Good news: Dentist appointments in France last about 10 minutes.
I’ve never had any problems with my teeth in my life (not one single cavity!), but since I haven’t been to the dentist since before I moved to France, I thought I’d better go. The dentist was talking so incredibly fast, so I’m not sure if I understood everything. But he said my teeth looked fine, did a tiny bit of scraping off of tartar, and that was that. No “polishing” with disgusting sandy toothpaste, definitely no painful flossing, no fluoride that makes me drool, no x-rays that make me gag, no berating for not having my wisdom teeth removed. He told me I didn’t need to come back for another year. I love French dentists.
I could understand simple words like carie, gencive, and bactérie, but it took me forever to figure out what type of toothpaste he was recommending. An hour after getting home, I realized he had said dentifrice au bicarbonate – toothpaste with baking soda, a.k.a. the brand Sensodyne (SEN-suh-dine and sahn-soh-deen aren’t that different sounding after all). And a souple toothbrush. I’m still trying to figure out a few other words he said though; something that sounded like chaussement or chaussant… I think it referred to gums?
Usually whenever I have to go to appointments like this, I tell the doctor right away that I’m American and hope they dumb down their language so I can understand them. At least they speak slower, but not this guy. I should have faked the stereotypical American accent (I’m blessed/cursed with a rather good accent in French); but something tells me he wouldn’t have really cared.