Going to the dentist was not particularly fun when I was a kid. I mean, I wasn’t someone who hated the dentist. I wasn’t scared or anything like that. But I definitely didn’t look forward to it. Not the way my kids do.
When I say, “We’re going to the dentist.” the absolute last thing my kids think about is their teeth. For them, it’s like I just said, “Pack your bags, we’re going to Disney!”
First of all, there’s a TV playing their favorite movie directly above the chair so they can lie back and relax (with a warm blanket) while a hygienist gently pokes around their teeth.
They get to choose from a dozen different silly sunglasses for eye protection.
The flouride flavors have come a long way. Grady chose raspberry cheesecake and Annie Bea chose mocha chip.
There’s a three-foot toothbrush for kids to practice their brushing techniques on a giant stuffed gorilla.
On the way out, every kid gets a goodie bag with an awesome character toothbrush and floss and flavored toothpaste and stickers.
Then they can pick something from a prize box like Silly Putty, sidewalk chalk, coloring books, you name it.
Wait, there’s more.
Everyone gets a fake fish in a plastic bag filled with water to take home as a pet. So cool.
And finally, balloons! Of course they have every color so no one leaves disappointed.
WTF? When I was little, my dentist wasn’t a pediatric specialist with a perky disposition. He was a an old war friend of my great-grandfather’s. By the looks of him, we’re probably talking about the Civil War. He didn’t tell me funny jokes and ask if I was ok when he cut my gums. Instead, I got to pick between mint and bubble gum flouride (both were equally vomit-inducing). I didn’t go home with a new toy or a pony. I got a boring-ass white toothbrush and a giant sticker that read, “Don’t forget to floss and book your next appointment.”
Thanks a lot, 1980s.