I’ve been told the first thing people notice about me is my smile. It’s my signature. Avant said that’s what caught his attention when we first met. It took me sometime to realize that I have a nice smile because I always focused on one tooth that is slightly pushed back. Honestly no one would know about the tooth unless I pointed it out. Legend has it that when I was 3 or 4 I thought I could fly and jumped down a staircase of fourteen steps. The rest is history. My father’s insurance package at the mill didn’t include dental so a trip to the dentist wasn’t possible.
Thankfully my paternal grandmother provided guidance and my tooth was saved. I guess you can Granny was our dentist and we learned from her. Granny taught my brothers and me how to “wash” our teeth. When we spent the night at Granny’s house she wet a washcloth (or face rag as we called it) and dipped it into the Arm & Hammer baking soda in her opposite hand. We opened our mouth and Granny gently rubbed the front and back of every tooth, finishing by rubbing our tongue. Then we rinsed our mouth with warm water. As we got older we were allowed to use a tooth brush and mixed a tiny amount of Colgate toothpaste (the size of a green pea) with the baking soda. Granny didn’t believe toothpaste was good for you.
“It’s too sweet. Why would folks want to wash their teeth with sugar?”
Memories like this warm my heart. For only having a 6th grade education, Granny was wise.
It’s been six weeks since I quit my job and my Affordable Health Care insurance coverage kicked in August 1st (Thanks President Obama!). Time to schedule the remaining appointments I couldn’t fit in before I resigned. First up is the dentist. Who loves going to the dentist? I know you do because you’re such wise and savvy readers. Me? I know I’m wise and savvy, but I don’t like the dentist. I’d rather have a mammogram than endure a person fooling around with my teeth. But I have to take care of my pretty smile.
My appointment with a new dentist was August 18th. I took my sister-in-law to her appointment at the same office a few days prior and was sold on the welcoming atmosphere and customer service. The receptionist put me at ease both times, and said my visit would be easy breezy. She was so kind! I believed her, yet sat in the chair while this tune played in my head:
In the middle of my quiet prayer a young man in dark blue scrubs with dark wavy hair approached me.
“Miss Fluffy? Hi! My name is Avant, and I’m your dental hygienist. I promise to take good care of you.”
SERIOUSLY??? “Avant?” Of all names. I could only shake my head and smile.
As a new patient Avant took time to explain what would happen during the visit and the roles Dr. Vela and he would have. I won’t bore you with the details of the visit, but let’s just say when I was done my numb gums and lip caused me to look like Billy Idol and talk like Mike Tyson with a speech impediment.
“Miss Fluffy, you are all set,” said Dr. Vela as she finished making notes on my chart. “Did you know you have a really great set of teeth? I don’t know many people your age that have never had a cavity. I was quite pleased when I reviewed your x-rays.”
“She does have a wonderful smile, doesn’t she Dr. Vela?” Avant chimed in. “Fluffy, would you like to see your x-rays?”
I gazed at the computer monitor as Avant clicked through the different images of my teeth. One that stood out was an image of my entire mouth flattened like a sideways crescent moon. Two rows of God designed, perfectly aligned teeth smiling back at me.
I had a new revelation of what others have seen for 46 years. And I smiled back.
Enjoy this 1991 video from Shanice.
Question: What positive truth have others told you, yet you find it difficult to believe?
Scripture: Proverbs 31:25