I used to hate getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist. I have a couple of sensitive teeth. Any time the hygienist touched them with a poky metal thing, a sharp needle of pain would pierce my jaw. Every cleaning I would lock my jaw and grip the arms of the chair, dreading the moment the hygienist found one of those spots.
One day at work (before Son was born and I still had a job) I was chatting with a colleague who said she loved getting her teeth cleaned because she always thought of it as a “spa for her teeth”. I laughed. That seemed totally crazy to me because the dentist was nothing like a spa. But then I thought about it some more and I could see what she meant. I mean, you get to lie down for about an hour while someone else helps take care of you. And spa treatments aren’t always exactly painless, take waxing, for example. In a spa, though, you don’t focus on the pain, you focus on being cared for and the results; smooth legs that you don’t need to shave for weeks. At the dentist, you get smooth teeth that feel squeaky clean.
Since that chat, I started seeing a cleaning as a “tooth spa”, and it completely changed the experience for me. So much so that the first time I went to the “tooth spa”, I actually thought the hygienist had given me something to numb me, and later found out she hadn’t.
Now, I am sitting in the chair at the “tooth spa”. Son is with Husband and Daughter is with Grandma. I’m away from home, so no tasks are calling me to be done. I have nothing to do while the hygienist preps her things, but stare out the window. The fifth floor office has a beautiful view of the sky. Today the clouds are moody and brooding, but brilliant flashes of blue sky behind them and the green of trees tell me it’s summer. I can see the mountains in the distance, silent witnesses to our busy days, while they wait patiently for eternity. And I look forward to the restful hour I’ll spend in the chair and how smooth my teeth will feel when I’m done.