I didn’t count, till I was sitting on the dentist chair during my latest visit, taking in the whole experience like it was my first.
I had my first dental visit today, after 8 loooooooooong years.
Everything was new to me again. The last time I visited the dentist, it was to extract two of my wisdom teeth in 2001 ( and outta the window went my wisdom too..th). I could only remember the male dentist had beautiful eyes, and I was mesmerised.
The text book says we should get our teeth and gums checked and cleaned every 6 months. But being the smart aleck as I am, I stopped believing in dentistry when I turned 30. “why, in the olden days, people dun go to dentists, and they did fine.” My mom too, commented that each time we clean our teeth, our mouths get hurt badly. Each time my colleague started her mantra of “we should visit the dentist every 6 months”, I just sat and listened and rolled my eyes in my mind. “pooh!”
But then lately I stop believing in olden days. Mankind has progressed so let’s stop keep harping on olden days. If they are so smart, people would have longer life spans then. yadda yadda yadda went my internal argument system again. Nevermind what my arguments were really, what did it matter? I was sitting on the dentist chair at 11am today.
And…a thousand thoughts went through my mind. (Same as some people. This happens when people of our kind get fixed onto some place with nothing to do, waiting for things to be done to us. That’s when our thoughts and imagination go on an overdrive.)
I love it.
The feeling of that gadget scaling at my gums and teeh, clearing off the tartars and plaque, rinsing off and see mega cosmic size plaques going down the drain, the warmth of the dentist’s hands, hmmm like spa. There was nothing squirmy, except for some sensitive parts in my gums that went ewww. for a little while. The dentist was gentle and said sorry whenever I winced.
That’s the dentist, gentle and apologetic. He was an total opposite to the dental nurse that cleaned my teeth in my primary school days. Back in the 80s, when Singapore was a developing country, the government began to put emphasis on oral health, and made mandatory for every primary school to have a dental clinic. Outside the tuckshop, there were rows of long sinks where we brushed our teeth after each recess. The dental clinic would send a card to the class every now and then to call upon us to go for our dental cleaning. I remembered all of us dreaded whenever someone walked into the classroom with a yellow A4 size dental card.
My worst experience had to be the year when I was Primary 2. I was a prefect and had a badge that said “PREFECT” above the school badge. The nurse, a very pretty and sweet lady, was laden with sacarsm when she cleaned my teeth. In those days, they used a hook to pull out the plaque. She’d scratch and pull ( OWWWWW…CHHHIE) and put all the dirt on a cotton gauze. She scolded me for not cleaning my teeth well and said she’d pin that piece of cotton gauze above my prefect badge and let me walk around the school showing everyone my dirt. How humiliating was that?
That was probably why we all feared the dental visits. And probably because we were still a developing country then. In those days, people didn’t care so much about children psychology and treated us fiercely mostly. Fast forward today, the general advice is to start the children young, get them accustomed to dental visits and not to fear it.
Now that they do not use that darn horrific looking, painful scratcher anymore, probably with advancement in technology, it really did not hurt so much anymore. That’s my conclusion from today’s visit. Before I went, I wondered if the dentist would scold me when I tell him I hadn’t been to a dentist in 7-8 years. When I really did so, he only laughed and asked me why. ( Tell you I even prepared to snap back, ” BECAUSE I LIKE” if he gets nasty). He was nowhere near nasty. Only advised me the right thing to do to protect my teeth. Probably because I’m…erm…very old now and not eligible for scolding anymore.kekeke.
Oral health, is an reflection of our general health. The dentist did warn me of my poor gums, but I think they are doing ok. I brush my teeth only once per day before bedtime, very carefully. I dun use toothpaste. We should brush after every meal ( where got time) and floss. Before bedtime most important. Cause you don’t want to sleep in those acids and let them do their work on your oral cavity.
Next in line will be my Dear and Baobao..good luck guys, there’s nothing to fear.