The only place I can be a mouth-breather and a mom.

28 Jul

Why, maybe I *will* floss...

I had a dentist appointment earlier this week. It was a routine cleaning, so the night before, I flossed extra hard, trying to make up for six months of neglect. Sizing up my bloody gums in the mirror, I realized it was too little, too late. Sigh.

This isn’t new turf for me. I get The Lecture every six months like clockwork; I’m convinced dental hygenists take a course titled, “Guilt: The Most Powerful Dental Tool.”

I’ve gone to great lengths to avoid The Lecture,  and thought I had recently stumbled upon the best technique ever, until it resulted in my being called a “mouth-breather.”

This time, realizing that — yet again! — my gums would turn on me faster than a mafia rat, I decided to have my story ready. My eyes traveled around my bathroom. What could I blame for excessive bleeding?

Then my eyes spotted it: baby aspirin. JACKPOT!

So the next day, there I am in the chair, tilted back, getting scraped and prodded. “Wow, your gums are really bleeding,” the hygenist commented. First off, SHOCKER — didn’t you read my chart?

Then she said, “Are you not flossing?”

Rather than answer her question, I simply said, “Could it be the baby aspirin?”

She nodded. “You take baby aspirin? It is a blood thinner. That’s probably the culprit.”

Then, apropos of nothing, I said, “I was hit by a car in February,” as if that explained why I might be taking baby aspirin. (Don’t even TRY to connect the dots. They’re so far apart I could park a car between them. I guess I was trying to show her that in the big scheme of things, being concerned about flossing is slightly ridiculous, considering there are cars out there ready to run us down.)

She looked concerned. “On the sidewalk?”

WHAT? Most people don’t even assume I was a pedestrian when it happened. Yet this woman went so far as to imagine a car hopping the curb and taking me out. Wow. No wonder she so willingly accepts my excuses for flossing — she clearly had an active imagination.

In any case, it worked. I dodged The Lecture, and when the dentist came to check my teeth, she made an excuse for me. “There’s some bleeding because she takes baby aspirin.”

I don’t even know why I care, considering my dentist always mistakes me for one of his other patients, apparently a suburban mom. A few visits ago, he whipped into my room and said, “Good to see you. How are the girls?”

Without missing a beat, I looked down at my chest and said, “Doing fine!”

I’m pretty sure he didn’t get it.

This time, making idle chitchat, he asked how my summer was going. “Too fast!” I told him.

His response? “Yeah, I can imagine — what with all the soccer games and dropping the kids off at the pool.”

Since his hands were in my mouth, I just blinked. Sir, I won’t even touch that.

And they wonder why people avoid going to the dentist?

14 Responses to “The only place I can be a mouth-breather and a mom.”

  1. Hoyt July 28, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Funniest. Blog. Ever.

  2. Barbara July 28, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    You should totally play on his mistake and bring in pictures of kids next time that aren’t your own. Gush over them, etc, then finally reveal that you have no idea who they are 🙂

    • pithypants July 28, 2011 at 10:29 am #

      I like it. “I see your batshit-crazy and raise you ten.”

  3. Lorna's Voice July 28, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Brilliant! I love how you capture a common experience: when at the dentist we are all reduced to children, no matter how old we are! You are a very funny writer, my friend!

  4. thesinglecell July 28, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    What crazy person in the metropolitan DC area has to ask a stupid question like “on the sidewalk?” when you say you got hit by a car? They let her work in people’s mouths? Well done on the bluffing, all around. I’m a terrible liar – I couldn’t have pulled it off. Brava.

  5. Kim Pugliano July 28, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    He TOTALLY knew what he was saying and was just F-ing with you. And you fell for it. He knew everything was a lie and he threw something back at you and you failed. Hahahaha!!! Smart dentist.

  6. DP July 29, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Nice. Next time, play the random association game on top of a cohesive narrative…

    Dent: “Hey, how are the kids?”
    You: “great, just dropped them off at the pool…”
    Dent: “Really? Do they like swimming”
    You: “I had Taco Bell on the way over here…”
    Dent: “[meaningless semi-charming improvisational follow-up while staring at your boobs]”
    You: “Your toilet paper is itchy…”

  7. Karen July 31, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    Wait, why the heck do you have baby aspirin? Are they for the fake children?

    • pithypants August 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

      Um… do I have kids I’ve forgotten about? Is that why my dentist keeps asking me about them? Is that why I have baby aspirin in my bathroom? So much is adding up now. Wow. My twenties were really *something.*

  8. Danielle August 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    I just busted out right here in my silent boring office of many silent and boring co-workers. Thank you for that!

    • pithypants August 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

      Good. So now they think you’re crazy! My work here is done. 🙂


  1. Finally: I escaped the flossing lecture! « pithypants - April 24, 2012

    […] for more than six months, you know that I don’t floss regulary (gasp!) and have devised a complex series of lies to help me escape The Lecture from my hygienist. So complex, in fact, that I couldn’t even […]

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