Chez le dentiste

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.

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  • JP

    Congrats, I am glad to hear it went well. That is an experience that I am not ready for yet. I still freak out when I need to get my hair cut, let alone have my teeth looked at! :-)

  • JP

    Congrats, I am glad to hear it went well. That is an experience that I am not ready for yet. I still freak out when I need to get my hair cut, let alone have my teeth looked at! :-)

  • Penny

    That sounds encouraging! I need to go too. But I’ll get through my hairdressers appointment first :)

  • Penny

    That sounds encouraging! I need to go too. But I’ll get through my hairdressers appointment first :)

  • The Late Bloomer

    Sounds like all went well, and that’s great! Yes, like I mentioned, they take a good look at your teeth, but French dentists defintitely don’t seem to be as much about berating, like you said… I’m still feeling guilty about not having my wisdom teeth removed yet, and I have a feeling I may regret it… I’m 33 now, and I should have had it done a few months ago — I really hope nothing is going to go wrong in the next few months!I have a feeling he may have been talking about your gums, yes — I think they use the word “déchaussée” to talk about your teeth being a bit more exposed because gums have receded a bit… But I’m not absolutely sure, so don’t quote me on it! I know I have this problem, though, and I’ve always thought it was because I brushed my teeth too “vigorously” so to speak, but my last dentist told me it was probably also due to the orthodontistry work I had done when I was a little girl.You are SOOOO lucky, though, to not have ANY cavities — that’s incredible! I’m so jealous… I’ve got several, and I know I haven’t always been the best about my teeth, although I’m very strict about brushing. And I rarely drink soda now, especially here in France. But oh well…

  • The Late Bloomer

    Sounds like all went well, and that’s great! Yes, like I mentioned, they take a good look at your teeth, but French dentists defintitely don’t seem to be as much about berating, like you said… I’m still feeling guilty about not having my wisdom teeth removed yet, and I have a feeling I may regret it… I’m 33 now, and I should have had it done a few months ago — I really hope nothing is going to go wrong in the next few months!

    I have a feeling he may have been talking about your gums, yes — I think they use the word “déchaussée” to talk about your teeth being a bit more exposed because gums have receded a bit… But I’m not absolutely sure, so don’t quote me on it! I know I have this problem, though, and I’ve always thought it was because I brushed my teeth too “vigorously” so to speak, but my last dentist told me it was probably also due to the orthodontistry work I had done when I was a little girl.

    You are SOOOO lucky, though, to not have ANY cavities — that’s incredible! I’m so jealous… I’ve got several, and I know I haven’t always been the best about my teeth, although I’m very strict about brushing. And I rarely drink soda now, especially here in France. But oh well…

  • http://www.google.com Guest

    yes

  • http://www.google.com Guest

    yes

  • http://dentalassociatesinc.com/meet-the-dentists-jackson-tn.html Kathy Frederickson

     It looks like you had so much fun during your visit at a French dentist office. And you’re so lucky to have a great dentist! I haven’t tried visiting a dentist office in other countries, but I definitely wanna try and see if there is a difference between them and our local hygienists. =]

  • http://dentisterieholistique.fr/ dentisterie energetique

    It’s really very difficult for you to communicate and have your dental treatment at the same time.  The good thing is you did survive in the end. :)

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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