Saturday, May 03, 2014

A brushing of the teeth

And so it came to pass that I really could not put off going to the dentist any longer. In fact, I was already there, trying simultaneously to gaze at the moisture on the surface of my eyeballs and also, out of some sense of duty to posterity (or of future dentist recommending), the cleanish and white-seeming waiting room, those patients shuffling through it. To be honest, part of the reason I picked this particular establishment was the sanitary mood, but not because I was taken in, but because it reminded me vaguely of the description of a dentist's office in a novel by my (very) favorite author.

In a fit of constructive multi-tasking, NHK news through headphones. (There is no music on my phone, the extent of which fact's full sadness had not wormed its way into my mind until recently insinuated there most likely near-unconsciously by a phantom.)

Name called, headphones removed, I sulk, resign into a chair where it is directed I may recline without even removing my shoes. A paper cup is placed in a technologically advanced circle which calls forth some diluted formula of mouth wash from a faucet when (no doubt by science, not magic) it is perceived said cup as near empty. I lost count of how many times I was instructed to rinse, but there were at least two occasions in which it was not the volume but viscosity of my spit that prompted the imperative.

What most impressed me about this visit besides the real-world oral hygiene advice given via brushes and mirrors, was the application of a solution whereby various manners of disease and decay-causing organisms colonizing the teeth may be seen in electric, shaming pink. It brought to mind a news piece I once saw about the amount of bacteria growing on mobile phones, where some similar chemical caused a handset's coat of normally invisible germy slime to appear yellow. Alas, a relative of that growth was flourishing along especially the interior wall of my still somehow and thankfully cavity-free incisors et al. This was mildly (for both related and unrelated reasons I was thenwhile endeavoring to arrest emotional reactions so as not to suffer unnecessarily wet eyes or inconvenient stuffing of the nose) alarming as I had (so I thought) been putting particular care into tending these hidden regions at home.

However, soon enough we had showed the bacteria they were unwelcome, and another paper cup of mouth rinse later, I was stumbling back into the world with sore gums and a secondary appointment two weeks hence. If you were to ask me why I needed to go twice for something as simple as cleaning I can only blame myself and say that perhaps if I had wanted to get as clean as possible in one visit I should have gone at a customary six-month interval and not waited over a year.

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