Yes, your gums are bleeding quite a lot,’ quoth the hygienist, as she jabbed at them with her metal pick. No shit, lady! I may have failed science, but I believe one’s person is meant to bleed if you prod it with a sharp implement. It would be the equivalent of someone holding a flame dangerously close to your arm, then expressing surprise and disappointment that the skin is rapidly sounding like bacon and there’s a smell of burning as your hairs are extinguished.
A half hour of nagging about my ‘diseased’ gums from this charmless soul ensued, unlike from the dentist last week, who said my teeth were fine, just a bit of plaque to sort out. As I lay there helpless, I ruminated that if I cleaned my teeth perfectly, the hygienist would be out of a job, so perhaps I should have been the only one with my mouth open.
She asked what toothbrush I used. An electric one, I reported, one that vibrated after the requisite two minutes, which meant I was doing enough surely. Apparently not. The recommendation now was to brush for four minutes. FOUR WHOLE MINUTES! Well, that idea can GTF. We’d have no teeth left if we did that. Have these eejits not grasped the concept of soil erosion?! Constant battering of the area can’t be a good idea.
Somewhat irked by the whole experience, I took my grumble to the bastion of debate: Twitter. Well, it seemed it touched as big a nerve as the pick-wielder had inflicted on my gnashers.
Mr Alphabet reported that he had ‘no trouble from the dentist but the hygienist is always giving me snash. She looks about 12 years old too. Dread going.’ Snash?! I love it.
Emma agreed that she had ‘good cop/bad cop dentist and hygienist too. I think it’s a thing. My dentist actually gave my teeth a chef’s kiss, then the hygienist said I had prematurely receding gums because I was using too big a toothbrush and to stop it.’ Another great expression – I’ve never heard of a ‘chef’s kiss’ but it’s wonderfully evocative.
Cathy’s was even more troubling:
‘Both my husband and I had to have serious dental work done after seeing the hygienist. Infections, tooth loss and antibiotics. Never doing that again.’
I sympathised with this, asking were both practitioners at the same establishment and could she move?
‘Yes, the hygienist is there once a week. Not at the risk of losing an excellent dentist 2 mins down the road I’m afraid. If he recommends a visit to her again though, I’ll let him know it won’t happen.’
It wouldn’t be fair to let all the nays have it, so it was refreshing to note that Irene had had a better time.
‘I am very grateful to the hygienist who removed the brown stains caused by the very mouthwash the dentist urged me to use. It’s no wonder she’s almost permanently booked up.’
I had reluctantly agreed to come back to the hygienist after my next routine dentist appointment later in the year, but ‘unfortunately,’ the Charmless Soul only works two days a week. WHAT A PITY that doesn’t coincide with my appointment and I’ll see the chap I did last year, who was more accommodating.
On balance, it would seem hygienists are more of the ‘two legs bad’ category. As Dr Hox (also on Twitter) so beautifully put it: ‘Like a maître d’ complaining that you’ve come into the restaurant hungry.’