Today marks that time of year which should typically fill me with dread.
The dental check up.
When I was about six years old my mother brought me to the dentist for the first time. It was alluring at first. All those cute cartoon-ey pictures smiling at me from above and the bright colors that made me feel like I was going to spend the day at ToysRUs.
It started off pleasantly at first. I climbed into the chair that goes up and down. The dental assistant was stupid enough to think that would impress me. I mean it’s not like it goes up and down at hyper-speeds. But grown-ups often tend to think – and hope – that kids are stupid. But I was no fool. I was onto them and their devious ways.
And then the torture began. “Cut it out!” and “Stop it already!” the evil dental assistant screamed at me because I was gagging as she very UN-gingerly shoved bite-wings into my mouth to take x-rays.
Well, she got what she needed. Cavities in my teeth and cavities in my parents’ bank account.
The dentist made no attempts to soothe me either as he plunged needles and other instruments into the depths of my little helpless mouth. It was then I decided that these “teeth doctors” were not humans but rather...Agents of the Dark.
I mean why bother with the decor? Who were they trying to impress? I could have been in middle of Disneyland but it wouldn’t detract from the pain and suffering inflicted upon me at the hands of this dentist and his very evil assistant.
These days I take my kids to the dentist and I practically skip and sing all the way there. These dentists could be pre-school teachers. That’s how sweet they are. One of my kids actually sat on the hygienist’s lap one time because he was too nervous to go in the chair. The hygienist took the hook thing that causes me to cringe and “counted” his teeth. He then had to “pick a flavor” with which to clean his teeth. A flavor! And not mint. Or cinnamon. No. No. Try marshmallow. Chocolate. Bubblegum. It’s like their teeth were getting cleaned by the very agents of their destruction. How is that even possible?
Afterwards he got toys!
Where were these people when I was growing up? I was subjected to medieval instruments of torture with executioners to match. Nothing filled me with greater fear than these visits.
When it’s time to leave the dentist my kids are actually…disappointed!
One of my children actually had to have a cavity filled several months ago. The impending appointment had me on edge for weeks.
They put my son in the chair (that goes up and down) and explained in an Elmo-like voice how they were going to fill the cavity.
It took less than ten minutes. He couldn’t stop smiling.
This visit cost approximately thirty dollars per minute.
We left twenty minutes after we arrived.
And that my cyber-friends… is what I call advancements in medicine.