Mouthwash and Floss

The dentist’s drill, red hot against my lips, raised blisters like ruddy grapes. He took his time, chewed his cud, burped, wiped old cream cheese from his beard. But he worked with purpose and dexterity, crowning each alpine molar with a glacier of gold. Done, he handed me a Dixie cup of mercury, asked me to rinse now, to brush, religiously, as if I meant it, to go forth, but to return to his reclining vinyl chair in 180 days. The receptionist, wet hairy hands and scrubbed pink feet, kissed my neck and pleaded, “Mouthwash and floss! Mouthwash and floss!”

Gordy Slack is a science writer living in Oakland, California, and author of The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and a School Board in Dover, PA.

Photo credit: D’Arcy Norman

One Response to “Mouthwash and Floss”

  1. jill tannone says:

    great piece! enjoyed reading this and wanted more….

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