This is not Roxanne Nunweiler but it’s effectively the same view I have when I’m at the dentist. (CDHA photo)

Sarah Simpson Column: My toothfairygodmother has flown away

My husband went to the dentist the other day. I know, I know, stop the presses right? This is not news. He goes when he’s supposed to. (Three cheers for oral hygiene!) Anyway, It’s what he learned while he was there that I wanted to share with you because it has left me in a bit of a tizzy.

Back in early February I wrote about the magical powers of my dental hygienist. (Back in February I also learned I have a particularly difficult time spelling ‘hygienist’ correctly.)

SEE RELATED: Fairy godmothers come in unexpected places

In that column I explained how my hygienist seemed to be my toothfairygodmother.

When I first met my hygienist I was a relative newcomer to the region, I had amassed a small collection of friends but mostly spent my days, nights and weekends working. (That’s what us reporters tend to do when we don’t have small children. The news, like said children, never sleeps.) Anyway, my hygienist likes to get to know her patients so she asked if I had a boyfriend.

“No. Not yet,” I said. My appointment ended with the standard glowing report on my oral hygiene and I went on my way.

From then on, one way or another, whenever I went to see her I always seemed to have a new major life milestone to report and she always told me what she figured would come next for me. From the new-to-town, single workaholic to the new boyfriend that then moved in that then became my husband right through to the two kids and the house, she’s been there to either predict, or witness it all.

Was it somehow her doing? Or maybe just me getting off my butt and living my life just to have something to report back about? I’m still not sure. Either way, it has always been an adventure going to the dentist just to see what’s coming next for me.

My column was even read by the folks at the Ottawa-based Canadian Dental Hygienists Association which was cool because they encouraged me to nominate her for their Dental Hygiene Superhero Competition (which I did and I hope she wins. The contest has since closed and the results are due out next month.)

But last week my husband came home with sparkly teeth, fresh breath, a new toothbrush, and bad news (for me anyway.)

Our hygienist, and I can now confirm her name is Roxanne Nunweiler, is retiring after 37 years in the field!

I was gutted to hear the news. What does this mean for my life’s progress? I don’t even get a chance for one last cleaning because I’m not scheduled again until long after she’s gone. If only I could have gone in to see her one last time to offered up any number of wishes she could grant at her leisure during her retirement.

But wait. Hold on for just a second. I’m not a quitter. Where there’s a will there’s a way, right? Even if Roxanne was moving on it didn’t have to mean we were over.

My husband was able to text me and act as a go-between while she worked on his teeth.

The good news is this: while I did lose my hygienist, I gained a new Facebook friend. Roxanne will now be able to grant my wishes remotely, from wherever her life after work takes her and I believe in the short term it’s going to take her on a nice, long, well-deserved vacation overseas.

I’m sure my next hygienist will do just fine. But I only have one toothfairygodmother.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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