It’s been many a long year since I was kissed by a stranger: since some dashing young man (usually on New Year’s Eve on Constitution Dock) grabbed me, pushed his lips to mine and his tongue into my mouth for several delightful moments of celebration.
I am brought to this thought by my recent visit to the Dentist and why it was so traumatic. A mouth is deeply private thing, a place of darkness, lushness and infinite pleasure. Indeed, it is just like another key part of the female anatomy. Others are invited in, but rarely strangers and not very often.
Thus having a tooth pulled is just like having a baby. (Stay with me here.) You feel violated as the dentist/doctor feels about inside you – putting their fingers where no-one normally goes, feeling for this and that. Then they pull and tug – sometimes with anesthetic, sometimes without – at the tooth, at the baby, wiggling and prising it out of you.
Lo, a result and hopefully you are not too wounded by the experience to a) experience utter joy at the delivery of your new baby; or b) extreme relief at the removal of your rotten tooth.
I have nothing against dentists or obstetricians, both do fine jobs but I’d rather keep them as far away from me as possible for as long as possible. The solution – only have a few children; brush your teeth often and keep away from sugar – that’s what rots your teeth.
Serious advice – in both instances you need to know your own body. Information is power. Read up on childbirth, the latest in dental hygiene or technology. Listen to you body – it will tell you what it needs. Don’t be bluffed and bullied by healthcare professionals who by and large, do seem to prefer you in a chair flat on your back. It’s hard to argue with pointy instruments in your mouth and a numbed gum. It’s hard to argue when powerful contractions bearing down on you with a baby trying to kick its way free.
Childbirth does not need to involve an army of advisers and a plethora of drugs and intervention strategies. Exercise, rub olive oil into your perineum, stretch and listen to your baby. Be prepared to argue with your doctor/midwife. It’s your life, your baby’s life and you need to be comfortable with what they want you to do. Importantly, have a relationship with them that’s built on trust.
Looking after your teeth does not have to involve years of poking and prodding, of x-rays, scraping and scaling, of filings and extractions. Don’t be a patient. Look after your own teeth. Teeth twinge and hurt from time to time, it doesn’t mean something has to come out, or be attended to. Don’t be conned into spending thousands of ponds/dollars on procedures and examinations you just don’t need. Brush and floss on a daily basis. Watch what you eat – especially sugar and sugary drinks. Buy toothpaste with fluoride in it.
Kissing and sex are fine and worthwhile pursuits, fun with strangers, better with lovers. Having teeth pulled and giving birth are just painful on any day of the week. In both instances you have something to show for your pain – a beautiful bundle of noise and love who will be the best thing in your life; and the tooth, to keep in a box somewhere (to add to the others?), the size of the hole clearly evident, the reason why it needed to go. (images courtesy google images and personal collection)
Tags: dental hygiene, dentists, extractions, fillings, giving birth, joyful baby, kissed by a stranger, kissing, midwife, perineum, pulling teeth, rotten tooth, sugar rots your teeth, visit to the dentist