The hygienist was scraping away and I was trying to relax as the sharp cold steel crept closer to my vulnerable gums. The abrasion continued and I let my mind wander away from the smell of decay now wafting out of my mouth agape. With all the flossing and high-tech brushing and Listerine-ing, my pie hole still smelled like a sewer pipe exiting Newark on a hot August day. I cannot imagine spending every day in peoples mouths. My daughter Jessica once wanted to be a dental hygienist, but I described to her something like the aforementioned and she chose… Well, she didn’t do that. I wondered just how long I had been going to my current dentist, and doing a little simple subtraction, (2007 – 1987 = 20) I surmised it was close to twenty years. “Almost to the day,” replied Cathy through her mask, looking at my record. “Your first appointment was January 5, 1987.” Twenty years… That’s about 21,915 cups of coffee stains for those of you keeping score, and I’m vainly going to pursue a whiter shade of pale for the old incisors and cuspids. Yep, by early March I’ll have a new fake smile, but I’ll still really mean it.