An excerpt from an essay I'm working on concerning the seven sacraments.
Your new dentist asked you how long your mouth had been full of ulcers.
She diagnosed you with an allergy to a chemical found in most regular and whitening toothpastes. She did not need to write a prescription, but she did recommend that you switch to toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
After a few days, it no longer hurt to eat. Within a week, you were able to drink orange juice or salt your eggs without so much as a wince.
Your new dentist warned you never to use the old toothpaste again, not even a little, not even if it’s the only convenient toothpaste around. That would be like touching only a little poison ivy.
You didn’t need to be told twice.
You couldn’t believe you’d never thought to ask your old dentist why your mouth hurt all the time. You assumed it was supposed to hurt. Was all healing that simple? Were you really not supposed to hurt all the time? Was asking all it took?