The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Michele Bender

September 29, 2012

MICHELE BENDER | Let’s see a big smile

— I confess! I’m a “floss-aholic.” I buy flosser pics (little plastic pics with floss stretched on one end) and keep them in the drawer beside me. I floss after eating anything.

I have a 12-horsepower Black & Decker electric toothbrush. I use the powerful toothpaste and industrial-strength mouthwash that my hygienist recommends.

I’m clearly “dental-phobic.”

Many folks reserve dental visits for emergencies such as toothaches, bloody gums, broken teeth – desperate circumstances.

I love to go to my dentist’s office. I’d have my choppers cleaned every month if I could afford it.

I credit my stellar oral upkeep habits to my genes.

For the most part, my gene pool has been more of a septic tank.

But Uncle Joe, my dad’s brother, was absolutely the most wonderful dentist who ever fired up a drill. He was thorough, but gentle. I never minded time spent in his chair.

Readers, if you’re my age (somewhere between 50 and death), you may have fond memories of Dr. Joe on Lincoln Street. His little red brick office sat right where the circle behind the former Lee Hospital is now.

Aunt Sis, my dad’s sister, served as my other dental role model. Sis taught me, by example, two major life lessons.

(1) If at all possible, avoid diabetes.

(2) Try not to ever need dentures.

Years ago, a co-worker reluctantly underwent “deep scaling,” a periodontal procedure.

He reported the details the next day. “They numb you and scrape plaque from under your gums.”

Everyone shuddered except me. Wow! Cleaning under your gums, the epitome of oral hygiene.

It took me a year to save the $550 fee.

As I settled in the chair for my first session (they do one side at a time), the doctor picked up a chart. “Who referred you for this treatment?”

“No one,” I replied. “I just heard about it and thought, ‘that’s for me.’ ”

The doctor nearly collapsed. I thought he’d need sedation. His shock was evident.

“I never encountered a patient who voluntarily  requested deep scaling,” he gasped.

“I’m a trend-setter.”

I actually enjoyed my sessions. I pictured crud being scoured away, leaving the roots of my molars sparkling and sanitized.

The doctor explained that most folks only require that type of scaling one time. Routine cleaning and regular maintenance would be adequate.

Thanks, Uncle Joe. Thanks, Aunt Sis.

If you see me out somewhere, smile, but keep your Foster Grants handy because I’ll smile back.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Michele Bender
  • Michele Bender MICHELE M. BENDER | Scenic road to recovery

    I thought this busy summer wore me out.
    Father’s Day afternoon I flopped in my recliner and forced myself to do some bookkeeping. I licked an envelope and gasped. No spit, only blood ... as if Hannibal Lecter just served me lunch.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Licorice lends a paw

    I bet you expected to find Michele Bender’s column here today.
    She just came home from the hospital. She’s doing fine but resting, so I thought I’d lend a paw.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender MICHELE M. BENDER | Time to can clutter

    I’m “downsizing.” Sixteen years ago, this house was perfect for me. I gave parties. Friends came and stayed for weekends. Great insulation protected visitors from highway noise.
    Yep, I had the time of my life.
    But I’m 16 years older, and my friends are, too.  They no longer travel like they did. Parties wear us out by 10 p.m.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele Those oldies, but goodies

    Twice yearly Hollywood marches out a platoon of war movies.

    May 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Living life out loud

    “If I make it to Medicare,” I declared, “I’m going to throw a party people will not forget! It’ll be something no one’s ever done!”
    Well, I made it to 65.

    May 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Watch the stars come out

    Every spring, I catch drive-in movie fever. We are blessed to have three outdoor theaters in a 30-mile radius. Movies under the stars … heavenly!

    May 3, 2014

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele.JPG MICHELE M. BENDER | Whisper sweet nothings in my ear

    “Your call is very important to us,” growled the crabby lady at the utility company. “Please wait for the next available representative.”

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele MICHELE M. BENDER | Sock it to me

       

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele.JPG MICHELE M. BENDER | What happened to Christmas?

    Headaches rarely bother me. I always felt sorry for folks trapped in the Advil/Dristan web.
    I woke up at 4 a.m. Dec 17 with a headache that probably registered on a Richter scale. (People in New Zealand experienced aftershocks.)

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think pet obituaries should be included with death notices?

Yes, my pet is considered a member of the family.
No, pet obituaries are inappropriate.
Pet obituaries should be placed on a different page in the newspaper.
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads