You know, a lot of people don't like going to the dentist. They have some irrational fear that they'll be called back in a week or so for a root canal or something.

I've never minded the visits myself. It gives me a biannual opportunity to piss some folks off.

For starters, I pay no mind to their silly dental association and their little suggestions. I flat-out refuse to floss, and I brush whenever I feel like it, falling well short of their obsessive-compulsive twice-a-day recommendation.

On top of that, the only thing you're really in there is to have the hygienist scrape a few months' worth of crap off your pearly whites. My question is, why do people brush their teeth with such vigorous paranoia in the days preceding a dental appointment?

If I've got a big chunk of my paycheck going to this dentist every two weeks, I'm for darn sure gonna get my money's worth out of the deal.

Two days before my appointment, I stop brushing altogether and munch on the messiest, stickiest foods available to me. Lots of peanut butter, popcorn every night, and chocolate cupcakes between meals. To wash these meals down, only the milk-based products will do. I prefer strawberry milkshakes with little bits of strawberries and their seeds in them. Then, an hour before the visit, I chomp down two or three cobs of grilled corn, making sure to get those shells wedged deep between my teeth and gums.

While I'm fortifying my oral cavity with the four food groups, I may as well arm my breath as well, so the day before I'm putting down loaf after loaf of garlic bread with a Garlique tablet chaser. I think I'm ready for the hygienist now.

When I'm called to the cleaning room, I pleasantly greet my hygienist a little more closely than is comfortable directly into her olfactory sensors, making triply sure to enunciate clearly: "Hi, Heather.... how's it hangin'?"

Once I'm in the chair and she has a look in my mouth, it's clear she's got work to do. She gets paid a little too well for the type of cleaning she's used to. I'm getting my money's worth out of this.

All the while, she's spouting off all these alleged hygienic rules that I need to start following with a pair of foreign stainless steel pokers in my mouth, scraping, digging, and mining for a hint of enamel buried somewhere beneath the landscape of supper residue. Once she gets to the flossing stage in the process, she tries to guilt me into agreeing to floss every day. An exercise in futility, to be certain, but she tries the argument every time I come in.

As a last resort, I'm tossed a pack of floss in hopes that I might see it laying around somewhere and, by some off chance, might use it.

Never works.

I'll gladly admit to them I have terrible dental hygiene. But I've never had any dental complications in my life.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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