I’ve never been to a dental clinic that looks like a spa, nor have I been asked if I like my smile, till I had my teeth cleaned at a dental clinic in Makati.
Most Filipinos don’t quite consider oral health as top priority in their list of where to put hard-earned money. When you look at facts, it could be a little alarming: the Department of Health has found that about 90% of Filipinos have tooth decay and cavity. That probably explains why many Pinoys have bad breath (read: grudge).
That’s a sad, overlooked problem, isn’t it.
So, aside from brushing our teeth three times a day (and maybe floss and gargle mouthwash if we have extra budget), it’s a good practice to visit the dentist twice a year for cleaning. Better if your company covers your medical and dental needs.
When I was in a company that didn’t have medical benefits, I made it a point to have a prophylaxis at least once a year. I found it expensive though, for 500-600 pesos. But what I like hearing from dentists is how nice my set of teeth is. That’s one of the few things I’m proud of, I guess: my teeth. I mean, if we start talking about hair, or feet, or eyebrows, I wouldn’t probably be as enthusiastic. I may be shy to open a conversation about feet, but I wouldn’t mind talking over a cup of coffee about how complete my molars are, or how neat my teeth fillings or pasta is, or how diligently aligned my pearly not-so-whites are.
Talking about whites, I don’t smoke but I might have inherited my father’s stained teeth (but I could also blame my daily caffeine fix). My mother says, when my father was younger, he had all his teeth pulled out, and replaced them with pustiso (dentures), because he was shy of his “yellowish” teeth. I wasn’t smiling when Mama told me this story. I guess teeth whitening wasn’t heard of yet those days, or, whitening was and is expensive.
Anyway, this dental clinic that I mentioned – Mike booked us an appointment with dentists here (both of us are covered by Intellicare). Talk about a healthy relationship. I went first.
I almost hesitated to enter because I wasn’t sure if it’s a dental or a derm clinic; and I was wondering why there were supermodel looking women in white robes (the dentists) on the lounge. My assigned dentist was Korean-looking. She greeted me, introduced herself, and said she’s going to be my dentist for the day and it was nice meeting me and I can take a seat (on the handsome, modern dentist chair). I was done in 15 minutes. She said I have a good set of teeth.
The interiors amazed me, I wanted to take home some of their decors. I thought, yeah, why not design it stylishly? And when I was given a form to fill out, again I thought, yeah, why not ask ‘Do you like your teeth’ or ‘Do you like your smile’ in a dental clinic. I answered yes, I like my teeth, and sometimes, I like my smile.
Didn’t I get a boyfriend from smiling.