Teeth and the value of a golden ring

I went the the dentist today to have my teeth cleaned. Literally "shiny," but not for most people particularly interesting. But I used to be terrible phobic about the dentist. Not just that it made me nervous; it incapacitated me with fear and anxiety. I threw up on my dentist once as a child. I prefered having teeth pulled than filled (not that that was given to me as an option, but when I had 2 teeth pulled for orthodonture, I knew that that would be so much better any day any how).

scary webcam picture of my clean, healthy, long rooted teeth.


A few things go into this - trauma and a high tolerance for novocaine, combined with a childhood dentist who, I guess at this stage, didn't particularly know how to help with those things. Anyway, I didn't see a dentist for 15 years because of the phobia, and a lack of funds. After Calvin was stillborn in 2001 and I was very, very sick with preeclampsia, I realized two things 1. I was mortal and I needed to take care of myself, and 2. the worst thing had already happened so there was nothing left that could hurt me. (I also at the same time shed my phobia of centipedes.)

I found a dentist who treated me well when I met with and told him my story. He was kind and didn't shame me in any way, and he also was specially trained in dental anesthesia, relaxation pain management. Over the last 12 years, I have spent a new car's worth of money correcting those 15 years of neglect, and I have strong, healthy, deep rooted teeth, with several crowns. Better yet, my kids LIKE going to the dentist. They aren't just OK with the dentist. They have no concept that anyone would be afraid of this experience. This may be the thing about which I am most proud as a parent.

Reading: Some Borrower's Afloat, and I think some Bashevis short stories before bed.

Writing: No.

Dinner: 3-bean vegetarian chili, assigned by me and executed by the David.

Soundtrack: A program on WJCU reminded me that punks who released albums in 1979 aren't the only musicians who matter. There's also The Black Keys.

Random thing: In Borrowers, there is a discussion of which they would rather find in their desperate straits: a gold ring or a safety pin, and Homily, the mother says she would prefer a safety pin. The syntax was strange, so I paused to make sure Z&O understood what had been said. O asked why, and I explained that it was more practical, even if not more valuable. To which, O said scornfully, "Yeah, unless you traded the ring. Then you could get, like, 10 safety pins for it."

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