you can always get a set of false teeth set in pink plastic and try to keep them attached to your gums with that horrible goo they advertise on TV.

    It doesn’t have to be that way! Take your teeth in for their routine maintenance; get that root canal and crown; get those little cavities filled before they become great gaping black holes in your mouths.

    Reply

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