A space in my gums,
I reserve only to you.
Oh, fill this empty space!!
I was singing on this tune before my milk teeth began to fall one by one. The events that followed this simple natural course of nature made me wish I had no teeth in the first place.
(The sequel of the above haiku will appear in a few lines below. And so this was how it all started. Read below...)
The one place where fear overwhelms to create ridiculously weird and scary thoughts inside my head goes to none other than the “dentist shop”. As a kid, I hated going to the dentist due to the following experiences:
Age 7: Usually milk teeth fall off at this age giving space for permanent teeth to grow. But in my case, two permanent front teeth were growing right behind the milk tooth and as a result, dad took me to the dentist shop to get the two front milk teeth plucked off!! “Ouchy” experience I must say (including the injection that they give to numb off my gums, but who’s going to numb the damn pricky injection!!).But I got my reward in the form of a big tub of ice-cream, which made me forget about the pain the next instant!!
Age 9: Turns out my permanent teeth were a wee bit wider n larger in size than all my little milk teeth put together. Extra space was needed to get them aligned all straight and normal. To prevent letting me out grow my childhood with a crooky tooth set and later torture me with braces, my mom took me to the dentist lady again and by her prediction, I was growing four extra teeth that would create a problem if not removed before hand. So there I was, strapped to the dentist chair, screaming my head off as if I was about to be fed to some dark monster. There was no way I would let them prick my gums with injections again! As a result, I was introduced to a local Anaesthetic Injection, right to my wrist and I was put to sleep. I woke up hours later, with cotton balls stuffed into my mouth and the unfortunate “plucked” tooth were laid to rest in a plastic box. I remember burying them in our garden later. Talk about cremating one’s body part at such a young age!!
Age10: I entered the dentist office, shivering from head to toe for more pricks and plucks from the nice dentist lady. Fortunately, this was just a general check up and she advised my mom to bring me back at age 12 because she suspected my lower jaw to be smaller in size to hold two other teeth that were growing their way out. So no plucking today! Two more years of bliss, I thought.
And so this is where I recite the Haiku sequel:
There’s no space left.
Stop growing, it’s not funny.
Sigh, Dentist here I come!
Age 11: For all you candy-obsessed, sweet toothers out there, your mom is always right when she shouts at you saying things like, “ no more candy for u”. Because, the end result of over indulgence of sweets (in my case, Boomer bubble gums!!) will always ends you up on a dentist chair. So here I was, yet again in the dentist shop, getting one of my bacteria affected molar teeth cleaned out and cemented by the dentist lady. Not only I had to suffer the pangs of pain during the procedure, but also had to listen to an earful of advices and scolding’s from both my mom and the dentist.
Age 14: Due to some trips and vacations, my mom forgot all about my appointment with the dentist when I had aged 12. To say the truth, I actually did remember about the scary appointment but I didn’t bother to remind my mom as I was happy to stay away from the dentist chair. But now being back at the dentist shop, the dentist took the dental mirrors out of my mouth with displeasure plastered across her face and told my mom that had I come two years back (as I was supposed to!), she would have removed two more teeth and that would have aligned both my upper and lower jaw with straight teeth. Now all that was left to achieve was for me to wear braces for about a year and a half!!
This was the moment I felt like screaming at the top of my voice like some drama queen and running out of the dentist office for good measure. All those years of painful misery I had to endure was to prevent this exact thing from happening, to prevent my poor mouth to be occupied by sharp, steely braces. Sigh!! Skipping one lousy year, and this was my punishment.
I resigned to let the dentist lady work her magic as she happily told me, “Say Aaa, Neha!!”, and I was once again reintroduced to the various dental instruments. Lesson learned: “prevention is better than cure”.
Presently, it’s been over seven years since my last visit to the dentist shop. And I’m still very happy to stay away from that place. Thankfully, my teeth are aligned straight as ever, and so I’m happy to smile freely without any awkward self-consciousness. And that’s the thing I'm really grateful for, given all the trouble I had to undergo during my childhood and early teenage life.
P.S: About a month ago, I did go to the dentist shop for a general check-up. As I sat on the dentist chair and stared at the light focusing on my mouth, I was reminded of all these "fond" memories and so thought of sharing it.
Submitted to : Haiku Heights Prompt#97- Space
Image courtesy: babysittersbungaloo