The Dentist

Whilst we all think of Canadians as terribly friendly (true) and helpful (so true) people who say “sorry” (yes), “eh” (all the time) and hang out in the snow (what snow?) eating maple based products (no evidence at this point), it seems they think of us as tea drinkers (correct) with bad teeth (what?!).  It is a strange myth that people on this side of the world seem to think English dentists are few and far between and we all have rotten teeth.

Yesterday (Thursday) I made my first trip to a Canadian dentist.  I usually go to the dentist with my Dad, so not entirely comfortable with this whole foreign dentist business, and on my own.  I was told not to worry about my previous dental records if they were from England.  I had all sorts of weird and wonderful xrays that I havent had done before and got asked an array of questions that I was not expecting to be asked.  My throat and cheeks were checked – Im not sure what for.  Some concerned noises were made when my jaw clicked and I was asked to recall details on my brace that I had nearly 20 years ago.  They cleaned and polished half of my teeth – the other half have to be done next time .  The lady said that I should take out my wisdom tooth, I suggested it would be better if she did it rather than me.  She replied very seriously that I could keep I didnt have to have it out if I didnt want to.  Wasted humour.  The overall experience wasnt too horrific as dental visits go as there was no drilling or ginormous needles in my gums, there were still squeaking metal pokey things.  At one point she actually grabbed my tongue and moved it around to inspect.  This has never happened to me before.

I was shown how to clean my teeth.  I was baffled as this is definitely not how I have ever been told to clean my teeth.  She did a great job though!  I came home and checked with room mate and today with colleagues and we have all been doing it wrong.  I couldnt believe it until I checked and Oral B and Colgate both agree.  Circles and side to side are out, 45 degree angled gum to tooth flicks are in.   Craziness.

Aside from all strange new experiences that I am fairly indifferent about, there was one bit that has made me more concerned about the dentist…. this need to be so nice and explain everything.  I asked the lady to just get on with it and get the uncomfortable job done as quickly as possible – she said that we needed to work as a team to look after my teeth and kept explaining stuff and trying to put me at ease which drew the whole process out making it longer, me more stressed and increasingly annoyed that I wasnt at the gym instead.  Canadian niceness at the dentist is not welcome.

Anyway, it is all over until next week for the second half of the cleaning.   Dad always usually buys a mint aero for us to share after the dentist – this time I had to buy my own.



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