I talk about my dentist now and then because he and his staff are part of my life. And I talk about what’s going on that’s had some kind of impact on me. Granted, sometimes I talk about shit that doesn’t have an impact but whatever.
So anyways awhile back my dentist said he wanted me to use a water flosser to get below the gum line. I brush my teeth and use floss picks because that’s what I do but obviously if he said I should use the Waterpik® then what I do is not enough.
Mostly I’m open to other people’s ideas. I’ve learned that I don’t have all the answers so I picked one up on Amazon and then after I got it, I tried it a few times but always ended up making a huge mess. The pick would be spraying all over the mirror, all over the walls. Water would be in my eyes and ears. The cats would be floating by on their inner tubes. I’m not even kidding.
It was like I had a firehose in my mouth and all that turned into too much chaos for me to deal with. Right before bed is when I’ve always brushed my teeth and having a waterpark in my bathroom when I’m winding down the day is not something I have the patience for.
And then of course every time I go to see my dentist he’d ask me if I’d been using the Waterpik and I’d be like, “well kinda sorta, not really.” A couple of times he’d be kind stern and on my case and that never sits well with me. I seem to have an aversion to people bossing me around. If someone tells me to do something then my standard response is “no, I don’t think so.”
And then of course we got cheated in the teeth department. I mean really, sharks get new teeth all the time and here I am stuck with the same teeth I’ve had since I was 10. That’s bullshit. But sharks are beside the point.
The last time I went to see my dentist we had our typical conversation about the Waterpik and I was fully expecting the hand of judgement to come crashing down. But this time was different. He said that he’d personally just made it part of his routine. He wasn’t telling me something that I needed to do but was instead telling me something he had done for himself.
And I do better when I hear things phrased like that. I admire and respect my dentist so if that’s what he had done, make it part of his routine, then that’s what I wanted to do, too.
I just needed to figure out how. How without my next Amazon purchase being a scuba suit.
Here’s the real story: when I became open to the idea of change it quietly occurred to me that I could brush my teeth and use the Waterpik firehose earlier in the day. Instead of right before bed when I’m tired and just want to go to sleep.
So now I brush my teeth, use my Waterpik, gargle with peroxide mix, and all that razzle-dazzle right when I get home from work. Instead of fighting against something that wasn’t working I found a different way that would work. If I’m frustrated then that’s a sign that I need to “pause, pray, and proceed.” Take a step back and solve whatever problem by another means. Even with something as simple as all of this.
And then this whole affair became all too easy. It’s part of my daily routine now. Using the Waterpik after work I wasn’t tired and had the patience to figure out how to actually use it without turning my bathroom into a carwash. I still brush my teeth right before bed, too, so now I’m up to brushing 2-3 times a day. I’m practically a dentist myself.
I’m pretty grateful that I can be flexible today. That I can let go of the rigidity of this is how I do things because this is how I’ve always done them. Dogma is bullshit. Even more so when I enforce or inflict it upon myself.
If I want what I’ve always had then all I need to do is what I’ve always done. But if I want something more maybe I should try something new.
Also, if you need a dentist mine is great. His whole staff is awesome. Well, one of the younger techs is kinda bossy so I don’t pay much mind to her.
As he should be because it’s his job to take care of me when I’m not taking care of myself. ↑
It’s funny that I struggle with the trivial things probably way more than the complex guys. I think that’s because I go into “I don’t wanna deal with this insignificant bullshit. I got other shit to do” mode. ↑