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A beautiful morning

3 mins read

By Lee Scott

I recently awoke to a beautiful summer morning. The sky was blue, the temperature outside was in the 70s, with low humidity. I stepped out onto the porch, breathed in the morning air, and then it dawned on me, “Oh no! I have an 8 a.m. dentist appointment.” Talk about killing a great mood.

I bring this routine on myself by scheduling a cleaning every six months. It was time. As I was driving over the bridge to the dentist’s office, I started doing my yoga breathing: inhale deeply, exhale completely. Anything to help eliminate the angst I was feeling. This dread was not due to my present dentist, per se, but from those early childhood dentist appointments. We did not have fluoride in the water or the toothpaste when I was a child, and any trip to the dentist usually meant cavities.

The sound of that drill still resides in my memory. When I became an adult, I found a dentist who advertised, “We cater to cowards.” Now that is my kind of dentist. He would give nitrous oxide to breathe in, presumably to help relax his patients. He also provided headphones to listen to music. He had a variety of cassette tapes on hand. This helped to drown out the sound of that drill. I remember one particularly good visit when I looked out the window from the dental chair as I was inhaling the nitrous oxide and, I swear, I saw Bambi in the garden outside the office window. Afterwards when my head cleared, I realized it was the parking lot I had been viewing. No Bambi. There may have been a little too much nitrous oxide given that day.

For my latest visit, there was no nitrous oxide, but my hygienist, Lynne, did a great job cleaning my teeth and then declared I was doing a great job flossing. I think it was the first time anyone has ever said that to me. Then she handed me a warm facecloth to wipe down my splattered face. I felt like a first-class airline passenger. It was wonderful. 

My childhood drilling dentist never gave out warm cloths, or trinkets, or even stickers. But Lynne gave me a new toothbrush, toothpaste and a package of floss.

Of course, I had to look at my teeth in the rear-view mirror before I started the car to see how clean they looked. (We all do it.) As I drove home I started to give myself an, “Atta Girl!” for having my teeth cleaned. When I finally got home I walked into the kitchen and said to my spouse, “Look, Mom, no cavities!” It was a beautiful day after all.

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