Once upon a time a lovely but perpetually stressed out lady went to the dentist for her first oral cancer screening followed by a routine cleaning. She was age sixty and had decided it was time for such an exam since there was a family history of oral cancer. This particular old lady trusted her friendly hygienist’s steady and gentle twenty years of experience. She opened and closed her mouth and moved her tongue side to side, as prompted. The troubling thing was that she couldn’t help but notice that with each movement she could feel her jaw clicking, almost like a wooden roller coaster on a painstakingly slow ascent. With the end of the dental cleaning in sight, at the pinnacle of anticipation, the dental chair she was held captive in took a nosedive, barreling into a hard right as the rider patient was thrust through an inevitable muscle spasm, complete with swelling, aching, and (gracious me!) her jaw was soon as stuck as a fair goer at the mercy of a carny rat. Her only hope was to remain calm as, through clenched teeth, she answered the hygienist’s rapid-fire questions. Patient—hygienist—dentist teamwork took care of the immediate problem. Generously spraying the entire right side of the lovely lady’s bare-naked face with an icy-cold spray provided enough temporary relief to enable her to comply with the commands of the wise old dentist as he coached his patient to slowly open her mouth, more, and more, and then some more until the dentist could complete his exam, bringing the dental roller-coaster ride to a controlled and smooth stop with the reassuring words: “she looks good!”
Moral of the story:
Take care of your whole self, including body, mind, soul and spirit. Go to the dentist regularly and remember that wise dentists and their dental hygienists are there to help you stay healthy and happy. They have the skills to help you in dental scenarios of all kinds. Trust God to use them for good in your life.
Application of moist heat to a sore jaw, fresh hot coffee, mashed potatoes, with Italian ice for dessert, while watching JAG reruns on a rainy afternoon is a valid way to “squeeze the day” after taking a punch from the enemy or when you go through unexpected trouble at a dental checkup.