• Author:Ben Jones
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Manners at the dentist

I made that trip that fills most of us with dread today; I went to the dentist. This is my second visit in a week after a healthy (or unhealthy!) break we’ve been taking from each other.

I wanted to reflect briefly on the build up to today’s reunion. In the hour before my appointment, I treated my teeth and gums to a thorough clean and floss. I’m not a dentist but I’m pretty sure that won’t have been enough to take care of any problems he subsequently found. By the way, I need a crown!

So why did I do it? Guilt? Partly. But also a sense of politeness. Surely it is right that I present my mouth in the cleanest condition for the dentist who must see some pretty rotten things. That is just good manners. But it got me thinking. Where will this end?

Doing your hair before going to the hairdressers? Cleaning your car before its MOT? Hoovering the house before your cleaner arrives? Getting better before heading to the doctors? I hope you will agree, these are some of the great questions of our time!

In a week of unspeakable awfulness, especially in Boston, and in hearing that we lost one of the great campaigners and even better Mums in Anne Williams, writing these brief scratchings made me smile. I hope my dentist appreciate my smile too.