I am 31 years old.
And I have dental-phobia.
This is my story.
I've always had pretty good teeth. Although some nicknames growing up were "horse teeth", "big white", and my favorite..."Nancy Kerrigan"...I managed to be thankful that I had teeth and they were semi-straight. I enjoyed going to the dentist as a small child. I had a beautiful hygienist that I thought hung the moon, and Dr. Archer (the dentist) reminded me of Mr. Rogers. Everything was good in my neighborhood....
Until this little pleasure entered my life (it actually entered my father's church pants pockets...like piles of them in his pants pockets every Sunday)...
Yes, folks. The Jolly Rancher. I like to call them the Cavity Candy.
Every Sunday night, my parents and I led a group called The Happiness Club. It was basically children's church. I loved it for 2 reasons:
A.) All you can eat Ritz Crackers (salty goodness in a sleeve)
B.) Endless supply of my Pops' Jolly Ranchers (green apple being my fave)
That next dentist appointment changed my life. I had not 1, not 2, not even 3, but FOUR cavities people! FOUR!!! I blamed the Jolly Ranchers...in essence...blaming my pops...and it totally worked! I think my mom said something like..."David, you two have got to stop eating those cavity makers!" Sweet. I was off the hook.
I had the cavities filled...no biggie. I had sealants put on my teeth to prevent future problems...no biggie. Then I got a new dentist...BIGGIE. Long story short, he was later sued and lost his practice due to physically/verbally abusing his patients. He definitely did not make my dental experience as a child enjoyable.
I did not see a dentist for 8 years once I graduated high school. (some of you gasped, some of you said "Ewww...")
Fast forward...I meet my best friend, Tiffani, and she just so happened to be a dental hygienist (wink, wink, God). My 8 year streak was over. I could visit the dentist again if she would be the only one to clean my teeth. And amazingly, I still HAD teeth after 8 years of no dentist!
I haven't had a cavity or any teeth problems since the year of the magic 4(about 20 years ago)....until this past visit. My sealants have all started wearing off and I had a stinkin' cavity. I cried like a big baby when she told me and have been dreading Monday, January 16th like nothing else.
Well, Monday, January 16th came and went. I survived and even got a free pen and a chance to visit the treasure box after my appointment. That Dr. Nations is the sweetest! Here is my Fear Factor Show in pictures:
I am calm, cool, and collected. I do not have a look of terror on my face.
Tiffani reminds me to breathe....oh yeah.
The best dentist I've ever hated...Dr. Nations at Cedar Bluff Dental. I really love him.
Pulling out the Mac-Daddy needle I've been sweating about for weeks.
Insert Best Friend's hand for squeezing.
Needle over...awaiting the horrid drill.
All finished with my lopsided, goofy, I can't feel half of my face grin.
And don't forget to notice my awesome dental chair hair. (this is such a horrible blackmail picture)
Every girl needs a best friend to go to the dentist with them. I've got mine!
So did I survive? Yes. (although eating noodles only for dinner tonight)
Did I hate every minute? Yes.
Did I get my teeth re-sealed to prevent future cavities? Heck Yes.
Do I eat Jolly Ranchers anymore?
Did I reward myself after? Yes..with a Starbucks Coffee that I had to sip through a straw using only 1/2 of my face. TOTALLY WORTH IT.
I made it through one of my biggest fears, and God probably sat up there giggling as He watched the show. Not because He enjoys seeing me suffer, but because He knows me well enough to know even I think I'm ridiculously childish at times and all we can do is laugh together. Me and God, that is. He giggles; I roll my eyes at Him and laugh when it's over. We make a good team...but I better NOT be living next to a dentist when I get my mansion in heaven. Not funny, God....not funny.