Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Open Letter To My Dental Hygenist

Dear Ma'am,

I am sure you're a lovely person. Really, I am. I can tell this by the picture of you and your happy husband that you have sitting right in my line of sight as I'm leaning back in the chair. Your fun-loving dentist scrubs scream "I want to get to know this person better."

But I'm just here to get my teeth cleaned. I want to get in and out as fast as I can. God knows what the wee ones are doing to the poor neighbor who agreed to watch them for me while I got my teeth cleaned.

If you want to talk to me, that's fine. I am ok hearing about how you went to Vegas when you were in 8th grade with your parents and stayed at Circus Circus. And how you and your friends went to Potawatamie and played bingo and won $1,000 that you split amongst the four of you on the very last game of the night.

But when you're telling the stories, please don't stop cleaning. Don't back up your stool and look at me and expect me to respond when I have a mouth full of dental implements. Every time I try to talk, I drool a little, and drool creeps me out. Yes, even my own drool.

And when I mention that it took me a month and a half to get the "first available" appointment when I called, I appreciate that you sympathized with me. You told me about how busy it is in the summer months. But if that's the case, then why were three of you hanging out talking when I walked in. And why was I the only patient there the entire time?

When you're looking at my previous X-rays, don't make "bad" noises. It sort of freaks me out. I did feel a little better after you actually looked in my mouth and understood how my teeth work (I was born with no wisdom teeth and was missing 1 1/2 adult teeth -- a blessing and a curse, really) and then expressed your relief. My mouth isn't that freaky. Really, you have to see a lot weirder things on an almost daily basis. You work in a dentist's office for goodness sake!

I do have to thank you for the new flossy devices though. They are way cool. I love how they're made of foam at one end that's nice and soft and really traps things. Giving me a whole package was really nice of you. I guess that's what happens when I listen to all your stories.

I really don't want to offend you in any way. Your overtures of friendship were sweet and all. But I've got too many friends as it is. Did I mention the ten birthday parties I have to go to between July 27 and August 24? I'm working on removing some of the fringe friends right now. It's nothing personal, but I just want clean teeth every six months.

Thanks for understanding, and I'll see you in January. I promise to have flossed more by then. Really!



Kori August 21, 2008 at 6:27 PM  

Oh I so know what you mean. And it's bad enough that the dentist gives me the heebie geebies and I don't want to talk just get it donw and let me go.

Angela August 21, 2008 at 6:59 PM  

Oh, I hear you! We are friends with our dentist and have been going to the group for years, so we are familiar with most of the staff. But yeah, I totally don't get when they ask questions. I mean, seriously. Do they really expect me to answer with a mouthful of whatever??

Michelle August 21, 2008 at 9:44 PM  

Kori - Thank goodness my dentist doesn't give me the heebie jeebies, but I so want to just have it over and go home.

Angela - I did forget to mention that part, didn't I? I can't answer anything more than an "uh-huh" or the equivalent without something spilling over and/or breaking something inside or outside my mouth.

Cookie August 22, 2008 at 12:27 AM  

Sorry, I can't share my dentist with anyone. He is just too cute and so much fun to sit back and watch!

Sydney August 22, 2008 at 8:49 AM  

Are you sure your dentist's office isn't up here in Milwaukee? Because I swear that same hygienist works up here!

BTW... I went to Potowatomi for breakfast yesterday for work. Didn't gamble, but the food ROCKED! :-)

Anonymous August 22, 2008 at 11:13 AM  

Ha! I have been there! Mine does the same thing every 6 months. She blathers on and on while I'm left grunting responses. Why?!?

Mabunny August 22, 2008 at 11:40 AM  

Hmm. I don't like dentists. I go to them, but don't like them. I have flashbacks from way to many dental appts when I was a teenager...

Jeff August 22, 2008 at 4:31 PM  

I think I could pretty much photocopy this letter and hand it to my hygienist. Except for the Vegas story of course. I even have strange teeth problems too (I was born with an underbite so my teeth don't line up at all). Great letter!

Michelle August 22, 2008 at 5:23 PM  

Cookie - Well if you don't share your dentist and set a good example, how on earth do you expect your boys to ever learn how to share?

Sydney - I'm sure, although my hygenist does *live* in Wisconsin and commutes.... Maybe she has a part time gig up by you? I drove by Potowatomi yesterday and waved at it. Does that count? I've actually never been in. Then again, I lived in MN for how long and have never been to Mystic Lake.

Jaci - I think it's something they teach you in hygenist school. When you're having a bad day and want a laugh, here's how you torture your patients. And apparently hygenists have a lot of bad days....

MaBunny - Bummer on the dental appointments as a teenager. I suppose I'm lucky. Except for braces for two years and fixing my aforementioned tooth (which happened at the same time), I've never gone to the dentist -- KNOCK ON WOOD -- other than the usual every six months appointment. Here's hoping it stays that way!

Jeff - Feel free. Actually, I'd love to hand a copy of this over to her and just see the reaction. Congrats on the strange teeth problems. What do they do to correct that one? Fortunately the peg and missing teeth were the only issues I had. Not a sentence I was ever expecting to utter, surprisingly.

Irene August 23, 2008 at 3:11 PM  

Isn't that the TRUTH!!!???

I don't get why we have to wait MONTHS for an appointment. But when we get to the office, it seems they have all the time in the world.

Momma Chae November 21, 2008 at 2:34 PM  

Removing your "fringe friends" - hilarious!! :)
And I tottaly underdstand - I never know what they expect me to do when they talk to me when I literally can't respond. Roll my eyes? Gesture? Mumble something?

Zen Ventures November 21, 2008 at 3:47 PM  

This reminded me of when my dental hygienist was burrowing through the crooks and crannies of my teeth, I swear she looked really obsessed with all my cavities! Then she speaks me to say a word w/ my mouth open wide no less! crazzzzyyyy!

Nanny Goats In Panties November 21, 2008 at 9:31 PM  

This letter is fantastic!

Right there with you. The dentist and the gynecologist! Just get in and get out! Wait, that sounds weird.

Speaking of dentists and gynecologists, and I realize I'm plugging myself in the process, sorry about that, I blogged this week about someone who had twittered me from the dentist's chair. The gyno part? Well, you'll have to read it to find out!

Adelaine November 22, 2008 at 7:50 AM  

hahahahaha! I'm a dental hygienist :) It sounds like your hygienist doesn't pick up on the subtle clues that people give about just wanting to be cleaned and get out. It took me a few years to figure that out and now I don't have to use that at all because I only work with kids! They will flat out ask you if you are done yet.... Hygiene work is very mundane after you have been at it a while so I see where she is coming from though...

I remember feeling that way as a teenager but now my hygienist is a great friend and it's sad that we only have an hour to clean my teeth because I want to talk some more!

Fun post!!!

Michelle November 22, 2008 at 11:38 PM  

Irene - Completely the truth. Drives me nuts when I see that dichotomy.

Mamma Chae - Welcome! And hey, I think you have an idea here. They should have a manual of what they expect. Wouldn't that make it so much easier?

Zen Ventures - Welcome! That sounds like SUCH a lovely experience. Really.

Nanny Goats In Panties - Welcome! Get in and get out. Ha! That cracks me up. I love the phraseology.

Adelaine - Welcome! And I'm glad you're not offended and sort of get it. She IS a new hygenist, just out of school last year, so maybe that's it. Fun (I think?) to work with kids. I know my wee ones actually like their dentist. So far. As long as they have my teeth, they'll continue to like the dentist!

  © Blogger template 'Solitude' by 2008

Back to TOP