Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'd rather go to the gynecologist than go to the dentist!

I hate going to the dentist. I don't actually hate dentists, themselves. Most of them are probably lovely people. (Though you have to wonder about the mindset of someone who chooses such a pain-producing career, don't you? Remember Steve Martin's character in 'Little Shop of Horrors'?) But, if somebody said, "Beth, would you rather go to the gynecologist or the dentist?", I would skip all the way to the girlie doctor and happily put my feet up in the stirrups, as long as it meant I wouldn't have to sit in that dentist chair, glancing warily at the sharp, shining instruments they leave right there in front of you, as if to say "Heh, heh, heh....Look what's comin'!", and open up my mouth.

There's probably some long-buried psychological childhood trauma causing my feelings of anxiety and antagonism toward all things dental. I don't really care. I just know that I hate going. I never feel more helpless than when I'm tipped back in that chair with somebody poking around in my mouth with sharp objects. In spite of my best efforts to do all that relaxation stuff I do with my counseling students (visualization, breathing, etc.), I end up with my hands clenched in my lap until my knuckles turn white, and my feet flexed so hard that my arches hurt for the next 3 hours. I can't help it. And, here's the kicker: I've never even had a cavity. With the exception of a little crookedness and some staining from all the coffee and red wine I consume, my teeth are pretty much perfect. The only thing I've ever had done was wisdom teeth removal. And, for that, I was highly anesthetized AND had a glass of wine beforehand. So, I really, really have no reason to be afraid. And, yet, I am...Every. Single. Time.

In spite of my fear and loathing, I will continue to make my yearly visit. I will continue to hide my anxiety from my kids and give them cheerful smiles when they have to go to the dentist. Because it's the right thing to do. But I'm not gonna like it. Sigh.



  1. You're better than me. I haven't been to the dentist in far too long. I have been meaning to make an appointment and just haven't. And now it's dragged on so long, I'm worried to hear just how bad it might be! Such a catch-22. I'm impressed that you've never had a cavity. That's incredible!

  2. Tesa, the reason I don't have any cavities is because I force myself to go to that torture chamber every year. You gotta do it, girl! Cheers!

  3. I am so scared! all the sounds and the taste of the metallic instruments *shudders*

  4. Amethyst Moon -- JUST DO IT! Have a glass of wine, first, then brush your teeth and go. If I can do it, you can do it, girl.

  5. See, I think going to the gymecologist is the worst thing in the world.

    I mean who would actually CHOOSE to look there, every day, all day long?

    I suppose we should be grateful, though, that there are actually people who are willing to poke around our orifices and keep them healthy!