I’ve been known to cheat at board games, poker and my driver’s license stats, but never on my dentist.

No one enjoys going to the dentist, but after waiting for three months to get his teeth cleaned – because of the COVID – he was up and ready to go for his checkup. "Now, that’s a little weird," I thought to myself. "Who wants to get their teeth cleaned?"

After going to the same dentist for more than 30 years, I figured what would it hurt to try someone new? I hadn’t planned on checking out a new dentist, but when his tooth guy retired and he fell head over heels in like with the new, young, attractive tooth goddess, who bought out the practice, I felt the need to check her out under the guise of having my teeth cleaned.

I made my appointment convinced there was no way I’d give up my dentist who had been cleaning my teeth so long he probably had them memorized. I wanted to find fault in something – anything – which would convince me to stay put with my dentist who I’d memorized every hair follicle on his head. By the time I left the new dentist’s office, I’d made another appointment, and, as much as I didn’t want to admit, was looking forward to it.

I’m not sure how to ditch a dentist, but it appears as though our 30-year relationship is going to be over. Maybe because the new gal reminds us of our adult daughters, or, maybe for the fact she was quick, efficient and cute as a bug (even with a shield, face mask and scrubs on). This dentist’s most alluring trait is to concentrate on saving the teeth versus just pulling them out.

I don’t worry about getting older but I really don’t want to lose my teeth. I think about it so much I often dream of looking in a mirror and all of my teeth are loose (or it could be because I have periodontal disease and my gums are receding).

I will do most anything to avoid a toothache. Even mild-mannered people turn into mean maniacs with pain that is relentless, unless you can knock yourself out with strong medicine or find someone to pull the culprit out.

Funny how the life cycle brings everything back around, sooner or later. The 7-year-old grandsons are losing teeth right and left and think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I’m doing everything in my power to keep from losing just one.

The new dentist lady suggested a Water Pik and believe me, I didn’t waste any time buying one. When I walked in the door, with the Water Pik in tow, he didn’t have to ask, since he too had purchased one for himself.

Too bad we don’t heed the advice of dentists before we go over the hill. It sure would save a lot of time staring at the top of their heads.

– Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com.