Seriously? Did people really use those?
Anyway, I'm pretty sure dental dams have gone the way of the diaphragm and the contraceptive sponge, but one phenomenon that is still very much with us is the dental cram, and that's what this blog post is actually about.
The dental cram is that thing we all do the day before (or the actual day) that we go to the dentist, when suddenly it's time to compensate for 6 to 12 months of oral hygiene delinquency. For me, that means maniacal flossing and brushing for the 24 hours before the appointment, pretending to myself that this last minute flurry of activity will undo all those nights that I passed out with the equivalent of a bowl of popcorn stuck between every single one of my teeth.
Because unlike when I was a kid, no one is making me brush or floss my teeth. I could just never do it. And I never have to go to the dentist at all. I don't even have to fill a cavity. I could just as soon let all my teeth rot out of my head and no one could stop me. And yet, I force myself to go to the dentist, mainly so that I don't end up looking like a meth head.
These days, I also bring my children into the dental cramming act. "YOU NEED TO BRUSH YOUR FRICKIN' TEETH!!!! NOW!!!" I must have shouted that sentence once every twenty minutes for the entire day before all three of us were scheduled to visit the dentist.
I told them that if they failed to do this, they would most certainly have cavities. Having no sense of time, cause, effect, or incredulity, they of course believed me.
The fact that (for ONCE) none of us actually did end up having a cavity only reenforced the value of the dental cram, and I'm not gonna stop dental cramming anytime soon.