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Squeaky CleanAugust 4, 2004

Honestly. When I called the dentist’s office yesterday to request a cleaning and check-up with Carol, I assumed there would be a four month wait to see her, as there usually is. For me, that’s just about enough time to get myself psyched up for the visit. So I was rather jolted when she said “We’ve had a cancellation. Can you be here in an hour?”


“Isn’t that great?”

Oh, just peachy. My first thought was that I hadn’t been afforded that Week of Panic before the dentist where you actually dig the floss from the bottom of the medicine cabinet and realize the last time you used it was to hang the windchime that MJ sent you, and you attempt to clean your teeth many times a day, every day, during that last fatal week, so when you go in the dentist will love you and want to be your friend. Or something like that. Wait, you don’t do that? Ahem.

I thought about saying that I was having surgery or a baby in about an hour and would have to miss out of the dentistly fun, but then I thought of the list I had JUST made, and decided to be a big girl and suck it up. Plus, I promised myself a trip to the South Pacific store afterwards, and two boxes of TimTams. I ain’t stoopid.

Big girl that I am, I am calm now when I get my teeth cleaned. This is because I know how ridiculous is to be scared. This is because I know that it likely won’t hurt and that I should just relax and enjoy the privilege I am afforded by even having the option to get my teeth cleaned.

Okay, that’s a bunch of crap. Really, I’m calm when I go because Carol gets me LOADED on nitrous. I mean spinning-high. It’s awesome. I love love love the feeling. I still freak out when they hit a sensitive spot, but it’s such a short freak out. Oooooh, ow! Ahhhh, back into listening to “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and getting deep sleepy meaning from it. I like it when I can’t feel my knees.

Even before the option to partake was taken away from me by the line of work I chose, I never really dabbled much in mind-altering methods. I preferred a good gin buzz to anything else. But hell, if it’s legal, short-acting, AND you get your teeth clean in the process? Bring it. But I might bring a walkman or something next time. Muzak on nitrous is noxious.


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Oooo.. Glad you enjoy it, but I can't do it. Makes me queasy.

I've never had nitrous. Nothing stronger than novocaine--weird, considering I'm a dentist's kid. You'd think I'd have tried everything. I'm v. curious about it, but I seem to have marvelous teeth that never need more than a cleaning.

why do you get nitrous for just a teeth cleaning? when I get my teeth cleaned I just get to open up. It's not until they have to fill cavities that I get anything, and that's done with novocain.

that said, there is nothing like the loopy joy of legal drugs when you need them. when I get migraines, I actually enjoy the funky feeling I get when I take the pills for them. but maybe that's also because they take away the crazy amounts of pain, too.

Oh Rach!
It's so good to hear from another dental-phob! I don't have trouble with cleanings but anything past that...well I'm a mess!

I have an appointment scheduled August 21st for a root canal. (My heart pounds faster just writing the words!) I was suppose to do it July 1st but I chickened out and rescheduled.

Whenever I psyche myself up enough to go, I'll take my walkman...I've taken it before and it really helped.

I do that. The floss thing. Ahem.

This post reminds me of when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I had gone in for the consultation, and they asked if I just wanted my teeth removed then - I had been mischeduled for an extraction, so they had the time. I took them up on it so I didn't have Dentist Anxiety. And it went just fine.

LOL!! That sounds like me :) Have to work up to those appointments, thiiiink about them, work on the teeth a bit. Psyche myself up for them, maybe even cancel and reshedule once or twice.. Good girl for going spur of the moment!

Whenever the receptionist from our dentist office calls with an earlier appt. due to cancellation I say "NO WAY!!" But then they all know I am a bit phobic and she laughs :)

I forgot to mention.. nitrous isn't available here anymore (BC) or at least not with the dentists I have had in the past 20 years. One dentist told me there were studies of how it contributed to brain damage and he didn't want to subject his staff (himself) to possible risk. I used to love that stuff as an early teen, would suck back as much as possible :)

How much do I hate going to the dentist? I put off having my SIX wisdom teeth pulled for 14 years. Infections, constant headaches and pain for YEARS! Getting those suckers out was the best thing I ever did for my health. (I was terrified at the thought of being 'put out' for it and even more terrified of not being. It took a miscarriage and a forced 'put out' for a D&C to realize it wasn't so bad..)

The moral of this story? When you say you are dentist appointment phobic, I just want to say, I UNDERSTAND!!

hmmm....never tried nitrous...maybe next time you could bring the chimes with you and listen to them on nitrous~! Talk about tubular.....

You get nitrous for a teeth cleaning? I've seen your teeth, they're not dirty--at all! Strange buy funny. Personally I just pick a dentist by Macy's Union Square, enabling me to skip the nitrous and go straight to designer retail therapy--every six months sharp baby.

Ummm...what are TimTams?

I wonder if they don't offer nitrous in NY because they think we'd like it too much. We probably would.

My dentist is a pro- never hurts at all. I kinda like getting that humongo needleful of novocaine, but then again, I'm weird.

oh, GOD. Why do you get nitrous for a teeth cleaning? Well if you are ME, it saves the staff from having to PEEEEEL me slowly from the ceiling, or chase me down the hall. Fight or flight, dontcha know.
Dentist...ewwwwwwwwwww. I'm feeling all icky just reading about it...but HEY, you can run ten freakin' miles, so there's NOTHING you can't do now that you've been to the dentist on short notice, and spread your life on the desk in front of a mortgage lady....

I'm humbled by your bravery.

Which flavor Tim Tams?

You crack me up! I've never had nitrous legally, and my dentist calls me his poster child for dental health care. You're kinda making me wish I wasn't so good!

I laughed SO HARD at the nitrous paragraph. Still giggling. I've never had it for a cleaning, but I did insist that I go under for my wisdom tooth removal (yep, only one. How weird is that?). And yes, I do the floss thing as well. But I don't want to tell you how long it's been since the last time I went to the dentist.

All I ever get from my hygienist are bad rhymes about my dental regimen ("Ooh, I see you're rushin' your brushin'!") and a stern talking-to about how all the pain suffered during a cleaning should serve as a warning to floss, dammit! or suffer more of the same, next time.

Over the years, I've come to see each cleaning as a little rite of passage, like getting a tattoo. I survived another one! Usually, I celebrate like Silvia - by going shopping. Hey, it beats the heck out of actually flossing.

Boy, you must go to a high-end dentist if they give you nitrous for a cleaning! Woohoo! Glad you have sparkly pearly whites now.

Count me guilty, too. Nothing like a dental appointment to ensure some flossing action! And for the first time this year, I admitted as much to the hygenist. Quite liberating (and hey- who did I think I was kidding????).

I actually like getting my teeth cleaned. They always look so white and shiny afterward. Last time I had fillings replaced, I actually fell asleep. They woke me up because they don't like when patients aren't fully conscious.

I probably have this attitude because I had the best dentist ever growing up. He was calm, talkative and gentle. And he lied and told me that he didn't use needles to freeze you. I didn't figure it out until the third filling.

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