Dentists get a bad rap because they have to inflict pain on people who don't look after their teeth.
For years, I had no problem getting my teeth checked because most of my teeth got filled in with that silver and black amalgam when I was a kid - by adulthood, there were no more fillings to get.
So I wasn't too worried about having my first check-up since TLM was a bum-crawler. It was a bonus that my new dentist was young and cute - when my previous two dentists had been on the verge of retirement and - in one case - dealing with minor Parkinsons.
It was quick - he said my gums are in great condition, but my teeth should really get rid of that tartar build-up. When he told me how much it cost to see the dental hygienist, I realised why it only cost $45 to get a check-up including x-rays.
The woman whose job it was to scrape stuff off my teeth, was pleasant enough - a young black woman in a sexy-secretary sort of outfit. I lay back in her chair and started feeling drowsy. She gave me a pair of dark glasses to shield my eyes from the bright light.
And then she hurt me.
Hurt is not quite the right word. The scraping - oh, my sensitive teeth! The loud buzz of the suck-y thing in my mouth that was probably supposed to suck up my saliva bit felt like it was spraying my chin. The way the muscles on the back of my head and neck spasmed from wanting to clench but having to keep my jaws open like a big snake trying to spew up an ostrich egg (whole).
Finally, she finished. I tongued my teeth and felt gaps between them that I'd forgotten I'd ever had.
My teeth hurt.
When I got back to the office, I looked at her business card. It called her a "hygienist and therapist". Well, all I can say is - it was bloody obvious I was in need of some therapy after that experience, but she. did. not. offer. me. ANY.