Fixing Up/Falling Apart

I went to the dentist this morning and oh how things have changed since I last went.  They now have TV screens at the foot of the chair, and another mounted in the ceiling.  Besides the usual cleaning, x-rays, bite-down-this, and open-wider that, they now use a camera mounted in a little silver pen to give you excruciating close-ups inside your mouth.  I floss, brush twice daily, chew sugar-free gum, and use Listerine, yet seeing the roots of my teeth up there on the ceiling screen I felt like an absentee landlord.  Where’s the hygiene?  Where are the telltale marks of a fastidious tooth cleaner?  Maybe too fastidious, it turns out.  I have apparently been brushing too hard, literally scrubbing away at the enamel and gums holding my teeth in place, so I got an interesting tip from the dentist:  stop using toothpaste.  Yep, turns out you can skip the toothpaste since the little granules work to scrub away enamel as well as food and gunk.  So all this time Toddler Harbat has been sucking the strawberry-flavored toothpaste off  her brush and then brushing her teeth she’s actually been doing it right.  See, kids can teach you something.

Then I came home and saw that the gutter on the front half of our house had fallen halfway off and was exposing all the porch rafter tails, like a slip hanging below a skirt hemline. I suspect neighborhood cats.  They didn’t have enough fun defecating in our garden and harassing the mockingbirds so now they’re tearing our house apart.  Again I ask, “Cats, what are they supposed to be good for again?”

And on that note, I will wish you all a happy Friday and leave you with an important fact:  male duck-billed platypuses have venom glands in their rear feet.  You know, because they’re not freaky enough.

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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2 comments on “Fixing Up/Falling Apart
  1. Susannah says:

    I had the exact same reaction. Luckily it’d been a good 20+ years since I had a cavity, but I couldn’t help but thank my lucky stars for the intervening progress of technology. Water jet: infinitely better.

    Also better: a hygienist who likes to talk about the Velvet Underground and dentist who plays (and sings along to) the Avett Brothers and lets me request a moratorium on Jack Johnson during treatment, instead of forcing me to get drilled while listening to the worst of Michael Bolton.

    On the fence about: a dentist who refers to people “our age.” Aren’t dentists supposed to be, like, other people’s dads?

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