I hate the dentist. No, I loathe the dentist. Basically I both hate and loathe the dentist (okay, not my actual dentist because she is really quite nice, but the act of going to the dentist).
There are many things I would rather be doing them sitting in the dentist chair and having someone poke around. Full on three year old tantrum in the park? Sounds great! Projectile vomiting in my open hands? Bring it on! Twelve hours of labour following fifty-two hours of pre-labour? Yes please! More in fact, if it will get me out of a visit to the dentist.
Somehow in the last six years I have developed a phobia of the dentist. I don't like having to lie back in that stupid chair and stare at the ceiling. I don't like the sound of my teeth being cleaned. I don't like the water and the air swirling and mixing in my mouth. I don't like anyone touching or checking or looking at my teeth!
I find this phobia quite surprising given that I spent years having such things done on a monthly basis. I did, after all, had braces for six years. All of junior high and high school. I also had four teeth pulled, in addition to my four wisdom teeth, to make room for the shifting that slowly and painfully took place thanks to my orthodontist. If I was going to develop a teeth related phobia that really should have been the time. Back when all I could eat for two days were milkshakes and mushy bananas.
Instead, I developed this intense dislike of dentists while sitting in the chair of my perfectly lovely dentist and the pediatric dental hygienist that they always let me see. Because the office quickly picked up on the fact that I tense every muscle through the entire cleaning procedure and go into a trance-like state in order to make it through a cleaning. After a filling I practically need to have a full body message in order to relax.
My feelings about the dentist seem to intensify with each passing year, which has meant that I haven't been good at keeping up with my scheduled checkups. I mean to, kind of. But there was that time we were sick so I had to cancel, and then other stuff happened and then, really, no time is ever good so here we are and it has been about a year and a half since I last saw the dentist.
I did see her today. Thankfully I saw her from across a small room while I sat on a folding chair with the boy on my lap and the girl, my almost four year old girl, sat in the dentist chair for her first check up. The girl did spectacularly well. She let the dentist count her teeth. She let the dentist brush her teeth. She let the dentist floss her teeth. The dentist told me that the girl's mouth is crowded and that she will likely need braces, but then I already guessed that was coming. (Did I mention I had braces for six long years?) The girl declined to have the chair recline so the dentist had to stoop over a bit to be able to look in her mouth, but still. The girl was much more relaxed then I ever am for a dentist appointment. It gave me great hope that the phobia is not in any way genetic.
I even made a follow up appointment for the girl. And because I was there and I couldn't ignore the receptionist like I usually ignore her phone calls, I made an appointment for myself. That I will probably even keep.