Chatterbox #71 – The dentist

Here’s an episode about going to the dentist in Canada and some related vocabulary. Not many people like going to the dentist, but we hope you like this episode anyway! Harp and Maura also tell some of their own stories about appointments they’ve had, both good and bad. They also discuss some expressions with teeth: to have a sweet tooth and like pulling teeth. You’ll probably want to brush your teeth after listening to this episode!


Expressions included in the Learning Materials:dentist

  • A checkup
  • A cavity
  • A baby tooth
  • To get kicked out
  • To get fed up
  • When it comes to
  • A drugstore
  • To grind your teeth
  • To have a sweet tooth
  • To quit cold turkey
  • To rub off on someone
  • Like pulling teeth

Sample transcript

Maura: So, today we’re gonna talk about a subject that a lot of people might not like.

Harp: That’s true. We’re gonna talk about the dentist.

Maura: Yes, the dentist. A lot of people hate going to the dentist.

Harp: Yeah. Because often, the dentist causes pain.

Maura: Yes. And it’s not a really pleasant experience to sit there with your mouth open for a really long time.

Harp: Exactly. So in this episode, we’re gonna start with talking about regular checkups and maintaining wonderful, beautiful teeth.

Maura: And how it’s done in Canada. Then we’re going to give you some expressions that have to do with teeth.

Harp: Exactly. And then we’re gonna talk about some childhood memories and experiences with the dentist.

Maura: Mmhmm. I think that’s when it’s the most scary—when you’re a kid.

Harp: Definitely.

Maura: OK. So first let’s start by talking about going to the dentist and how people do it and what happens there, in Canada.

Harp: Maura, how often do you go to the dentist?

Maura: I was hoping you weren’t gonna ask, Harp. When I was younger, I used to go often. But I don’t have insurance, and so I don’t go very often.

Harp: When was the last time you went to the dentist, Maura?

Maura: The last time I went to the dentist, I think, was about a year and a half ago.

Harp: OK. Not too bad then.

Maura: No, it’s not so bad. But I think there was a period where I didn’t go for about 5 years.

Harp: Yeah, because if you don’t have insurance, it’s very expensive to go to the dentist in Canada.

Maura: Yeah. It can be pretty expensive. That is to say, if you have just a little checkup and you’re teeth are fine, it’s not so bad, but if you have a cavity or any problem at all, then the cost goes up significantly.

Harp: Yeah. I remember being a kid and I would go twice a year for sure. But as soon as I got older, I didn’t go all the time. Especially when I didn’t have insurance.

Podcast/ Learning Materials: Culips