Doesn’t the word just send shivers up your spine? I’ve always had miserable luck with dentists. Through out my childhood, I was always the one with braces and headgear and who knows what else. I hated it. I still hate the taste and feel of certain metals in my mouth dating all the back to having all that work done, and I have a natural dislike to dentists in general.
The final straw was when I was 14. A dentist spent about an hour trying to convince me that it would be a good idea for me to allow them to take chunks out of my femur, break my lower jaw in two places and graft the leg bones into my jaw. They’d then wire my mouth shut for six months while everything healed. The end result according to the dentist would move my lower jaw out less than an 1/8th of an inch and give me, and I quote, “a movie star jaw line.”
My mom happened to be in the room, and I looked at her. I think she comprehended more in that one look than at any other moment in her life. The look simply said, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!”
Katherine had her second dentist appointment yesterday, and we’ve tried very hard to train her to brush her teeth and take care of her mouth. She’s done a good job so far, and part of that is the fact that our current dentist is nothing like all the dentists I’ve always had. He’s great. He’s gentle. His assistants are wonderful as well. They take the time to explain what they are doing and why they are doing it. But most importantly, I never hurt afterward, which is a rarity for me.
We’ve also tried to teach Katherine to politely decline something when she doesn’t want it. So as she laid on her back in the chair with the sunglasses on to protect her eyes, she took one look at the hook tool the dentist uses to check for cavities, and very politely stated, “No thank you. I don’t want that.”
The poor assistant was laughing so hard that she had to leave, but it’s nice to know that Katherine’s paying attention and learning.
Oh, and just for the record, the dentist was very proud of all of us: no cavities, no problems, nothing. I should have made him call my mom; she won’t believe me otherwise.