Every time I go to the dentist they try and force me to get a mouth guard. Apparently, I’m a clencher. Quite often I find my dream-self running around fighting supernatural battles and escaping dangerous villains. I guess it’s only natural, when witnessing myself endure all that action and suspense, to clench my teeth in anticipation for an epic showdown.
So finally I caved. Maybe it was Tales telling me he wouldn’t kiss me if I lost all my teeth. Which then led to dreams of broken teeth. I consulted a dream journal and learned that my mouth is getting me into trouble.
I tried an NTI mouth guard first. This is a small, prefabricated polycarbonate matrix that covers only your two front teeth, leaving a gap so that your back teeth cannot clench. Problem: I clench my front teeth instead and they feel so loose in the morning that I have visions of my toothless refection in the mirror.
When I went back to my dentist, they recommended a full mouth guard. A large woman took me into the back room, sat me down and asked,
“Are you wanting top or bottom?”
“Ummm, what’s the difference…?” I asked, wondering if she was joking or entirely clinical.
“No difference. Some just have a preference for how it feels.”
After I made my decision, the large woman began to explain what I would experience during the procedure.
“You will lean forward, relax your jaw and open as wide as you can. I will shove it in. You will feel it expanding into the back of your throat. Try not to gag. I will finish very quickly.” Once again, I tried to look for a wink or a smirk or something that would reveal her perverted sense of humour. Nothing. Dead pan.
“Don’t worry,” I reassured her. “I got this.”
“Some people get the white goo everywhere. Here is a cloth to clean yourself up afterward.”
“As long as I don’t get it in my eye.”
“One time, when we were practicing, my friend got it up my nose.” Nothing. No hint of comedy at all. This woman has the driest sense of humour for someone who engages in such a moist activity. Little does she know how hard this is for me. How hard it is to keep my mouth shut. How hard it is not to spit out something truly perverted. I managed to swallow everything and remain professional, but god damn, she just set herself up so perfectly.
I tried to spit out the white residue, but because my mouth was still numb from having a cavity re-filled, everything just poured down my chin. On my drive back to work I refused to swallow, because I thought it was unhealthy, so my mouth filled up to capacity with saliva and little white bits. When I returned to work, I ran down to the washroom and let it all flow out.
When I came upstairs, Naomi pointed out the little bit of schmutz on my beard.
“Good lord, Dick, at least clean up after yourself.” Thank god for perverted friends. Otherwise I would have imploded a very long time ago.
Our friend and colleague Kimberley began shaking with terror, just hearing about my experience at the dentist. After learning about her irrational fear of dental work, Naomi and I decided that it was our duty as good friends to help cure her of this affliction. I explained to Kimberley that every Monday night we would lay her down and practice putting things in her mouth.
“You’ll cry the first few times,” I explained, “but eventually you will become conditioned to receiving foreign objects orally. And then you’ll be normal – just like everyone else.”