I recently received an email with photos of teeth that need to be attended to, as the email ominously put it, “before they fall out.” Okay, I’m a long-time flosser and dedicated brusher, which is evident from the brush marks on my teeth. I’m diligent about my teeth! Really! So I was offended and appalled at such a personal message. I mean, only my mother is allowed to speak to me like that.
For years, I’ve received fun, innocuous little postcards with playful displays of teeth dancing or singing, reminding me that it was time for a cleaning. Cute, sweet communications that induced me to call, even though I knew there was pain involved in the typical cleaning.
But this email was different. And, to make matters worse, the scolding email arrived one day after the soothing voice message of the dental assistant reminded me I still needed some routine work done on my teeth. (What? I only had 24 hours to call them back?)
After the email, I was dreading the next communication. Would it involve big, pasty-faced guys in ill-fitting, dark suits and meaty hands showing up to harass me while I was loading groceries into my car? Or would it be another email with a movie clip from “Marathon Man” showing Dustin Hoffman squirming in the chair while a sinister Laurence Olivier pulled out his teeth with pliers? I had to reign in my imagination and quick!
To be honest, dental disaster isn’t imminent. I’m just at that stage where replacement fillings should probably outrank a fun weekend at a nearby beach hotel. Darn! I do understand that this is a health concern. And, truth be told, I’ve suffered through two excrutiating dental procedures in the last 10 months. I’m just not ready to bare my teeth to anyone…except to bite them!
But, like the old saying goes, you can catch more flies with sugar than…. Sorry, but, even from a dental perspective, when the adage fits, ya gotta use it.
Dr. ________, bring back those postcards! Please!