Long-time readers will know that I have, let’s call them, “issues” with teeth.
While some people have anxiety dreams about being naked and missing exams, I wake up in a cold sweat after dreaming all my teeth have fallen out.
This, combined with a less than ideal dental experience in my early 20s (I had a dentist who didn’t believe in anaesthetic), means I can be a bit skittish regarding the whole topic of teeth.
I tend to take pretty good care of my teeth so that I can spend as little time at the dentist as necessary – but life happens and at my advanced age (sniff) you never know.
So when my front teeth started feeling a bit weird a few days ago, I was a little bit concerned.
Maybe quite concerned.
Okay, okay, I went into a TOTAL blind panic which involved wobbling my teeth at every given opportunity in front of friends and saying, “It’s moving isn’t it? Is it moving?” while they said things like, “No Sally. Your jaw is moving.”
I called my regular dentist but he’s on holiday so the receptionist offered to book me in for an emergency appointment at a nearby surgery to see the covering dentist. Excellent.
Flea was off school, so I got her wrapped up extra warm, in her new hoodie and thermal hat, and we had a big hug (I could sense *she* needed a bit of extra reassurance) before we set off for the dentist’s office.
Once at the dentist, I explained that I’m a little bit nervous of teeth-related activities, but I was having some heightened sensitivity, and I was a bit worried it might be an abscess or a cavity in the early stages.
“Does it hurt when you eat?”
“Does it hurt when you brush, or floss?”
“How about if you touch it?”
“No, but it just feels… weird.”
60 seconds later, the dentist pronounced my teeth clear of any sign of decay, infection or abscess. He suggested I buy some toothpaste for sensitive teeth. He asked if I might be a bit of a worrier.
I got up out of the chair and started gathering my things. The dentist peeled off his gloves, and stood up to say goodbye. I’d been in the surgery for about 90 seconds, all told.
“Lovely to meet you, Mrs Whittle. Is it Mrs?” he asked, looking me up and down. He is SO LOOKING AT MY BOOBS, screamed a voice in my head.
“No, it’s Miss,” I replied, primly, thinking WOW, how inappropriate is that??
I would have said something, but I was too busy trying not to look at anything that looked like it might be involved in dental extractions. And besides, Flea was with me; I didn’t want to make a scene.
“Ah, right then,” the dentist said, as though that cleared everything up. “Goodbye then, Miss Whittle.”
I left the surgery and took Flea to the pizza restaurant round the corner for a celebratory plate of spaghetti. It was only when I nipped to the restaurant bathroom that I looked down and saw what had caught the dentist’s eye.
There, attached to my sweater, right over my right breast was a lovely sticker proclaiming, “FEEL ME!”
And that is why I’ll be spending this evening
a) Thanking God it wasn’t my regular dentist, because obviously, I can NEVER go back to that surgery again and
b) mentally composing a letter to the dentist explaining that the sticker must have got stuck on my sweater from Flea’s new hat, which has a lovely furry lining, and the sticker really wasn’t part of my strategy to catch a new husband.