By looking at this title, you might be asking "Why would she write about going to the dentist?" It's weird, I know, but hey teeth are weird (yet IMPORTANT).
Consider this part of a new series on my blog called "On My Mind" where I'll share random musings and stories about my daily life.
I have a love/hate relationship with the dentist. My siblings and I have been going to the same pediatric dentistry since birth (not literally but you get the picture), a long time! I remember crying during those early dentist visits and being traumatized by X-rays because of my gag reflex. I used to severely dread it. Throughout my early teenager years, I often left appointments feeling bad about my teeth. The staff was great but their tips for brushing and flossing made my feel like I was being judged or disappointing them. I was embarrassed that my gums would often bleed during the cleaning process. The fluoride trays were the worst part, holding it in my mouth for however long gave me a headache and left goey residue. When I had braces, it was an even more unpleasant experience. Don't even get me started on how painful going to the orthodontist was, that's another story.
This morning, we finally went to the dentist after missing our normal 6-month appointment in March given the circumstances. It felt strange waiting in our car instead of the waiting room and walking in with a mask on like the dental assistants. Hidden smiles, ironic yet necessary. Wearing fun sunglasses with the bright light and mirror hanging above. The sound of Disney music playing through the speakers and soft sssssss of the water sprayer. The smell of sterilized equipment and scented gloves. The scraping of the tools against my teeth and the one that leaves my lips dry. A sense of normalcy amidst the chaos. No cavities again! A perfect record I always want to uphold. Leaving with clean teeth and a bag of goodies, waving goodbye with hopes that next time will be different.
Teeth still gross me out and my future husband will probably be on teeth-pulling duty. But, I've come to learn that they are worth taking care of. I've been blessed to have amazing dentists who made the experience less scary as kid (with prizes and magic tricks) and who I continue to admire. Meeting people in college who want to work in the dental field has helped me form a better appreciation for the job.
This is an odd post for Mother's Day but it kind of fits because without our selfless mom taking us to the dentist, our teeth would probably be a disaster. Although I don't think I will ever be excited to go to the dentist, I will always be grateful to my mom for making our oral health a priority.
Let this be your friendly reminder to visit your dentist and get those teeth cleaned! Self-care is not just face masks and bubble baths, don't forgot about your pearly whites!
After skipping last week because of final essays and exams, I'm back and ready to create more posts! Sitting in that dental chair this morning, looking at the fun ocean-themed wallpaper, inspiration struck! Can you relate to any of my random thoughts about the dentist?
Happy belated Mother's Day to all of the moms, aunts, grandmas, great-grandmas, including those no longer with us. For the ways you've shaped us, the laughter you've brought, lessons you've taught, and everything in between. <3