My dentist told me to stop flossing

I have had a toothache for about a week now. I really didn’t want to go to the dentist for several reasons.

1) I hate the dentist.

2) I am in the UK so I don’t TRUST the dentist.

3) It is one of my front teeth and I was really worried I was going to come out with some pirate like gold cap.

4) I no longer have American health insurance so if they screw something up I can’t get it fixed back home.

Finally I went today. First of all, they scheduled five (FIVE!) appointments for 10:30 a.m. and there was only one dentist seeing people. Already I am frustrated. Then 20 minutes later a woman comes in who says she had an appointment at 10:30 but she is in a hurry so could they take her now? And they do. If you are 20 minutes late to an appointment you shouldn’t be seen first, you should be seen last. After the people who have appointments after you but actually bothered to show up on time. Ridiculous.

Then I finally see the dentist and it is in this little rinkydink back room. He looks at my teeth and says they look great, he can’t understand why I have a toothache. And then it comes,

“Are you Canadian?”

Ugh, I hate having to deal with this when I am dealing with professional people. I just want to be a patient, I don’t want to be the American patient. Anyway, I said “No, I am from California.” And then he starts babbling on about Barack Obama, including how he thinks Barack Obama is a funny name. He asked me if I had voted. I told him I didn’t get to but I would have voted for Obama. He tells me that he is a McCain man through and through and that Obama will be an ineffectual one term president. Aside from the fact that I find it insulting that he has already decided Obama will be rubbish, what I am really thinking is “Aren’t you supposed to be looking at my damn teeth????” I don’t go to the dentist for political opinions. I go to the doctor for that, obvi. Furthermore, the entire time he is talking to me and expecting responses from me he has his hands in my mouth.

Then he takes me into the other room to x-ray, just to be sure I don’t have a cavity. This actually makes me feel reassured. He takes the x-ray and it pops up on the computer and I can see, no holes in my teeth. Thank God. I was not about to let this man start drilling on me.

He says he needs to explain to me why it is hurting. For one, I am brushing too vigorously. I need to brush more gently and in small circles. This would have been fine, I understood, but then he proceeded to act it out with his finger on my teeth! With the same glove he used to click the mouse on the computer.

Then he says “Do you floss? Americans love to floss.” I don’t floss everyday, but I do floss pretty regularly. Apparently this is very very bad. Flossing ruins your gums. According to him at least. (WARNING: Explitive coming). This is bullshit. My American dentist gets on my back for not flossing enough. WTF?

Now I really don’t trust this guy.

Then he says he is going to put something on the tooth to help the sensitivity. Now, I have never actually had the pleasure of tasting cat pee, but if I had to guess, I would say it tastes like the stuff he put on my teeth. He does that and then he uses this light thing on them, whatever. But then, he goes on to tell me I can’t eat for two hours. TWO HOURS! I hadn’t even had breakfast! So here it is 1:30 p.m. and I am not allowed to eat for another 20 minutes.

And my mouth tastes like cat pee.

He also asked me to come back to have my teeth cleaned. No thank you. I will be doing that in America, insurance or no insurance.

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