I had my dental hygiene check up this morning. With Marge*. She was the “first available” hygienist since I had to cancel my previous appointment. It’s now totally obvious to me why she was “first available” and why she won’t ever be “first available” for me again!
Marge is no less than 80. And smells like smoke. Perhaps she’s actually 60 and just LOOKS 80 because she smokes?!? Either way, this is her second career and she comes in once a month to work with Dr. Chew. (How funny is that? My dentist’s name is ACTUALLY Dr. Chew. I choose my dentists the way I choose my racehorses. All based on name. I find this to be a sound practice.)
And Marge spent the first 5 minutes of the appointment SNEEZING INTO MY MOUTH! Gaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
She claimed she was allergic to the mask (thank God she had a mask on. But STILL!) so she went to change masks. Then proceeded to breathe heavily through the new mask as if she were in a P90X yoga class. I mean, she was LOUD. In fact I had to glance up at her a few times to make sure she hadn’t fallen asleep and was SNORING instead.
Nope. Wide awake and looking down at me. Filling my entire field of vision with her ill-fitting goggles which she had to keep pushing up on her nose. (Uh – Marge, I wasn’t ok with you sneezing into my mouth and now I’m ALSO not ok with you touching your nose and putting your hands back into my mouth. Please get better goggles. And also? I’m not sure what you’re so worried will hop out of MY mouth and get you in the eye, but you should be LESS worried than I am.)
Then we did this gum-counting-thing where she checks every tooth with her dagger device and shouts out numbers. (Let’s see, the super annuated perineum tooth is a 2-2-3. No. It’s a 2-2-4! Oooh. 4!! Apparently 4 is bad and means my death-from-gum-disease is imminent. Oops. No. Got that wrong. That tooth has always been a 4. Just loose gums on that particular chopper I guess. Phew! Good thing we cleared that up.) And she also checks for bleeding gums during this process. (No SH** my gums are bleeding, Marge. You’ve been POKING THEM WITH A DAGGER!!)
But now SHE’S DEMONSTRATING HER SMOKER’S COUGH…DIRECTLY INTO MY MOUTH!!!!! GAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
And I can’t flinch my head away because she snuck up from behind and literally has my head in that head-lock move they had to put Dr. Hannibal Lechter in BEFORE they put that face mask on him. Is this even a REAL hygienist move learned at a REAL school and sanctioned by the Dental Hygienists’ Union?? Or has Marge just “been around teeth” so long that they let her work on them any-old-way for minimum pay once a month?!
But I have to say the head-lock move was SLIGHTLY better than the “gold watch pressed (PRESSSSSSSED) into the forehead” move the dentist from my youth used to use. (Hi Sissies! Remember we were just talking about this?)
And the gold watch move was a MILLION times better than the “resting the right forearm across my chest” move Marge employed shortly after the headlock. I couldn’t concentrate on all her coughing because I was worried I was being molested; And was too busy with all my subsequent self-talk about lines-not-to-be-crossed. As in, “ok, if her arm goes ANY further, she’ll get nipple and then I’ll KNOW I’m being molested and then I’ll have to say something. But only then. Not now. Her arm is still in a (perhaps reasonable and authorized) chest slash top-of-breast area. No nipple yet. Still no.” At which point she claimed someone has taken her polisher and that she would be “right back.” She was actually gone 5 minutes and smelled even MORE like smoke when she got back.
“Ok. Did she just take a SMOKE break?!? While pretending she was looking for a machine part? I don’t think this can be right. Are they allowed to take SMOKE BREAKS?!? Right NOW??? If she takes another one, I’ll have to say something. Not now. Not right now. Still no.”
But I do have something positive to share about the whole experience. Marge was the FIRST hygenist who actually wiped OFF of my nose and face all the crap she splattered ONTO my nose and face. Usually they just let me walk out with toothpaste flecks and flossing detritus all over me. Not cool.
What’s also not cool? While Marge got my nose (she was oddly thorough with my nose. So thorough in fact, that I thought we might have entered a “bonus facial” portion of the visit), she totally missed the bloody gum-chunk sitting right on my neck. GAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!
(NOTE TO SELF: Don’t wear cowl necks to the dentist. And don’t see Marge at the dentist. And pick a different dentist. The way you pick dentists is dumb. Totally, totally dumb. In fact, screw the teeth. Go get a facial instead.)
*Marge’s name was changed to protect the innocent. Her real name is Lucy.