Will Going to the Dentist Ever Be Pain-Free?

Today was my semi-annual teeth cleaning visit to the dentist, or I guess more specifically, the dental hygienist.

There had been a time, maybe 20 years ago, when I hadn’t been to the dentist in a few years. I remember how painful the cleaning was, and I vowed to get an electric toothbrush, brush my teeth twice a day, and floss and rinse every day.

I did all that, and I scheduled my next visit for six months later. Unfortunately, it was just as painful (maybe not as long though…). So I thought well maybe once I am on a regular teeth-cleaning schedule, the pain will diminish over time, and the visit will be a breeze.

Well that has not happened. I’ve been going for teeth cleanings every six months for over a decade, and each visit is still painful. The scraping and digging are bad enough. But then who knew a tiny jetstream of water could hurt so much. And then when it’s just about over, the hygienist flosses my teeth, and it’s once last chance to inflict some pain.

Maybe my teeth and gums are super sensitive (I’m sure mine are no worse than anyone else’s).

Or maybe the hygienist doesn’t know what she is doing (doubtful, the couple that I have had have been quite professional and friendly and always stop to make sure I am OK – I can’t imagine what kind of expressions my face must be making during such a visit).

Or maybe I just have a low tolerance for pain, which is probably what it comes down to.

And after today’s visit, I got the wonderful news that I should probably start scheduling my teeth cleanings for three times a year.

So maybe the solution is just taking a long Scottish shower right before my dental visits. The only problem with that is that all the other hygienists will probably want to come in and watch how a real man acts when he gets his teeth cleaned…

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