There is an exception, however, and that is the remarkable, heavenly wonder that is pediatric dentistry.
It's like Wonderland in there, except, you know, not inspired by prodigious opium use. (Gracious, this post has way more drugs in it than I was anticipating!) There are bright colors everywhere that somehow manage not be overwhelming or jarring. There's a basket of toys in every room. It has a drop ceiling with the standard tiles of fluorescent lights, but every third one or so has a transparent sky-image of clouds and planes and such lit from behind. They have small flat screen televisions mounted to the ceiling above every Chair of Terror (sorry, just my personal term for any chair that might have a dentist in its vicinity), and the kids get to watch movies while having their teeth cleaned and inspected.
Best of all, though, are the hygienists. Now, the hygienists I grew up with likely have Scary Old Lady chairs of their own waiting for them; the majority of them were what I will euphemistically call Not The Friendliest (and by "Not The Friendliest" I mean they could have received tips on bedside manner from Dr. Mengele and come away as improved medical professionals).
The hygienists our children see every six months are the absolute best. Yesterday was Caedmon's first trip to the dentist (something he's been anxious to do after years of watching his siblings do fun dentist things), and, although it didn't hurt that the young lady was quite pretty, it was more how kind and patient she was with him. "Do you see this big thing? This is my special tooth camera, and I'm going to use it to take awesome pictures of your teeth! See this thing, here? See how it bends and feels all rubbery- go on, you can touch it! That's what we're going to put in your mouth to help take the picture! And I bet that because you are so big and so helpful we'll do a great job at taking tooth pictures, and then you get to see it right on this computer!"
And so on with her Tickle Toothbrush and all the other cutesy names I can 't remember right now.
This is the first time Adelaide hasn't walked out of the office proclaiming, "I LOVE going to the dentist!", but that's because she got sealant put on her teeth (sealant: Another fancy thing they didn't have when I was a kid, that apparently puts a layer of magic stuff on your teeth so you don't get cavities- or I don't know, maybe it did exist; my hometown didn't even have fluoride in the water, because there were just enough crazy ignoramuses to ruin it for the rest of us). Atticus isn't crazy about visiting the dentist, but he never really protests, just watches his movie and takes all the mouth-violating with a certain amount of stoicism.
I was tempted to ask the amazing staff if they took 32-year-olds, but I have an appointment of my own at a new dentist next week. Perhaps I'll finally find a dental hygienist of my own who isn't channeling the likes of Caroline Bingley and Regina George.
|No cavities so far in these teeth, nor in his sister's or brother's. CAN I GET A "HALLELUJAH"?|