What’s Your Biggest Fear? Mine Is The Dental Hygienist

If you read this blog regularly, you will know by now that because I suffer from anxiety, I am scared of pretty much everything. (Spiders, anyone?) That’s why, quite frankly, picking my biggest fear for this post left me pretty spoilt for choice.

More obvious choices included ScoMo getting back into power at the next election, or Trump getting approval to build his damn wall. But I can honestly say that it neither of those horrible things is my biggest fear.

I will reserve that award for the dental hygienist. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that I would happily endure a nightly rendition from primary-aged school children learning how to play the recorder than an annual visit to my hygienist.

Since I started taking proper care of my teeth – a wobbly tooth will do that – I have suffered fewer cavities. However, poor gums (and what a friend of mine delicately calls “old bird teeth”) – another gene defect to blame my parents for rather than my copious consumption of cigarettes and sugar – means that every six months or so, I require the special care of a “deep clean” with the dental hygienist.

Sounds like something nice, doesn’t it? The term evokes the kind of pleasure you associate with a “deep” massage, or someone with “deep” pockets… or other “deep” things.

But trust me, it’s not nice at all. The “deep clean” is a form of torture stolen from Guantanamo Bay by the dental industry – who rejected it for being inhumane. It is an optional part of the service that I recommend you don’t mess with unless a) you are a sadist, b) your teeth are falling out, c) the tartar build-up around your teeth is affecting your speech or d) the foulness of your breath (rather than your personality) is losing you friends.

No matter how affable your dental hygienist appears – and they do have an uncanny ability to pretend they are your new best friend – be prepared for a psychopath. Indeed, if an urge to inflict pain without suffering the emotional consequences of that behavior, is not the reason behind their choice of profession, I have to commend them. For there are few jobs that cause quite as much human suffering – legally – other than in government.

I imagine that hygienists get a similar sense of satisfaction as coal-miners or those sickos, (Cough *my husband), who like pimple-popping videos on youtube – whilst anxious patients like myself lie at their mercy in the chair, terrified of flying tartar, or publicly peeing myself.

My irrational fear is mainly linked to THAT drilling sound made by the hygienist’s excavating tools. It is the reason I pay an absurd amount of money to get drugged up, dropped off and picked up at my visits; why I listen to “Weightless” during the procedure, and why I select the quieter pick-ax as my hygienist’s choice of weapon.

However, none of these strategies truly disguises the fact that a stranger – who may be having a period, or an overreaction to an innovative and empowering advertisement by a razor company – is hacking away at my aging teeth.

No pain, no gain, I suppose, and in all honesty, I’d love to be able to say that the experience is worth it. However, the joy factor, (thank you Marie Kondo), to be extracted from a minimum $200 spend with a hygienist, simply cannot compare to a trip to the hairdresser or your massage therapist, say, for the equivalent amount of dollars.

You never know, I might change my mind. When I can still bite the old man in our aged care home.

What’s your biggest fear?

14 thoughts on “What’s Your Biggest Fear? Mine Is The Dental Hygienist

  1. I’m OK with the dentist, but keep the eye doctor away from me. Nobody’s touching my eyeballs – not with a puff of air, not with eye drops, and most definitely not with a machine. I’m starting to sweat and shake just writing this.

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  2. That IS my biggest fear. I haven’t been accosted by a hygienist for a good number of years. My dentist does the dastardly deed which isn’t quite as torturous as a hygienist. Next week I have to have a root extracted, another root filled as the crown fell off leaving a stub of a root but the dentist says it has a big hole beneath the stubby bit so she can’t replace the crown. My front teeth sanded 😲 apparently when she filled them last time it left a rough surface which is attracting staining which I can’t see and a clean. All at the same appointment. Double 😲😲. I am so scared 😕 However my daughter whose dentist won’t do her teeth and chooses to send her to one who offers sedation has been told she will have to travel 23 miles to the only dentist covering a huge radius who has an NHS contract to offer sedation. I just basically hate teeth, hate dentists, even though they are just trying to save our teeth.

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  3. Everything at the dentist terrifies me, but perhaps most of it, the sensation of scraping against my teeth. You can’t tune it out. You can’t turn your music up loudly enough to cover it. It’s horrible. I did NOT win the genetic lottery with teeth, so I see my dentist way too often.

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