Been Putting It Off For Too Long

by Steve Mitchell

Well, I mentioned I had to take my younger son to the dentist.  It went fine.  He had one small cavity and he’s most likely going to need braces.  No surprise, that.

What I didn’t mention is that I was closely scrutinizing the dentist and his office.  It was our first visit to this office and I had an ulterior motive for going along – I need to find a dentist I’m comfortable with.  I’m waaaay overdue.  I’ve been slowly trying to build the momentum, and the courage, to get myself to a dentist.

I haven’t been to a dentist in nearly 20 years – not since I was in the Air Force.  In those two decades I’ve smoked countless cigarettes (I’ve quit some ten years back), and hundreds of cigars.  I’ve drank gallons of wine and even more gallons and gallons of coffee.  I don’t have a tremendous sweet tooth, but, hey, in twenty years, a fellow eats a lot of sugar.   I’ve taken care of my teeth in an average way.  I brush and I floss, but, again, twenty years!  My teeth are overdue some professional care.

I have no doubt I have cavities and tartar and plaque and staining and who knows what.  My teeth and gums don’t bother me now, even still, but I’m afraid I may have already let things go to far and may have to have some teeth pulled and I’m vain enough not to want gaping holes in my mouth where teeth should live.  Hopefully there’s still time to prevent that.  Also, better dental health means better over all health.

But, oh how I dread it.  It’s been easy to put it off because my teeth don’t hurt and dentist visits do.  Oh, and even the nicest dental assistant, faced with the mess I’m bringing, will be hard pressed not to lecture me.  I’m going to have to swallow some humble pie.  I dread it.  I dread it all, but, there was my nine year old son, stoically enduring the poking and prodding and scraping.  Shaming me with his bravery.  He’s a trooper.

So, it’s something I have to do.  For myself and for my son.