The Man With Beautiful Teeth

By an amazing feat of procrastination even for me, it had been nearly 15 years since my last visit to the dentist. I started out missing checkups because I was extremely busy with my first job after college, then for a long time I meant to go but never gave it high priority. Then beyond a certain point it just became too embarrassing to think of going in and explaining my absence from the checkup scene.

All that changed last week when I went for my ultra-belated dental appointment. Though I follow most of the maintenance guidelines for healthy teeth and I’ve never had a cavity in my life, I was still a little concerned about what problems the dentist and his able hygienist might dig up. One hour and 26 x-rays later, the final assessment was made:  "You have beautiful teeth!"

It’s the same thing I’ve heard my entire life. And it’s yet another reason I neglected a schedule of regular checkups. Why spend all that time and money at the dentist when my teeth seemed impervious? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until I have an obvious problem before making an appointment?

That’s entirely possible, but I know that the truth of the matter is that over the course of my life I’ve completely and totally lucked out where my teeth are concerned. As part of the aging process, they’ll inevitably degrade and require some work. So from here on out, I’ll be back on a regular schedule again for those seemingly unnecessary cleanings and inspections.

So why am I writing about my teeth? It seems that I could find a more pertinent subject with all the crazy world events of late. That’s certainly true, but my small-scale story does relate to the larger model in that many of us find it easy to ignore potential problems if everything is clicking along nicely. Without ongoing maintenance and regular check-ups it’s pure luck that we can go for several years without a major natural disaster, without economic collapse, or without being attacked by the Enemy-of-the-Month.

OK, this entry is weak enough without stretching the dental metaphor any thinner, especially when I’ve already beaten the gloom n’ doom drum to pieces in other postings. I just wanted to stop procrastinating and do some blogging…and say that I’m really happy my teeth are still healthy.



2 Responses

  1. 15 years! Wow! I try to go once every 5 years whether I need to or not.You make a good analogy. One day the genie of decay will attack our solid teeth of denial and drill mercilessly into them until we close the gap with the fillings of action. Until then, we can only floss the floss of attention, making sure we do not leave the floss on the bathroom counter, where the wife does not like it.

  2. I always thought you had nice teeth Danny! You could have just asked me…. I would have only charged you $10! ;0) I can’t wait for the next blog about a migraine you had. That’ll really bring out some interesting metaphors….

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