Can We at Least Agree on This?

Our country, and maybe I should say our world, is filled with anger. We cannot seem to agree on anything. Last night Dad and I were chatting, and I believe I finally found a subject which may have bipartisan agreement: Going to the dentist is not fun.

I pulled out your baby books to try to determine what your first impressions of dentists were like. (I know I have discussed dentists before, but never in such detail.  See Don’t Complain to Me about Dentists)

I tried to make tooth brushing fun so that when it was time to see the dentist, he would not be feared. The first time I brought Kelly and Jamie to have their teeth examined, I admit now I was being extremely deceptive. It was complicit in a plot hatched by the Montville Recreation Department.

It was St. Patrick’s Day 1989, and I told the two of you that we were going to an Easter Egg hunt—which was not a lie. What I failed to mention was that when you were done gathering your eggs, a dentist would be available to examine your teeth. Kelly cooperated, and Jamie, you did not cry and were quite friendly. You just refused to open your mouth and kept your teeth clenched tightly together.

Kelly, when you went for a more extensive exam which included x-rays, a fluoride treatment and a cleaning, you loved the experience so much that you were upset when you learned we would not be going back the next next day. Seven months later, when we did return, you were very excited. Somehow, I think your enthusiasm for dentists has diminished.

Casey, you wanted to brush “all by myself” at the age of three, and you loved to floss. Like your sister, you could not wait to go, although you said, “I’m apprehensive.” You were three. After the cleaning, check-up, and fluoride treatment, you were allowed to run the train and got nickels for the prize machine. Dr. Weiner’s bribery contributed to your love of dentists.

Now you are all grown up, and I suspect,  like all the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, not one of you is fond of going to the dentist. Still, I have a lot of money invested in your mouths from years of dental check-ups. I hope that now that I no longer hand you the nickels for the prize machine, you still force yourselves to visit the dentist once or twice each year.

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