Unlike many people, I don't dread going to the dentist. To me, a visit to the dentist is just another one of life's minor hardships like getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
My only complaint I have about almost every dentist I've ever had work on me is their lack of a positive attitude. Instead of a pat on the back, a few kind words and maybe an extra toothbrush in your see-ya-next-time goodie bag, when they examine me they always give a shake of the head and the invariably utter an "uh oh" as they uncover yet another problem area.
This despite the fact that I've flossed daily, gargled foul tasting stuff regularly, used all sorts of scary picks to help clean between my teeth, given up refined sugar and generally led the life of a fasting monk.
To the dentists I've been to that hard work doesn't matter. For them, the joy is not in praising you but in mining your mouth for gold.
Every visit I feel like a mining expedition enters my mouth and with every new vein of tartar discovered I hear a ka-ching as my wallet is about to be turned over to a dental professional and returning empty.
Then there are the x-rays. It seems every time I get inside the door of my dentist's office, x-rays are in order. It's as if my teeth have decided to move several millimeters on their own in the last six months. By my casual observation, they haven't moved since I was 15. Then they moved when and wherever they wanted to on a moment's notice.
Today my mouth is nothing more than a cavern holding a goldmine of teeth. Bad teeth to be sure that lay in gums that cannot be flossed, picked or gargled back into shape.
All this is making me very cranky and heaven knows my dentist and his assistants don't need yet another angry male in their office.
So what to do? A move to some land where teeth rot and have rotted naturally for centuries sounds plausible.
Barring that, I referring my dentist to my primary care physician who knows how to inspire. "Nice job on getting that bad cholesterol down", he'll say. ""Keep up the good work, you're doing great, "he'll offer as you leave his office. And never once do I feel that he's on an exploratory mission to find some new ailment even if it might not exist.