I had an appointment with the dentist this morning for the first time in about 6 years. I'm not frightened of dentists or anything; I'm just lazy and avoidant and disorganised, and I never got round to registering with a dentist in Oxford because I was still seeing the one back home, and then that lapsed when they stopped taking NHS patients, but it didn't seem worth registering with a dentist in Oxford when I knew I was going to move, and then I never got round to registering in Cambridge either ... and frankly my teeth were okay
, and given that I was short of money anyway I felt I couldn't really justify spending £25 a time just to be told "Your teeth are okay, keep brushing them" every six months.
However, every so often I've had this dialogue in my head which has gone something like this:
- "You really should see a dentist."
- "Why? There's nothing wrong with my teeth except cosmetic stuff."
- "You don't know
that. There might be LURKING HORRORS."
- "If they've not produced any symptoms in the last 4 years, they can't be that bad."
- "They might be SILENT LURKING HORRORS that produce no symptoms for years and then suddenly ALL YOUR TEETH FALL OUT!"
- "Dude, if you're my subconscious, why do you keep talking in capital letters? Aren't you supposed to be the strong silent type?"
- "LURKING HORRORS! TEETH FALL OUT! CRACKY BROKEN TEETH LIKE POTTERY!"
Now, okay, obviously
a dentist knows more about teeth than I do. But I think I'd notice if there was something wrong with my teeth. I'd get pain, or bleeding gums, or something, surely? And over the past year or two I've had a couple of twinges where my wisdom teeth should be, but they've gone away again fairly quickly; I've had the occasional bit of bleeding from my gums, but I just brush more carefully for a bit and they get better. It's no big deal. It's the dental equivalent of having a cough and cold every now and then; I wouldn't go to the doctor for that sort of thing unless it kept happening all year round, or went on for an unusually long time.
However, I decided I really should get my teeth checked out, and if they were fine I'd only have to get them looked at once a year or so. Now if life really was a series of moral tales to frighten children -- or if, perhaps, Going To The Dentist Every Six Months was as important as people say it is -- then the outcome of this story would be that my dentist-evasion had allowed LURKING HORRORS to take root in my mouth, horrors which could have been fixed if only I'd seen a dentist sooner, but which would now leave them with no alternative but to take all my teeth out and replace them with POTTERY TEETH. So after all that, it's simultaneously reassuring and slightly disappointing to find that, as I thought, my teeth are basically okay, & I should keep brushing them. (It costs more like 30 quid a time now for the privilege of being told that, though.)
The visit to the dentist did, however, give me a chance to investigate the cosmetic dentistry that I've been considering on and off for several years. No, not the titanium fangs (sigh), but the more practical and realistic possibility of fixing my half-size tooth, as agonised about on LiveJournal
a couple of years ago. ( The whole tooth ... )( molars and morals )
And to cap it all (no pun intended) I'm still ill. Would somebody like to tell me why
my body thinks that a good way of getting rid of an infection is to make me cough until I retch and until my throat feels as though it's been scrubbed with wire wool? I've had this since the weekend and it just seems to be mutating -- first a scratchy cough, then a chesty cough, now a throat-tearing cough that makes my head ache and
a blocked nose and itchy inner ears -- and it appears to be utterly immune to sleep, aspirin, paracetamol, nurofen, decongestants, olbas oil, echinacea, and Bovril. Man, nothing
can resist the power of Bovril! Fear this viral horror!
Some days I wish I could just hibernate.