Saturday, October 22, 2016

Hygiene Lectures

It’s when a professional of some sort gives you very basic advice about how you should do something that you should have, if you weren’t faulty as a human being, been doing all along.

Actually, “hygiene lecture” is short for “dental hygiene lecture,” which is the very first one of these I ever had. As a kid, I had a lot of cavities. I’ve since been told that it was probably because of the shape of my teeth.

But for years, I dreaded, even worse than when she did her “Marathon Man” thing on my gums with her little picky tools, when the dental hygienist would finish, hand me a mirror and proceed to “teach” me how I should be brushing and flossing my teeth.

Of course, I clean my teeth, I wanted to shout. But I didn’t. Just had to sit there and listen.

Hygiene lectures take many forms. Why haven’t you been changing those filters or these batteries? Don’t you know you are supposed to clear out all those cookies on your computer every so many months? And you are supposed to flush out your hot-water heaters every year? When was the last time you changed the oil in your car? Don’t you check your bills every month and call the cable company, the cell phone company, the electric company to see if you can get a better deal?

The A/C company recently came to do its 6-month maintenance on our system. Now, I could have just left everything as is and the guy would have changed all the filters. But right before he arrived, I took out the ladder and changed them all myself.

Because I didn’t want to hear it.

So, I guess hygiene lectures work. :o(


  1. As a former dental hygienist of 20 years practice, please accept my apology for the clunky way your hygienist approached this. I would NEVER do that to anyone over the age of 12. It is disrespectful. And I particulary wouldn't make the demand of a patient to "show me" how they brush. My late father-in-law was subjected to that when he was in his 70's. (He didn't suffer fools gladly and was justifiably outraged.) There are better ways of helping someone if they are missing certain areas when they brush or floss without making them feel they're an inch high when you get through with them. When I was in dental hygiene school, I knew practitioners like yours. They were real (pardon the term) ball-busters, and I wouldn't have wanted to be a patient of theirs. Some people unfortunately, even with the best brushing and flossing tehchiques, do have a problem with caries because of the chemistry of their mouths, or the quality of their enamel. My husband, a dentist himself, has had to put up with that over the course of his lifetime. Sorry about the lecture. Not all of us are like that.