Personally, I believe that Marathon Man should be required viewing for all dentists and dental assistants.

Of course, I, of all people, should be more serious about dental health. I make a living with my mouth, after all. As the dental assistant went around my teeth and stuck a probe into my gums to see how much tartar I’ve built up since the last visit (and remind me why it’s been seven years), I laughed out loud when she stopped and said, “Do you have insurance?” Fortunately, yes. I’ve got to go back for scaling, where they put half my face to sleep so they can scrape seven years worth of crud from my teeth and gums. I’ve had it done before. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson. And it’s expensive, too. Twice-yearly cleanings are free on our insurance, and they help you avoid facial anesthesia and dental scourings. Funny how that works.

What my face feels like after they put half of it to sleep

So, brush your teeth every day, Oppo (“Up like a rocket, down like the rain, back and forth like a choo-choo train”). And you really should floss, too, though I’m convinced that dentists are the only ones who floss regularly. I asked the assistant, and she said that maybe 5% of her patients actually floss.