I don’t like the dentist .

Not any particular dentist — just going to the dentist in general.

Despite what my friends might say, I have a small mouth. That, coupled with having anxiety about not being able to breathe because of asthma, makes my mouth not very user-friendly when it comes to dental work.

Seriously, there’s not very much room in there for my teeth, much less hands, mirrors, suction tubes and various instruments that I probably don’t even care to know what they are called.

It seems quite unfair that I brush my teeth several times a day (I even have a toothbrush in my desk at work) and I have all kinds of funky implements to clean and dislodge debris from between my teeth and gums. Yet, I seem to have my share of dental issues.

And, don’t even get me started on dental floss.

Too late.

I floss with regularity — more in the past five years than ever before. It hasn’t gotten to the level of a social activity, which I get the impression from my dental hygienist wouldn’t be a bad thing.

The interesting thing is, I recently came across an article in Time — “How Dental Floss Became a Thing in the First Place,” Aug. 2, 2016 — that suggests flossing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

The article talked about the history of dental floss (yeah, I know, a riveting subject). It ends with, “Today, however, the value of dental floss is not so certain.”

Another thing I’m intrigued with is the specialty areas in dentistry. Back in the day, your regular dentist was one-stop shopping. They did it all, from basic care to extractions and root canals.

Now that I think about it, maybe there is one dentist I don’t like. It seems my parents paid for a root canal when I was in high school that I never actually got. I remember getting hit in the mouth with a rock and it resulted in a slow and agonizing death of the tooth.

The fix — a root canal and cap. Evidently, the dentist decided to collect the extra cash for the root canal without actually performing the procedure. Or he did such a lousy job, the endodontic specialist I saw in the fall couldn’t tell it had ever been done.

I recently looked up the dentist’s name on the Oregon Board of Dentistry. It seems he had some issues over the years.

While I can’t be certain that dentist did me wrong decades ago, I do know I didn’t get the best set of choppers genetically. I won’t hold that against my mom and pops. Before I had braces, I could have left a pretty gnarly bite mark. They did sacrifice to give me a straight smile — something I appreciate to this day.


Tammy Malgesini is the community editor. Her column, Inside my Shoes, includes general musings about life. Contact her at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539.

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