Yesterday I went to the dentist to get a crown, which I had been putting off since last October, not because getting a crown costs about $2 million, as it appears to, but because I was certain I would die of fright.
Never mind that I have given birth to three children. Getting an injection–of painkiller, no less!–into my mouth seemed, in my over-active imagination, to be the equivalent of 20 epidurals, which believe you me were scary enough.
It turns out that I may just be the biggest wimp on the planet. When my dentist came toward me with the needle, I asked the hygienist, Yasmin, if I could hold her hand (I am not kidding). She kindly agreed–until I squeezed it so hard that she remarked, “My health insurance does not cover injuries to the hand” (again, not kidding). And so I let go, but by that point the needle part was almost over.
I did not need to hold her hand in the first place, though, because I discovered that getting a crown is something that I am tough enough to handle. Who knew?
I am not, however, tough enough to handle what comes after getting a temporary crown, which is no chewing gum until you can get the permanent crown. In my case this means three weeks without gum. I don’t think I have gone three weeks without gum since I was about four years old.
Ok, spare me the lecture about how gum is so tacky and ugly and all that. I already give myself the same lecture every time I put a piece of peppermint Dentyne Ice (my gum of choice) in my mouth. I simply don’t care.
So, to my fellow awful, tacky, addicted gum chewers out there: if anyone has tips on how to survive without gum (and taking up cigarettes is not the answer), I’m all ears.