When I got to the dentist's office today, there were a few forms to fill out and sign. One of them asked how long it had been since my last dental visit.
My hand, unable to confess to the full extent of my 14-year dental absence, wrote down "12 years". Emboldened by this white lie, it continued, exaggerating my quarterly flossing into a monthly floss-fest. I shook my head disappointedly at the hand, worried about the fabricated maladies that might make it onto the form in the "Existing Medical Conditions" section. Thankfully, the lies had ended.
Then, after a mere 21 x-rays (seriously, 21 freakin x-rays!), I got seated in the big chair. The dentist came in 10 minutes later. He reviewed my forms.
Dentist: Ok... let's see here... It says that a relative referred you here. Which relative?
Me: My wife.
Dentist. Oh, ha ha. Ok..... Wow! Was your last visit really TWELVE years ago?
Me: Uh, I kind of lied on that part. It was 14 years ago. (Hah! Like you weren't going to get caught, hand!)
Dentist: 14 years? I guess you're just not a dentist person?
Me: No, that's not it at all. I just decided I didn't need to come any more. I never got any cavities.
Dentist: Well (examining my x-rays), that's going to change as you get older. As you age...
Me: Yes, I know, my enamel will wear down.
At this point the dentist lapsed into a silence, concentrating on my 21 x-rays. They were all digital, so he examined each one in turn on the computer, darkening, zooming, and sharpening, for the clearest image. After about a minute of silence he cleared his throat.
Dentist: Well, as I always say, it's better to be lucky than good.
Me: You mean that my x-rays look healthy?
Dentist: So far, yes.
He grabbed a stabby thing and a mirror and began poking at each of my teeth in turn.
Dentist: Well, how many cavities do you think you have?
Me: I think I have zero cavities.
Dentist: That's exactly right. You've been blessed with good genes.
Me: Actually, my parents both have lots of cavities.
Dentist: Really? Huh. You're just lucky then.
Me: I guess so.
Dentist: You can't count on this continuing your whole life though. You need to start seeing a dentist regularly.
Me: Oh, certainly.
Dentist: You should come every six mon.... How about once a year?
Me: That sounds very reasonable.
Dentist: That would be a good idea.
Me: I completely agree. Staying away for 14 years wasn't wise.
Dentist: No, certainly not.
After I got my teeth cleaned (Jesus, scraping off 14 years of scrapey-offy stuff is painful) and polished (mmmm!), I marched right past the receptionist and out the door.
See you in 21 years, doc!
Hopefully the expression "Lucky in dental health, lucky in baseball gambling software" will hold true.