It’s very weird, you see….discovering that your teeth are strangers despite your intimate association with them. They sit in my mouth, and I spend 24 hous a day with them, everyday. They chew my food, they help me smile, and generally make me look less creepy through their existence. I am certain I would miss them instantly if they were gone, or took a vacation.
Occasionally, they remind me they’re annoyed if I chew too much ice, or if I forget to take my decongestants when I am congested with a cold. But most of the time they’re pretty low maintenance and do basically what I tell them to do. Which is pretty damn unique, since most of my body isn’t really into taking instructions.
And then I go to the dentist.
At the dentist, someone looks intimately at my teeth in a way that I never do it myself. They’re taken to the tooth spa, where there’s a salt scrub, a thorough cleaning, and some skin bleaching. And in the interim, I discover that their gums are a bit irritated, and that they have complaints about some of my brushing techniques. I even discover one is slightly cracked…which is strange, because he seemed completely normal to me.
Thus, in the space of less than an hour I discover that others know my teeth better than I do — that they truly see them including all their flaws. My teeth have a fan that doesn’t merely view them as a tool or as a means to an end…but views my teeth for the unique individuals that they have the potential to be.
Humbling, that dentist.