Things I Don’t Tell My Dentist

When I was 22, I went to my family dentist with a chipped tooth. My mom started explaining and making excuses for me.

“I was drunk.”, I summarized. Dr. Traffley was amused and I couldn’t understand why my mom was embarrassed.

bridesmaids drunk

A year or two after that, I went in for a regular cleaning.

Dr. Traffley: How are your teeth?
Me: Well, I started drinking red wine, so I think they’re getting stained.
Dr. Traffley: It’s wonderful, isn’t it?
Kathleen (assistant): Good girl.

She then told me to just get some Crest Whitestrips and not worry about it.

That pretty much sums up my relationship with my dentist. She’s treated my whole family for years and knows everything, and is just cool.

However, a couple years later, my life is still a mess, and I think it comes across less cute than when I was fresh out of college, so I’m less upfront than I used to be.

Here’s how Saturday’s visit went: What I said. (What I didn’t say.)

Dr. Traffley: How’s living with your dad going?
Me: Um, pretty good. (I’m blogging about it.) I’m trying to get the house cleaned up but I don’t have a lot of time. (So it’s a disaster and my dust allergies are going to kill me.)
Dr. Traffley: I think he told me he has like 20 guitars?
Me: More than that probably… He’s, like, an extreme collector. (He’s a hoarder.)
Dr. Traffley: Does he ever sell the guitars he collects?
Me: No. (He’s a hoarder.)
Dr. Traffley: So what else is going on?
Me: Um, I’m taking this improv class on Friday nights.
…long improv discussion…Dr. Traffley tells me to watch Robin Williams…
Me: Yeah, a bunch of us went out last night and I missed the last train so I didn’t get home till almost 5:30 AM. (And I lost my phone.)
Dr. Traffley: You’re kidding! You were just waiting at Penn Station for two hours?
Me: Well, for the last hour, sort of… (No. I decided it would be better to stay at the karaoke bar and drink until 4 AM, then realize I’m about to miss my train again, then sprint for a cab.)
Dr. Traffley: Here’s your appointment card.
Me: Thanks. (I would put it in my calendar but I lost my phone.)

My disappointment in myself can only be summed up through this old saying I just invented:

if you can't tell your dentist about it

Of course, if this saying catches on, it might disproportionately hurt the soft drink and meth industries.

What don’t you tell your dentist?


  1. Janet Barry says:

    Amazing how dentists can understand what their patients are saying-while the patient has all kinds of dental apparatus in their mouths!

  2. I’m impressed you can get so many words out with hands thrust into your mouth. My dental hygienist tries to talk to me, but it’s hard to get more than a one- or two-word response out!
    Carrie Rubin recently posted…My Closet Has Skeletons. Literally.My Profile

  3. Ha! I think it’s so cool you’re doing an improv class – I was thinking about that this morning on my drive to work. I’d never have the balls!

    Years ago (in my early 20s), I made a joke about drinking too much vodka to my dental hygenist, and which point she replied, “I don’t drink.” And that’s when I knew our relationship was over. I don’t go there anymore.
    Go Jules Go recently posted…Vote For My Third Spouse!My Profile

  4. I’m just impressed that you pulled an all-nighter while doing drunk karaoke!
    Phil recently posted…Why Make The Rat Race Worse Than It Is?My Profile

  5. The only thing I don’t discuss with my dentist is my sex life. Mostly because my dentist is my mom ;)

    P.S. WTF self-hosting?! My site was crapped on and I lost my last 6,7 posts. Irrelevant to your post, but a necessary complaint nonetheless. If you’re using HostGator, cry.
    Stephanie recently posted…Update on Project Patience, My Lenten AppealMy Profile


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