Is It Socially Acceptable to Stalk Your Dental Hygienist?

On accepting pain and discomfort

Judith Victoria
9 min readApr 3, 2022
Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

Everybody in the waiting room was visibly annoyed, but I couldn’t stop tapping my foot. Anxiety was somersaulting through my muscles, and I had to release some of that kinetic energy before it would explode inside my chest.

I was as annoyed as the other patients. My fear had almost dissipated in the two years I’d been coming here. The last time I sat here, my stress levels were nearly zero, and now they were worse than ever before. I contemplated leaving — just grab my stuff and walk out.

But I had already learned the hard way what happens when you don’t go to a dentist for four years. So I waited until Alex beckoned me to come in. “I am not happy, Alex,” I said as I climbed into his chair.

He didn’t look up and kept thumbing through my file. He pointed at a poster of a woman with a gorgeous smile. “You should be taking pictures like that with your beautiful teeth; I still don’t understand why you are so afraid.”

I sighed. I know I have good teeth now. But it came at a painful price. I used to have horrible teeth as a kid. I had a massive overbite, and because some of my baby teeth refused to fall out, I looked like a shark with a double row of teeth.



Judith Victoria

Essays on life, love, and other lousy stuff. Otherworldly flash fiction & romantic short stories. Failing forward. Perpetually amazed.