I’ve always had bad dental hygiene. Growing up, brushing wasn’t my thing. But frosted flakes were. I had lots of cavities. Whenever my sister and I’d go in for check ups, she’d come out smiling, talking about the flavor of fluoride she chose for her teeth cleaning. I’d come out with a half-dead face. The hygienist would tell my mom I needed to brush more.
The smell of a dentist’s office makes me cringe. Makes me remember the sound of the drill. The pain. The drool streaming down the side of my Novocain-ed cheek. I remember re-learning the same lesson, again and again. The masked dentist would tell me to open wide, and explain that the more I squirmed the more it would hurt.Eventually I learned to sit still. Let the drill do its work. Waited for the discomfort to end. Focused on the happy thought that those things didn’t last long. And if I played my cards right, my mom might take me home instead of back to school, where I could watch cartoons for the afternoon.