July 14, 2005

Brace yourself for this one!

A cavitron, India, a farm house in Texas & a wedding - what do they have in common? Nothing. A visit to the dentist and you get all of this and more!

I stared at the ominous looking dark clouds and the angry showers that fell in quick, sharp bursts and I knew they were trying to warn me before I stepped into the clinic - proud in the knowledge that I had successfully postponed my dental appointment by a full six months(!) and a bit apprehensive all the same.


Close enough, better than the battering my last name is subjected to, anyway.

I stood up and smiled, hoping my freshly brushed and flossed teeth would gleam away any doubts that the hygienist would have about them. I had spent a full five minutes at work, brushing and flossing carefully before driving over to the clinic. So what if I missed a few flosses here and there, the past few weeks, months? A good final brush and floss and my teeth ought to be as good as new, or so I thought.

"Tsk, tsk...I do see a lot of tartar deposits here and here and..."

I stared at the small masked face of the hygienist and wished she would stop tsking.

"Do you floss daily?"

I was used to this trick question by now. I nodded enthusiastically.

"Hmm...well, maybe a year is a long time and you just need to come sooner for your cleaning. Well, you do have a lot of tissue and that perhaps makes flossing harder...."

Ah, there it was, an escape route and I jumped on it with an appropriately forlorn expression, "Yes, the hygienist who saw me earlier seemed to think the same"

"Really? Well, let's see for ourselves..."

And before I could object (not that I would have anyway), she produced a floss kit out of thin air and proceeded to floss on my teeth, "Hmm, I see no problem at all...unless you floss daily, you will have these periodontal problems and ..."

I listened to the familiar lecture and tried to smile as she plodded thoughtfully, some more inside my mouth.

"Now, the know what it is"

She almost giggled an evil giggle and I joined her, well knowing what I was getting myself into. The cavitron - an apparatus from hell, it attacks all your senses at once, making you almost wish that you had flossed everyday! At this juncture, let me mention that I have a bone to pick with Indian dentists - they did not ask me to floss, just brush, brush everyday and I did, being the obedient girl I was and now, there is this sudden intrusion, a three hundred second daily intrusion on my time to floss, floss, floss and I object! Well, in any case, we moved on to non-dental issues - the usual "Where do you work?", "Oh, Masters in Computer Science? Really?" among others questions whose responses were greeted with more than necessary enthusiasm and surprise.

"Oh, you are from know, my brother had to stay there for 6 weeks for an assignment"

I noticed the usage of "had to" and said, "Oh, that must have driven him crazy!"

"Yeah, you know what shocked him the most? The punishments given for stealing..."


"yeah, you cut both hands right? Isnt that your punishment for stealing?"

"huh? huh? huh?"

You see, that was the best I could do considering that I had the wretched cavitron and another nasty tube in my mouth. I did however manage to convey my incredulity with raised eyebrows.

She continued, "Oh, that's not what you do? Maybe it was not India, let's see..."

She named a few places and then laughed and said "Oh, trust me to spread these silly rumours!"

Yes, trust you to do that.

Noticing that I was not very pleased with the whole cutting hands business, she continued, "My brother has a farm house in Texas with cows and all..."

I wasn't sure how to react to this revelation and I just gave my now familiar, raised eyebrows expression. Our conversation went on to other things and she asked me about my single status and was thrilled (once again!) to note that there was a wedding in the near future, and in India (believe it or not!).

I stammered whatever came to my mind, numb and strangely soporific partly due to my smarting gums and partly because of the annoying hiss of the cavitron and my goosepimples! I just gave her a tired smile in response to her many questions. After our refreshing conversation, it was time for the dentist to see me.

"Hmm...did you wear braces?"

"Yes, many years ago? When I was 16..."

He smiled, "Many years? And what are you now? 19, 20?"

And even before I could grin stupidly and blush and say thanks, he said, "You will need a full periodontal examination though and you should consider wearing braces again, you know, your teeth seems to be growing at all angles..."




A. Noname Moose said...

No braces. For the sake of your grandkids.
They deserve to have a charming grandma with crooked teeth.


RS said...


This is the first vision of me as a grandmother that has made me smile.

No braces :)

D.N.A. said...

"You know the difference between a dentist and a sadist?"


"Newer magazines!"

- Seinfeld

PS: I think its the "yada yada yada" episode. Not sure.

Subha said...

Doctors of all forms scare me! They have a way of making everything sound so scary that I have ended up wondering if my body was just a big tangled mess of mal-functioning organs!

Anonymous said...

Awesome narration...was very funny...:)

The last time I went to a dentist he fell in love with my wisdom tooth and did not let me go from his clinic till he pulled it out...I remember him using a hammer, tongs, and of course his favorite, the knife among others...Drinking my own blood that accumulated in my mouth, I still remember his sadistic face filled with a sense of achievement after pulling it out.


Shiva said...

this reminds me of visits to my car dealer. Everytime I take the automobile for service, it is a similar storyline - an analysis of what is needed, repair dumped in when you least expect it followed by general chit chat on work, traffic, India's climatic conditions, spicy food etc., with the mechanic and finally the service engineer walking by to give some free advise and tips...

Prabu Karthik said...

yr post reminded me of this. one of my favorites

Jo said...

Nice post. Very funny! They thought we cut hands to punish stealing??? Gaawd!!

RS said...

To dna: :) you seem to have seinfeld dialogs at your finger tips!

To subha: tell me about it!

To KP: :)) Thanks!

To shiva: reminds me of n trips my dad used to make to the mechanic!

To P~K: tx for the link, will take a look.

To Jo: Thanks :)...sad but true!

RTD2 said...

That was funny and sad at the same time (esp.the transparent connections in the hygienist's mind b/w brownish-skinned foreigners and hand-cutting and cows!) But hey, I would give her a second chance and not be an anti-Dentite (more Sein-language for u!). And don't you DARE tell me who gets killed in The Book..I actually read 100-odd pages today when I stole the book from my roomie. Maybe she'll cut off my hands now that she's hidden the book :(

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