Seeing as medical checkups are my hobby and all, this is really a stellar month.

Yesterday, I went to my new dentist. In half an hour, I go to my eye doctor, a fact that will not at all make Faithful Reader Paula nervous. She doesn’t like it when I’m writing and have to go somewhere or am in any way rushed.

Dear Faithful Reader Paula: I write these before work. I am pretty much always rushed.

In a few weeks, I get my mammogram, which in truth I’ve put off. That thing terrifies me.

Anyway, yesterday I saw my new dentist because the old one, whom I started going to as soon as we moved into this city–Marvin found him–was just fine, but the hygienist gave me angina.

I’ve told you about her before. She not only hurt me, she also seriously–SERIOUSLY–had some sort of disorder where she could not stop talking.

Dear Women of America: It’s okay to have silences. It’s also okay to not tell every detail.

I have Sirius radio, says June, telling every detail, and at lunchtime there’s really not much good on there, talk-radio-wise. I was listening to some stupid call-in show recently, and a person called in under the topic of How Did You Meet Your Significant Other.

“Hi, Jenny, thanks for taking my call. I just love you. I listen to you when I…”


“I met my husband when he was a junior and I was a freshman.”

See. “I met my husband in high school.” That was all we needed.

“He went away to the state school, and he played soccer and had friends and all that good stuff.”

Oh! All that good stuff! Well, that’s descriptive. Also, is this remotely germane to the story?

By the time I’d heard her whole tale, I retold it in my head using three sentences. I can’t help it. I edit for a living.

This pales in comparison to that hygienist at the old place. She was so bad that she’d already read a complaint someone had made about her on Facebook, about her…talking problem, and you know what she did?

She talked to me about it.

So, after, you know, SEVEN YEARS of this hygienist, I got up all my courage, and I mean I really had to get some courage re this. I had to talk myself into it. But not in a chatty way.

“Dude, you’re the patient,” I told myself. “You have a right to request the other hygienist. It will be okay. The first hygienist probably won’t even know.” So, heart pounding, two years ago I called my dentist’s office, where they already don’t like me.

(I just tried to link to that blog post about when the funeral happened at my dentist’s office, and the woman who answers the phone was the one throwing said funeral for one of her family members, and I called and referred to “some funeral” screwing up my appointment, does anyone remember that? And then I realized my error and called back to say, “Donna, I’m so sorry. I just realized I flippantly referred to a funeral you all are going to, and that that funeral was for your brother-in-law, and it was insensitive of me and I really apologize.” and she said, “My name is Dana.” Does anyone recall that horrificness?)

Anyway, June says, doing the woman-talking-thing, I got up the nerve to call there and say, “May I please have Esmerelda as my hygienist instead of Simone?” And I was shaky and scared, but they said yes, and I saw blissfully quiet Esmerelda once. ONCE. And then that funeral story above happened, and the only person IN THE WHOLE OFFICE not at the funeral was Simone the Chatty Hygienist, and then I was back in the loop of seeing her again.

So six months ago I called again. I did my famous “starting with Yes” that I do when I call these places.

“Yes, I requested Esmerelda to be my hygienist? And I got back in the schedule with Simone? Can we go back to Esmerelda?” I mean, I had douche chills asking.

“She’s all booked up, but we’ll call you when there’s a cancellation.”

So they called me, and booked me recently, and it wasn’t till the day before that I thought to check everything out to be sure.

“Yes. Hi, DANA. I have a cleaning tomorrow, but may I just check who my hygienist will be?”

It was with Lady Chatterly. It was with Miss Wordsworth. It was with Story Spelling. They’d put me back on her loop GODDAMMIT. It was like trying to get a taffy wrapper off your hands.

So that is how I got a new dentist.

I like it there. The office is really close to me; right behind where NedKitty goes to the vet. I say that like you’re all, Ohhhhh. Therrrrrre. Yeah.

It’s fancy, and there are People Magazines in the lobby, and they took individual photos of every single tooth. “Did I look fat in those pictures?” I asked, and because I’m new to them, they weren’t sick of me yet, and they laughed. I saw EVERY ONE of my teeth on a big screen and man, have I had a lot of crowns and fillings and “onlays,” whatever those were.

They also did that gum reading where they say, “2, 2, 1. 1, 2, 3.” I used to like it, back in LA, when they’d say my area code, which was 323.

Anyway, it all looks good, and then the hygienist came in to clean me, and you know what?

She was quiet.


Tune in tomorrow for June Reports on her Eye Doctor Appointment, which is now in 18 minutes.

God, we can’t wait, June.

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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

43 thoughts on “Toothy”

  1. I really don’t mind the chatty. Keeps my mind off the scraping. Either that, or my dentist visits are at a normal level of conversation–which is really to a minimum because something is always in my mouth. I LOVE my hairdresser. She is the BEST story teller second only to June. She has me laughing and oooing and ahhhing the whole time I am there. My haircut was the most therapeutic two hours I had after my beloved first dog died. She is awesome.

    I REALLY need to go get one of those breast breakers. And go to the gynocologist. It has been YEARS. Not a good idea.

    Lovely post, lovely June!


  2. It’s been a weird day. I have the blues, my body is falling apart at the seams (ahh, menopause), and I’m feeling long in the tooth. Bah! The comments today have been good for me. Yesterday to perk myself up, I delved into the archives and read posts from when you worked at the church in Tiny Town. I was giggling incessantly over all your typos and reprinting of the church bulletin. It was shortly before you and Marv moved to Greensboro, and you were meeting up with the Nester. Cheered me right up, is what it did!


    1. Dana. Plunk.

      I hear ya, Texas Kari, on the blues and crap. Also, I found Joob through Nester so I am grateful I was reading Nester at the time.

      You’re so pretty, Coot.


  3. Does one “throw” a funeral, as one does a party? Just curious. I’ve never had to actually choose a verb for that.


  4. P.S. I had my mammogram two weeks ago and already received the good news letter. Now I can breathe. I hate getting a mammogram, then you have to wait a week or ten days for the letter to come in the mail. Three years ago I think the technician must have torn something because she squeezed my breast so hard. Honestly, it hurt for well over a year. It felt like she was trying to rip my breast off my chest wall.


  5. I’ve been going to the same dentist since…the early 1970s. The hygienist is quiet, which I like, but my hair dresser makes up for it. She talks non-stop with so many details of her personal life. TMI. It drives me crazy.

    I do remember the funeral story.


  6. I’m glad your poke-in-the-gum numbers are low. Mine were high, leading me to an appointment with a periodontist. He cut out skin from roof of my mouth and grafted it on to my gums. Then he stitched everything up and I cried all day. There’s not a lot of extra stuff on the roof of a month, so you can imagine the pain his cutting it caused. Alternative to roof skin…using cadaver mouth stuff. Um, no thanks.


  7. I’m in the process of trying to find a new dentist. The hygienist was like Frau Blücher. And they never seemed to remember anything about my past visits. While looking online for a new dentist I come across an article on my old dentist. He had been under investigation for mistreating a patient. Well, several children. Apparently the board of dentistry rarely revokes licenses.

    I love my quiet hairstylist.


  8. I love that funeral story. LOVE. One of your worst/best.

    My hygienist uses one of those sandblaster water things on my teeth, which doesn’t hurt, but the noise is horrific. I wear earplugs, so it completely cuts down on the chit-chat. I just act like I can’t hear her, so she ends up just doing her job.

    My patience level and irritation level are inverse to each other. There was one day in 2013 that I was patience and tolerant. I am now at the stage where I actually make a face at people who irritate. What will I be like in a few more years? It doesn’t bode well for my 60s.


  9. The hygienist at my dentist has a television, always on. She is constantly looking at it rather than me mouth. Ugh, I really need a new dentist but we see this one outside of his office so that would be impossible. I love my hairstylist though, she doesn’t talk much and if there are no other stylists in on the day of my visit it is so nice. She has a new salon, by a river and a huge picture window next to her chair. I can look out at the trees, river and woodsy creatures if I want. Love it!


    1. I, too, get annoyed by the chatty hairdresser, by the way. And also people around me at the hairdresser, with the endless chatter. When did I get to this irritated stage in my life?


  10. I also hate chatty hair stylists and nail technicians. I don’t do chatty, unless I’ve taken vidodin, and even then it irritates. Just do the work, if I want to talk I will. Oh, and don’t get me started on the nail people who speak another language and go about having conversations in that language, which I don’t know, with all of their co-workers. RUDE!


    1. Oh you hit on my pet peeve RIGHT THERE! The constant chatter in another language when you KNOW they are talking about you! My daughters and I still laugh about the lady who kept yelling KOW KOW KOW to her co-workers as she was scrubbing my feet. I finally said “I’m sorry – are you talking to me?” My girls died the slow “my mother is weird” death. In fairness to every nail tech I’ve ever plopped down in front of, my feet are generally a horror show. I garden (in my CROCS Paula H&B – the appropriate use for said rubber footwear) and as a result my feet are black from April until October. But isn’t that why we GO to get them scrubbed? If they were nice looking feet I would just stay home!

      Lovely post lovely June! Can’t wait for June Goes to the Eye Doc – the sequel.


  11. RE: Chatty Cathy. Earbuds would seem to be a perfect solution to that nonsense. My hygienist wants ANSWERS, for chrissake. And my husband? His dentist had two offices, so he went to other office, farther away than the first, in order to get away from the hygienist. Maybe hygienist school needs a class called “Don’t Be a Pain in the Patient’s Ass 101”

    RE: Mammograms. I call it getting my headlights aligned. My people are lovely — cloth gowns (which I promptly take off, because, really, how big a pain is it to put your tit in a wringer whilst trying to stay modestly covered?), warm hands, and they got a new machine that can handle a tall gal like me. Nothing worse than trying to stay shrunk down from 6’+ to 5′ while warm hands scrape what little breast material I have off ribs and collarbone.

    Your teeth are lovely, Coot.


    1. I’m only 5 feet tall – and dangling from the titty press is even worse than trying to stoop down to it. Just sayin!


  12. I always stop breathing during the 1-0-1 – 1 bit of a dental exam, just in case Hamish (The Kiwi Dentist, and real ale fan. Not during exams, obviously) says 2, and I get sent to the hygienist. During Dickensian Life, I’m refusing to change dentists, as I’d rather travel for three hours than go through finding a non-psycho dentist who finds me hilarious with m’fruit based anecdotes. I don’t get out much….
    Nice medical based notblog Joon.


  13. I got my mammogram yesterday. She did a 3D mammogram and I don’t think it was as bad as it usually is. Only 1 smash per side. Hopefully they get a better look so that I don’t have to go back again for the more extensive ones like I’ve had to do in years past.


  14. I always get the new hygienist at my dentist office. They end up scraping my gums because they are so inexperienced. I suffer in silence since it is only twice a year.


  15. I had a different hygienist from my regular nice and enjoyable one. She asked about my husband, so I told her that I don’t have one. She responded with a pitiful „awwww“ and then she asked how many kids I had. I told her that I have one, and got another pitiful „awww“. Thanks for making me feel worthless. At least I don’t have to scrape gunk off of peoples teeth, lady with the husband and all of the kids.
    No offense to hygienist, but this lady pissed me off!


  16. They scared you so many times at the mammogram place that I don’t blame you for putting it off. When I was a young mom and always had a baby on my hip and no hands free, I would often shove my cell phone in my bra on the right side when I didn’t have a pocket to put it in. Now I am always scared of doing my right mammogram.


    1. And there was DanaLynn above you commenting. I thought for sure it was the dentist’s office Dana.
      And that Simone now worked at the new dentist’s office.
      You know, you never can tell with June’s bloggie thing.


  17. June, we love it when YOU are chatty and tell every detail! It’s why we come to you every day. We love to read your everyday not blog, every day! (That made more sense back when you wrote daily, I guess.) However, an overly chatty dental hygienist drives me crazy too. They have us trapped there to listen and nod and try to answer their dumb personal questions when clearly we can’t respond. I prefer friendly greetings and a minute or two of chit chat, then let’s get busy and quiet and get me out of this chair quickly please! So glad you like your new dentist! Lovely post, June.


  18. I thought for sure when you saw your new dentist and the hygienist walked in it was Simone. I’m like Paula at the dentist. I get breathless (not in a good way) just thinking about it. I’m also due for a mammo. I worked with someone once, who I thought was fairly intelligent, and she called it a mammygram. She was not kidding.


  19. I loathe so much when callers are encouraged to dial in and talk about their favorite song and why, mostly because every woman that calls in sobs and says, “it just really touches my heart.” Look, I’m sensitive just like the next person but I don’t want to hear your tear-filled monologue about how this song means so much to you. Ugh.

    Also, I must get a mammogram. I hate it. I hate the paper towels you get to wear that are too small. It’s already humiliating and add to it the paper gown that rips when you cry on it? The worst.


  20. Yes, when you say you are rushed, I then feel rushed. I’m working on that.

    I was at the dentist’s maybe a month ago and the hygienist got me soaked. SOAKED, I TELL YOU. I had to use the bib and dry out my EARS. But none of them talk to me other than to say “BREATHE” and “RELAX,” because I am such a coward at the dentist’s, I forget to breathe and I tense up so that my feet are straight up at right angles to my legs and my hands are death-gripping the arms of the chair. Plus I have wild and crazy eyes darting around at everyone, trying to decide who’s really trying to kill me, the dentist? the assistant? who? who? WHO? Will I die of pain or will I drown or will I suffocate with all the tools and hands in my mouth? Or all three? Yes, I am an absolute DELIGHT at the dentist’s.

    Didn’t I tell you about my recent mammogram experience where, I’m quite sure, they marked my file “high wind warning?” And my mammogramographer (? what are they called?) is in the same group as all of my other doctors, so everyone knows about “high wind warning?” My dentist is not in that group, THANK GOD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get breathless at the dentist but it’s because of my sinuses, hence the snorting. Dr. B told me to take a sudafed about 20 minutes before my appointment and then I won’t have the sinus drainage. Blech.

      And Paula what is this high wind warning? Does the blow in hookers and blow stand for something besides the usual meaning? Must hear this story.

      My last mamogram the mamographer about took off my nipple. It was not enjoyable.


    2. @Just Paula H&B, your description of your fear of murdering dentists is hilarious!!!

      When I had my wisdom teeth pulled they started with laughing gas. I breathed that in so greedily. The more I took in, the more paranoid I got. First, I tried really hard not to exhale lest all of it’s magical powers escape. Then when the assistants came back in the room to check on me, my eyes bugged out thinking they wanted to get it away from me because in my mind I thought they decided that it would be fun to pull my teeth out while I was still in pain. With that, I clamped on to the inhaler-thingy and wildly told them to get away from me, I didn’t have enough. They first were aghast and then started chuckling when it started inhaling like I was at Studio 54 in the 1980’s! I think I fell asleep/blacked out for a minute because all of the sudden they were trying to take the tube off of me stop get started so I yelled that I didn’t have enough and letting the world know that they were trying hurt me. Shockingly, nobody came into the room to rescue me from the torturers! Then I was out again and woke up as the tooth was being pulled. I then accused the dentist of lying to me because I didn’t feel it come out. I made him show it too me but I told him that was not my bloody tooth it was someone else’s!


    3. I feel you pain! I hate the dentist! I was so tense when I had a root canal before the procedure was finished I started to shake. I thought I was getting a fever. It was because I was holding on so hard (the arms of the chair) my arms started to quiver. I was a tad tense.


  21. i know someone like that you wish they had an off button. They are so draining i tend to withdraw into myself and only grimace or grunt at them after a short while


  22. Nice post Coot. My hygienist is neither chatty or quiet. She is just right and funny. My dentist is hilarious and always makes me snort. I will miss them when I move. I hate going to the eye doctor especially when they blow air in your eye. So annoying


  23. Just had my mammogram, five minutes and done. Much better than having my teeth scraped. I think total silence at the dentist would make me uncomfortable, I like moderate chatting.


  24. Just dealt with breast cancer. Please don’t put off your mammograms. Also, my MIL does not think there can be a quiet moment which is so enjoyable:)


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