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Leith on life

A mortal fear of dental hygienists

By Sam Leith   April 2013

What’s your deepest darkest fear? Mine, I’ve come to realise over the course of time, may actually be dental hygienists. This, please feel free to refrain from pointing out, explains why my teeth are smelly and caramel-coloured and I’m going to spend the last decades of my life eating only soup.

Why hygienists? It’s dentists, I know, that scare most people more—with their whining drills, needles dripping anaesthetic and enthusiasm for kneeling on your chest and ripping things out of your face with pliers. Many a case of dental caries, to be sure, has gone untreated as a direct result…

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