A few months ago I was eating Doritos and to my horror, I broke a tooth. Molar – upper left hand side. I was shocked. And awed. And never bothered having it fixed, ’cause honestly, it didn’t hurt and I was a little embarassed at my toothlessness.
Fast forward. About three weeks ago I decided enough was enough and called to make an appointment with my dentist. Almost as soon as I hung up the phone, my mouth started hurting. I’ve been crunching advil/tylenol/aspirin on and off for the last few weeks.
Dentist: Nerd Girl, this tooth is in bad shape. We’re going to have to pull it.
Nerd Girl: Yeah, I figured as much. Quite a bit of tooth came out when I broke it.
Dentist: How long ago did you break it? Months you say? I can’t believe you’ve been walking around with a broken tooth, a low grade fever and an infection for months. Haven’t you been feeling just awful?
Nerd Girl: Nope, not really. Just a little pain for the last few weeks.
Dentist: You must have the pain tolerance of an elephant. The good news is you’ve got a pretty large sized head and kind of small teeth. This is actually a wisdom tooth that most people don’t have at your age anyhow. We’ll just pull it. No need for a replacement tooth or anything.
Nerd Girl: (Did this joker just call me a big headed, small toothed elephant???) Um, okay.
Nerd Girl: Hello, Smoochy? Yeah, they had to pull the tooth. I’m a little nervous, I’ve got a scrip for tylenol with codeine. I don’t do drugs. What if I pass out and Lovegirl needs me?
Smoochy: They pulled your tooth? Ewww. I don’t want to kiss no toothless girl! How much was it?
Nerd Girl: $200.
Smoochy: I meant after insurance.
Nerd Girl: So did I.
Smoochy: Daaaaaamn! They would’ve pulled it at the clinic in Canton for $10.
Nerd Girl: (What the hell? I’ve got to go delete that loving tribute to marriage I just posted last week….) Uh yeah, I’m not going to no $10 dental clinic in Canton as long as I’ve got insurance, $200, and free will.
Smoochy: Well, make sure you put the girl to bed before you start pill-poppin.
Nerd Girl: Sigh. Good bye.
Lovegirl: Mama, what’s wrong with you? Why are you talking like that?
Nerd Girl: I went to the dentist, he pulled my tooth, and my mouth is packed with gauze. I’m talking through clenched teeth.
Lovegirl: Ewwww. I don’t ever want to go to the dentist. Ewwww. I need my teeth.
Nerd Girl: What? Why are you talking like that? What’s wrong with you?
Lovegirl: I’m talking through clenched teeth like you Mama. But I have all my teeth. And you don’t.
Ladies and gentlemen, lesson learned. Nerd Girl is getting serious about her dental care. I brush, but that’s about it. I’ve never “enjoyed” flossing so I do it rather infrequently and haphazardly. Please believe that after having what was left of my tooth yanked out of my mouth, getting little or no sympathy from my peeps, and being told to eat soup, oatmeal, and potatoes for the next 4 or 5 days, I’m stepping up the dental care game.
Now I’ve got to go. I’ve got an ice pack, drugs, a milkshake and a play-off game waiting for me. I leave you with this childhood classic: