My aunt was a dental hygienist.
I say that she was a hygienist not because she recently had a career change, but because she passed away about 4 and a half years ago from colon cancer. And I really hope she doesn't have to clean people's teeth in the next life.
Although, if someone cleans teeth in heaven it would be my aunt because she was just that good at it.
As a result of my affection for her and her lessons in flossing I have a very strong personal testimony of the benefits brought by good dental hygiene. Going to the dentist means more to me than just something that a responsible adult does, its a way to honor her memory. Strange, yes.
As a consequence I look forward to my visits to the recumbent chair.
Yesterday I had such a visit. I was a bit late and scurried into my appointment at the exact stroke of 8:50. Being the first appointment of the day means that you don't have a chance to catch up on your important US Weekly readings. I was whisked away back into the sterile cubicles.
Together Cindy (my hygienist) and I began to explore the exciting, tarter filled cavities of my molars. At first she gingerly picked and prodded, but I could tell she was holding back. Flashes of my aunts warnings about gum disease and rotting teeth filled my memory.
Cindy's tool slipped and she apologized for being a bit forceful.
Confused by my mingled feelings of loss and determination to make my aunt proud, I foolishly answered, "don't worry. I'm hardcore. I want every bit of gunk out of there."
And boy did she remove it.
I've never felt such violence in my poor little mouth. Giving a hygienist the go ahead to mercilessly scrape, poke, prod and polish is a BAAAAAAD idea. I knew I was in for it when she pushed up her sleeves, struck a power stance next to my chair and braced her full weight against the strength of my jaw bone.
The rest of the day my mouth was throbbing with pain. But each throb reminded me of my dear aunt who I miss terribly. Each pulse reassured me that I did the right thing and that she would be proud. So even though it was one of the more painful dental visits of my life, at least Aunt Sandy would be happy with me.