If you haven't had your teeth cleaned lately, I highly recommend taking a couple of hours out of your work day (of course) for this special kind of oral therapy. It had been years for me, so I didn't know what to expect. That usually leaves me in a state of paralyzed panic, but I managed to talk myself into staying calm. I think the excitement of being away from the Home Office for a while offset the anxiety of having a perfect stranger poke around in my mouth with sharp instruments.
How long had it been? Well, it was a revelation to me that you don't have to spit in the swirly sink any more. Oh, the joy of suction. You close your lips around the tube to create a partial vacuum, and you get immediate relief from the excess buildup caused by the mini-power washer they use to get the cleaning started these days. The one time I drooled (slightly) while doing this, Cheryl chuckled. "I'm sorry. Sometimes it effervesces," she explained. Doesn't it just, though?
She told me that I breathed through my mouth, which I already knew but was impressed that one look at my gums revealed this insight to her professional eye. I carefully explained to her that I suffered from allergies and chronic sinus problems, so she wouldn't think that my nasal passages failed due to any deliberate abuse on my part.
Cheryl was very good about asking questions only when she was changing instruments, so that I could answer without having to deal with something besides tongue and teeth in my mouth. It was relaxing, lying back with nothing to do but listen to lite rock and scan the various wall decorations, all placed at an appropriately high angle for the position I was in. These were mainly plaques with humorous sayings (Lord, when I have nothing to say, please help me remember to shut up) and pop affirmations (If the ball comes your way, catch it; if you drop it, pick it up). They also had pictures of local sports stars from thirty or forty years ago. (Who was the guy who wore number 80 before Jerry Rice?)
None of the twinges I felt during the procedure progressed into true pain, and it was all in all a pleasant way to unwind in the middle of the day. Expensive, but pleasant. After I got home, I wished for the handy irrigation system Cheryl had used on me. My whole mouth felt dry the rest of the day. My teeth and gums developed a sterile, antiseptic quality, as if made of the latest space-age materials and installed by top-notch experts in the field of tile renovation. Clean, though. I felt very clean.