1. Recently I was really dissatisfied with my current state of dental care, and so went slinking back to my old dentist of 17 years ago. (I loved him, but bailed on him after the earthquake, when I was exiled to a rural town and cut off from the relatively modern services of Kobe.)
2. Incredibly, the receptionist still remembered my face after 17 years. The dentist didn’t remember my face at all (well, neither does my gyno, for the same reason, I believe – they’re not looking at my face!).
3. The dentist told me that my mouth is a big old mess, and that he’s going to have to remove all the old work and replace it. Unfortunately in Japan, thanks to the nature of socialised medicine, this kind of procedure is done piecemeal and takes months if not years. Fortunately though it doesn’t cost very much – my visit today to get x-rayed and have an old cap removed and filled cost me about 25 dollars, a huge expense for which the receptionist profusely apologised – but still … imagine spending a whole afternoon sitting in a dentist’s chair every single week for the better part of a year, which is what I’m going to have to do. (I know you’re thinking “well just take a nap then you silly girl, you deserve it” but hello, drills are involved!)
4. The dentist said something like “have you never heard of dental floss?” before handing me a free sample and giving me a demonstration. (Hello, have you never heard of toothpicks? That’s what people usually use in Japan. They are even provided for free in all restaurants and convenience stores.)
5. Sonbeam took the free dental floss from me as soon as I got home. According to him, he needs it more than I do. By the way, apart from his edumacation, his teeth have cost me more than anything in my life, including Benjamin’s vet fees.
6. It won’t be long before pets require orthodonture. Then I’ll really be in trouble.