Monday, January 3, 2011

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 61

(This is the house I grew up in. Funny, I thought we were rich and our house was huge!)
#61– “Take good care of your teeth.”
Some of the things mom taught me a million times just seem so obvious, like #61, “Take good care of your teeth.” But when I was busy being a teenager, a college student, a wife and mother, and a career woman, taking care of my teeth didn’t seem that important – probably because I have superior teeth. Case in point (an idiom - my word of the day), my dental appointments go something like this...

Receptionist: “May I help you?”
Me: “I have an appointment.”
Receptionist: “Are you a new patient?”
Me: “No, I’ve been a patient of Dr. O’s for 20 years.”
Receptionist: “Well, I’ve been Dr. O’s receptionist for 20 years and I don’t remember you.”
Me: “I know. You never do. I’m the one that you never make any money off of.”
Receptionist: “Oh yes, I remember you now.” 
You would think she was paid a commission.

Actually the only person excited to see me is the dental hygienist, who always remembers that I’m such an easy cleaning job that she can plan her vacation and write poetry while working on me.  I also know that at some point I will become the dental equivalent of a cadaver. Click on Read More Below...

Dental Hygienist: (Sticking her head out into the hallway) “Brittney, Latisha, come here for a second, you gotta see this.” (Then looking at me she says) “You don’t mind if I show our interns your beautiful teeth do you?”

Just as I am about to answer she plunges into my mouth with two stainless steel dental mirrors and spreads my lips and jowls.
Me: “Oeeeurrrr.”
Dental Hygienist: “Have you ever seen such beautiful teeth?” she says, my gaping image reflected in the sparkling eyes of the young girls.

After the dental hygienist completes 5 minutes of obligatory picking, flossing and rinsing of my teeth she cues my dentist to make an appearance.
Dentist: “Hi SueAnn, how are you doing?”
Me: “Great, how are your mother and sisters?”
Dentist: “Oh they’re great. It was nice to see you,” she says as she turns to exit the room.
Me: “Dr. O, uh, are my teeth OK?”
Dentist: “Ha, ha, oh sorry, almost forgot,” she says. “They’re perfect. Bye.”

Then there was the time I paid $500 to have my teeth whitened. 
Me: “They don’t seem whiter?”
Dental Hygienist: “I know! That's awesome!”
Me: “It is?”
Dental Hygienist: “Yes, that means your enamel is very thick! You’ll never have cavities. Let’s do porcelain veneers!”
Me:  “Cha-ching.”

The irony is that neither my mother nor father had good teeth. Dad was so old when I came along that I don’t remember him ever not having false teeth, and my mom had false teeth by the time she was 70. And yet the only dental problem I’ve ever had (other than slightly yellow yet exceptionally strong enamel) was one cavity when I was 18, and I’ve never worn braces.

So perhaps it’s not hereditary. Perhaps my teeth are good because all these years I have unwittingly heeded mom's #61.

No comments:

Post a Comment