Tag Archives: dental exam

From feeder fish to fun

My last post dislodged some thoughts.  I seem to experience mental constipation a little too frequently and memories/thoughts that are not routinely used are tightly compressed.  Blogging is my mental laxative.

And my most recent explosive blow involves trips to the dentist.  Remember those?  Am I the only one who experienced a cardiac standstill at the mere mention of the word?  The dentist struck terror in my heart.  I shook.  I prayed for deliverance.  I grew pale and clammy.  I went into shock (they just didn’t know that it was shock back then).

I didn’t always react like that.  During my first trip to the dentist, I was like a feeder fish in a tank of piranhas.  Back in the day we ate what we wanted.  We brushed our teeth when we wanted.  Dental hygiene wasn’t a big deal to us until the teen years.  Parents weren’t total freaks like we are now.  So it was no surprise that I had my share of cavities.

During my first dental visit, I smiled an innocent smile (bearing the evidence of the chocolate Hershey bar I had moments before ) totally unaware of the horror that awaited.  I climbed into the big, weird-looking chair that reclined sending my spit to conveniently pool in the back of my throat cutting off my air supply.  If the lack of oxygen and bronchospasms didn’t do me in, then the dental machinery (high power cheek and tongue sucker, drills, pic axs, high pressure water hose, mirror too large for my mouth, needles, fluoride inserts, big, ungloved dental fingers) did the trick.  Many times my mouth looked like the Edward Sissor Hands of the dental world.

After the mouth rape I was lead to the receptionist’s desk where a large, red fluffy box filled with cheap bling lived and stood in unbelief as my beloved Mother scheduled another appointment to return to this house of horrors.  The receptionist flashed me her pearly whites and informed me I could pick out a piece of cheap plastic.  Imagine how my poor brother felt.  Because they only offered rings, he either had to man-up and forgo a prize or connect with his inner pretty princess.  I guess that was their attempt to make the dentist’s office seem fun.  We just traumatized you but here….have a ring that will turn your finger green or break within 24hrs!

Today my kids have a very different experience with the Dentist.  He is one of their favorite people.  We brush.  We floss.  We practice excellent oral hygiene and as a result they have had almost no (my sugar loving girl had one) cavities.

But we can’t take all of the credit.  The Dentist office is a very different place today.  It is….more….child friendly.  Gone are the big, scary experiences and machinery.  Today we have “Mr. Thirsty,” a.k.a. the high power sucker, “Mr. Squirts” a.k.a. the jet stream water hose and “Mr. Tickles” a.k.a THE DRILL.  I don’t think that the name “Mr. Tickles” adequately captures the sheer experience of the drill.  But hey, if my kids are under the impression that he tickles then who am I to inform them that his tickle will electrocute their brain, travel down their spine and curl their toes.  Mr. Tickles it is.

They also have cool props to make the visit more fun.  Check out Tres, our youngest “Star.”

Cool shades to prevent the blinding from the oral interrogation light

Counting and checking:

No Edward Scissor Mouth here!

And lastly “polishing” a.k.a brushing!!

Polishing sounds so much more fun

Here is older bro, Dos getting ready for his turn.  Check out the face:

I'm next! Yay!

That face sums it up.

Prizes even a boy can enjoy!

Trips to the dentist have come a long way and so have the prizes!  Good-bye feeder fish, hello fun!!