Tip #59: Going to the dentist is no biggie

Written by: Tasha

“Going to the dentist is no biggie,” is a fun phrase I like to whisper to myself before dental appointments. Sometimes I’ll sub in “novocain was invented for a reason,” or “you are 24 years old, get a grip,” if needed. Like many humans, I’ve never been a big fan of the dentist. Quite frankly, having a small mirror and a suction tube simultaneously jammed into my cheek while Dr. Carapez asks me how I’m enjoying the 10th grade (and I have to explain that I am no longer a high school sophomore, but am, in fact, an adult woman), just isn’t my cup of tea.

If you are like me, an adult who is terrified of regular cleanings, here are my top tips for keeping your cool in the dentist’s chair —

1. Take care of those pearly whites between visits

Fun fact about me– I am obsessed with my Sonicare toothbrush and talk about it constantly. I have literally said the following phrases; “I’ve got the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum, “so glad I sprang for the UV Sanitizer Station,” and “just got some replacement toothbrush heads, can’t wait to take them for a spin.”

Yet, despite the fact that I talk about my toothbrush the way rich people talk about boats, I was recently informed that I have six cavities. (Even though I have never had a cavity in my LIFE up until now.) My dentist said cavities are more common as you get older and that I should start flossing more aggressively. So, if you are also advancing in age (despite apparently having the face of a 15 year old), it’s a good idea to up your mouthwash game and consider investing in a toothbrush with a motor. I shudder to think how many cavities I might have had without the ~*~Sonicare FlexCare Platinum.~*~

2. Get your wisdom teeth out early

And yet ANOTHER fun fact about me– I never had my wisdom teeth removed. My dentist told me I should get them taken out when I started high school, and then NO ONE brought it up again until now. I just assumed this meant I was gucci to keep those teeth in my mouth, but it turns out that is not the case. Now Dr. Carapez is all “This is not good,” and “you need to get your wisdom teeth taken out ASAP,” and “Have you started to think about colleges yet?”

Long story short, if your dentist recommended a routine dental procedure a decade ago, you should probably revisit that idea. Maybe it won’t be so bad? Right, guys? Someone please tell me it’s not that bad.

3. Novocain was invented for a reason

On Monday I had three of my six cavities filled. It was, in a word, unpleasant. To break a filling down for you– they shoot you up with novocain, your tongue starts to feel like a beach ball, Dr. Carapez hunches over your head with a super loud drill, a single stress tear slides down your cheek, a lady named Ann sticks a suction tube in your mouth for 45 minutes and, voila! Your cavity is filled.

And despite the stress tear, I didn’t feel a thing. Novocain kept me blissfully unaware. It also meant that when I tried to gargle mouthwash I ended up spraying it all over Ann because I couldn’t tell if my mouth was shut or not, but she was really nice about it. Apparently “other children” do that all the time.

So, no matter how horrible that drill sounds, you’re probably not going to feel a thing. Just keep your eyes shut and drown it out with my recommended mantras, “the dentist is no biggie,” “novocain was invented for a reason,” “you are 24 years old, get a grip,” repeat.

Major Takeaways:

  1. I cannot stress this enough, spring for the Sonicare. It is the fancy boat of toothbrushes. (I don’t know anything about boats, but feel free sub in the fanciest boat you can think.)
  2. Get your wisdom teeth out early. Putting it off for 10 years is a bad idea, apparently. I’ll report back.
  3. Not a major takeaway, just worth noting– novocain makes it really hard to tell if your lips are together, or if you’re about to spray Listerine all over the super understanding dental hygienist.