A Day of Antonment, and Flossing

Drill Baby, Drill

Went to the dentist today, and like most people who don’t floss regularly, I was not looking forward to it. I hadn’t been in for a check up in quite some time, so I was pretty sure the dentist was going to see more cavities than an airport security officer. After a quick x-ray and a brief once over, the dentist informed me, much to my surprise, that I did not have any new cavities, but I did have exceptionally sensitive teeth. He prescribed me some extra-strength toothpaste, and with that he was gone. Disaster averted…for now.

A friend of mine once said that visiting the dentist is like going to a confessional. I couldn’t agree more.  Once every year or so you walk into a strange place feeling slightly ashamed. You’ve done your best to wipe away your past indiscretions, but no matter what you do, the evidence always lingers. You sit down in the padded chair. The silence is almost deafening. Then out of nowhere a man wearing all white appears, his face obscured by a mask and glasses. He sits down next to you. You haven’t told him a thing yet for some reason you’re convinced he already knows what you’re going to say. Then calmly, coolly, he coaxes you into confessing your “sins.”

You open up slowly at first, then wider, ever wider. First you tell him you don’t floss, but in this day and age, who has the time? Then you admit that don’t always brush in small tight circles near the gum line, and sometimes you don’t scrub for a full two minutes. He looks closer at the x-ray. Sure he’s just looking at teeth, but at that moment, in that big puffy reclining chair with the bright white light beaming into your eyes, it’s almost as if he’s staring into the inner depths of your soul. He can literally see right through you. The tarter build-up, the de-calcification, the plaque – my lord the plaque! It’s futile. You finally give in. Suddenly your confessing that for the entire month of August you drank nothing but Dr. Pepper and fruit punch cocktails. You divulge every last detail, from the stash of Gobstoppers you keep in your glove compartment to the caffeine content of your morning cup of coffee. 4 shots of espresso? What where you thinking?!

And so you lie there in the chair, broken; defeated. Beads of sweat spill down from your brow. Your gums throb with a mixture of guilt, shame, and gingivitis. For a moment everything seems hopeless.

Then you see it – a halo of light shines down from on high. The man in the white suit knows all to well your predicament. He informs you that no matter how high the obstacles might stand or how deep the cavity might burrow, you can indeed wipe the slate clean. All it takes is a little faith, a little perseverance, and 30 seconds of vigorous swishing with extra-strength mouthwash in the morning and after meals. He hands you a pack of sugar free gum and some complimentary floss and with that, you are once again alone to face the world; a world full of temptations and high fructose corn syrup.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is: the next time you decide not to floss, remember – God is watching.

Related Listening:

“Crooked Teeth” – Death Cab For Cutie

“Teeth” – Mitch Hedberg


2 responses to “A Day of Antonment, and Flossing

  1. Dr. Pepper? The whole month of August? Do i sense a reference to a certain mutually-beloved shoe saleswoman? Perhaps a bit of a hint? I’ll have to make sure she reads this…

  2. Very funny and so true – sitting along side the dentist is like being strapped down to take the a polygraph and knowing you are about to be fail. There is no way your going to tell the truth. They’ll have to drill it out of you. The overhead lights above and the truth serum to kill the pain leave you no choice. Grin and bear it: You are a Sinner!

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