by Toffler



A New Experience–Going to the Dentist in China

April 21, 2007, by TofflerN, category Knowledge and Experiences, Uncategorized

That’s right, I voluntarily went to the dentist in China.  No emergencies, no problems, not even any pain.  I just wanted to go to the dentist because my teeth were feeling quite grimy and drinking all that tea was really staining my teeth.  So I chose one that looked clean, safe, modern and said alright I’ll have my teeth cleaned.  (Actually in Chinese the verb used for teeth cleaning is ‘to wash,’ not ‘to clean.’)  The hygienist was a young guy that claimed he had 4years working experience. Eh, good enough for me.
For the most part it was normal, like any other cleaning, except that I couldn’t understand everything they were saying and I had two heads peering over me and four hands in my mouth instead of the standard 1 and 2.  (Hey, labor is cheap, right?)  Anyway, it started out the same–scrape the plaque off the teeth.  Then they put a cloth over my face because they told me there would be a lot of water and salt? (xian or yan).  I didn’t quite understand until it started.  And the gentle abrasive of normally baking soda (except theirs had too much salt in it) flew everywhere and dripped everywhere.  Despite the cloth, I was still covered in the grainy bits and water by the time that was done.  Then he polished my teeth with a pink paste.  It tasted horrible!  What happened to good’ol mint flavor?  Anyway that passed and then I was handed a mirror.  Ok I understand you need to check out your haircut when the stylist is done, but what was I supposed to do with a mirror at the dentists office?  Inspect his work, he told me.  Uh…no thanks.  I’ll check to make sure my teeth are all still there later.  So I figured this meant we’re done…not quite.  Then he put a iodine-colored lightly sticky substance along my gums.  I freaked out a little.  What is this for?  They never do this in the States.  Ahh, what’s going on?  He said, probably they don’t do this in the States…something in Chinese that I did not understand.  The whole time I’m thinking, you know I’m from the US, why would you do something they don’t do in the US?  What is this for?  I hope its not a secret trick to make my gums rot and teeth fall out.  haha.  Just kidding.

In the end, it was as relatively positive experience as going to the dentist can ever be. It accomplished my goal of making my teeth feel cleaner and smoother!  Can’t say that it did much to remove the tea stains but then again I don’t think teeth cleaning ever makes that big of a difference in whiteness of teeth.  So far (2days later) I haven’t gotten sick so I guess that means the instruments were clean and sanitary.  But the real test I guess is when I return to my home dentist and they tell me if there was any damage from that clean.  But I doubt it.  Anyway, I think it was well worth the RMB260 (US$34) for clean, smooth teeth and an interesting China experience.

One Comment

  1. Tom & Louise |

    Ahh Toffler, one month away from us and you’ve gone completely mad! Only joking, it does sound as though the clean teeth were worth it in the end, although going to a Chinese dentist would be my definition of bravery. Heck, going to a chinese hairdresser as well!

    Hope you are well and enjoying your new job. We miss china and particularly travelling with the group- watch out, we’re going to come and knock on your door one of these days!


    Tom and Louise

So, what do you think ?