Tilted back in the chair at the dentist’s office, I giggled. E, the tolerant and, when necessary, stern hygienist, asked what was so funny. I explained that it just seems silly that I put myself in the car and drive myself to the dentist. When my mom was taking me to Dr. R’s office on Palm Canyon Drive, I never imagined that I’d willingly be going to a dental appointment, but I go every four months.
When I was little, my mom had us write thank you notes to the dentist after our visits. Dear Dr. R, Thank you for taking care of my teeth. I really liked the bubblegum flavored fluoride. I promise to brush twice a day. Stuff like that.
After this visit, I wanted to write a note of apology.
Dear E., I know that you know that I have been bad about flossing. (After all, you did find a hunk of meat jammed between my molars.) And, I’m sorry I gagged as you raced to take my x-rays; I lifted up my legs and tried to breathe through my nose, but I just wanted to get that pinching piece of plastic out of my jaw. Even more, I’m sorry you had to use the sonic water shooter on my teeth because I have been enjoying too much espresso this busy semester. Thank you for taking care of my teeth. I wish you had bubblegum flavor fluoride.