silence is compliance 18

There will be no silence

Impressing People (Primarily Your Dentist) May 25, 2012

I have always wondered why people made such an effort to impress others. Why do I put on makeup when I go out in public? Why am I trying to impress people who I will most likely never see again and whose opinions of me have absolutely no impact on my life? I will never know – but I will still continue to put on makeup before I go out in public.

I promise eventually I will get to the impressing your dentist part, but first a backstory. When I was little, and I went to the dentist (EVERY 6 MONTHS!) they would always tell me where I needed to brush better,. I took this to heart, and would work so hard to make sure I got every spot in my mouth. Because of this, I developed extremely good dental hygiene habits. Once I turned eight or so they would tell me that I did such a good job brushing and flossing. I was really, really proud of this. Also, around this time my family bought a really good electric toothbrush (we had a head for each person-don’t worry!). This made my brushing a lot better. I used it from then on and never had to worry about getting yelled at by my dentist, until I grew up a little bit and got braces.

Now braces are not fun and they hurt and I generally hated them. Also, it was hard to brush well and floss while I had them. Brushing was difficult because I had gotten older so I didn’t brush my teeth in my parents’ bathroom so I couldn’t use the electric toothbrush. It was also hard to get into tight spaces. Flossing was difficult because it took forever. When you have braces, it takes no lesst than ten minutes to floss your teeth. I didn’t have the time or patience for that! Because of this, my teeth were generally not as healthy as they were before. Now we get to the impressing people part!

Every time I would go to the dentist I would always brush really, really good ahead of time and floss. This was not the most helpful for my teeth, but I thought my dental hygienists wouldn’t realize that I hadn’t been doing this for 6 months (or more honestly about two years).  Obviously, I wasn’t impressing them with my falsified extremely good brushing and flossing, but I did it anyway. Why was I trying to impress them? Wasn’t I (or more accurately my parents’ insurance) paying THEM? Why would they pay them and not be honest? That’s like going to a psychiatrist and being like “Nope, I have absolutely no mental problems! That’s why I’m here!” It makes no sense whatsoever!

Eventually I realized that, and now I simply brush my teeth like normal and floss ONCE like normal before I go to the dentist. Last time I went my hygienist said, “Do you always brush like this, or did you just do it for me?” SEE! They know that a lot of the time we brush badly and then go to them and brush well once! Coincidentally the only time I’ve ever been asked that was when I do in fact always brush like that but still! So people, brush your teeth well all of the time and floss often! But if you’re not going to do that, at least be honest with your dentist. They are being paid to help you; you don’t have to impress them.

All of this had already occurred to me, when one day in le classe de Français (French Class… I think…) we were discussing our daily routines (get up, get dressed, take a shower, etc.) when my french teacher asked about flossing. I saw that I was the only person of my class of over 20 students that flossed on a regular basis. Then she asked, “how about right before you go to the dentist?” and nearly every hand went up. Clearly, this is a common problem that needs fixing! Again, I say, YOU DON’T NEED TO IMPRESS YOUR DENTIST, AND YOU’RE NOT IMPRESSING THEM!