When I was a kid, a visit to the dentist was the one of the worst things that could possibly happen.
I had issues with my teeth due mainly to the sulphur based drugs I had to take for my ‘wheezy chest’ (aka asthma). My first set of molars decayed quickly and were in constant need of care. The breathing distress I had also caused me to grind my teeth as I slept. This meant more wear and tear for my teeth and therefore more visits to the dentist.
The local dentist, known to us as Dr Fang, was a sadistic chap who seemed to have an aversion to using pain relief. “This won’t hurt,” he would say advancing upon me with a drill in hand…a scary sight for a little kid. When it did hurt, I bit him. I thought it only fair to inflict some pain on him. Revenge is sweet, and effective it seemed, because when he deemed my mouth too small to allow for the growth of my second set of molars, he chose to use the gas when extracting four of my teeth..two on top and two from the lower jaw. This procedure was supposed to allow the existing molars to “shuffle forward” and create space for the new back molars and, eventually, wisdom teeth.
Unfortunately, my teeth didn’t “shuffle” anywhere and stayed stubbornly where they were, clearly happy with their choice of position. One decided to turn 90 degrees in a determined display of rebellion but the whole exercise was otherwise an unmitigated disaster.
My opinion of dentists fell even further. I begged my mother to find a new dentist for me. I warned the new fellow that if he hurt me, I would bite him. He said that would be fair and we established a few ground rules e.g. he would tell what he was going to do before he did anything and I would clap my hands if I needed him to stop for a minute. We got along fine.
My teeth, of their own accord grew into the space that was available, proving that all the pain I had suffered after the quadruple extraction was entirely unnecessary. The wisdom teeth did not make an appearance until I had given up all hope of ever having wisdom teeth at all. Two grew in following the birth of my first child and the other two followed after my second child was born. I decided it must have been due to all that pushing. No more children for me…I have no room for any more teeth.
These days a visit to the dentist still reduces me to a quivering wreck, but the dentist I see now is a tiny little lady of Vietnamese heritage who is so gentle and caring that my fears are absolutely unnecessary.
Here are some great tips to help you prepare your child for a visit to the dentist.
They have been prepared by the lovely folk at Be Well Dental in Highgate Hill, Brisbane.
Read through them and help your child to have positive thoughts about visiting the dentist.