The tooth of the matter is...I have great teeth. Not perfect, but close. Especially considering I sucked my thumb for twelve years. Yes, I said twelve years. My teeth are God's compensation for my being born into a family of heavy breasted women-women who carry their weight in their abdomen.
I didn't know until later, but on our first date, Doug thought I had false teeth. Finally, one day a while later, he gathered the courage to ask me..."what happened to your teeth?" I had no idea what he was talking about. "My teeth?" Doug squirmed and said "well, I don't know why you have dentures. Did you loose your teeth in an accident or something?" I died laughing. Ever so often I see a picture of myself where I could see why someone might think my teeth were dentures.
My mother grew up during the depression and by her own description, "has a filling in almost every tooth in her head." She was insane about making us brush our teeth. Everyone has always thought that I had braces, first of all because my teeth are pretty straight. Secondly, everyone thinks I wore braces at some point in my life because I brush my teeth after every meal. At one job I had, my co-workers said "have you seen Cheryl eat? She takes a bite and goes to brush her teeth...takes another bite, then brushes her teeth." I'm not quite that bad, but I do brush after every meal. I've always worked with the public and I hate bad breath in others and I do not want to have bad breath myself. Plus, I just want my teeth to feel clean and I don't want to have any cavities. I didn't have my first cavity until after I had my first child. Technically, I have four fillings and one is due to cracking a tooth. Take it from me, don't use your teeth as a tool when you can cut something with a knife or scissors.
I've had a tooth on the right side of my mouth that has bothered me for two to three years. I had a filling in it and if/when I bit down on something just right...or, in my case- just wrong, it hurt like crazy. So, for the most part, I would try to chew on the left side of my mouth. I know when we went to Hawaii, I was concerned about this tooth. It got to the point where I was putting ora-jel on it when it would hurt too much.
I found a new dentist who named his practice "Gentle Dentist." Because I am terrified of getting my teeth worked on, a gentle dentist sounded perfect to me. Terrified. Did I mention, terrified? Plus, it takes my security away- which is talking. If I can't talk for self-comfort, I'm totally disabled.
So, last night, I couldn't sleep. This morning, I woke with a terrible headache. The headache was probably a combination of lack of sleep and being stressed out.
I went in to work for a few hours and then my dental appointment was at 3 p.m. I told my dentist "I know no one sits in this chair and says 'I love this! Drill away!...but I really hate this." I told him how I had trouble sleeping. And then I patted his arm and said "But this is why I'm here with the gentle dentist."
The plan for today was to drill out the old filling (which was silver) and then to drill out a little more and then fill with resin. Hopefully, this will take care of my issues. First, he put a q-tip in my mouth with some numbing stuff, then he started asking me about my garden. I said "Just like a dentist, to put something in your mouth and then ask you a question." Then he told me he was going to "numb me up a bit." He did this massage thing with the fingers on one hand while he pushed the medicine in with the needle. Then after it numbed a bit, he put the rest of it in. I didn't feel it. I truly didn't feel any pain. Then he drilled. I couldn't wait for it to be over. What seemed like forever to me, but I'm certain was just a few minutes, it was over. Then, he had his assistant fill the tooth.
This woman's touch was amazing. I was also so relieved that the drilling part was over. But the way she took my head into her arms, was totally comforting. She was probably the age of my daughter, late twenties or early thirties. To me, her maternal skills seemed way beyond her years. She was in total control, totally skilled, totally calm. I felt safe and in turn, I relaxed.
I told her that she had an amazing touch and she thanked me.
The power of a woman's touch.
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