I love going to my dentist.
I’m willing to bet that not many people have said or written that sentence.
First of all, because my brain is growing old and feeble, I forgot that I had a dentist appointment yesterday. At 3:10 I was putting on a pot of beans to boil when I got a phone call from my dentist’s office asking if I was still coming in for my 3 o’clock cleaning. Luckily I live two minutes away, so I dashed there and made it under the wire. How nice is that? They could have charged me for the missed appointment and just rescheduled, but someone at reception took a chance and rang me.
Second, my regular hygienist, Libby, asks about my daughter off at college and shares funny personal stories like we are old friends. She never hurts me or judges me when she’s scraping plaque and always lets me choose what color of toothbrush I want.
Dr. Roeder always has a cheerful smile while he describes what he’s doing in my mouth and why, even though I’m sure he has to say those same words several times a day. Because he has been my dentist for 23 years, I was worried that he might retire soon and asked him about it. He assured me that he felt no pressing desire to retire. He loves what he does and he’s cut back to three days a week, which gives him plenty of free time.
My favorite part is when he tells me my teeth and gums look great and I’m doing a good job taking care of them. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s such genuine praise. As a not-yet-published writer who’s received my fair share of rejection, I relish positive reinforcement whenever it comes my way. I was almost giddy as I left.
I know not everyone loves going to the dentist as much as I do, so I feel lucky. But if you do love your dentist, smile and be thankful.