Friday, August 21, 2009

Dentists Are Fun???

“I can’t wait to go to the dentist,” my son Tommy told me the other day as we walked inside the dentist office.

I had to bite my lip to keep from saying, “Okay, what’s wrong with you?”

I hate the dentist. The dentist gives me panic attacks. Of course I hide my fear from my children which is why they enjoy going. I’ll lie through my teeth and say things like, “And remember, when you go to the dentist, you’ll get a STICKER and they’ll clean your teeth with delicious toothpaste!”

Delicious toothpaste my ass. I love when the dentist says, “Okay, this is bubble gum flavored,” and then he or she puts it in your mouth and it tastes nothing like bubble gum. Instead it tastes like rotten meat loaf.

“Remember Tommy, when the dentist asks if you floss, what do you say?” I pressed as we pushed open the door.

“I’ll say I do,” Tommy answered with a grin.

Okay. Lying is wrong. I know it. And technically, it’s not a lie. Tommy does floss. Only it’s once per week. If that.

We checked in and when Tommy was called back he gave me a thumbs up.

“Here I go!” he said cheerfully.

Seriously, did he really come from my dentist-fearing vagina? Because whenever I was called back to see the dentist I nearly dissolved into tears and latched onto my parent’s ankles in fear.

Natalie was called back a few minutes later. I went back with her. We were led into a room and Natalie immediately climbed onto my lap and buried her face in my shoulder as the hygienist cooed at her.

“Are you ready to get your teeth cleaned?” she kept asking.

Natalie responded by digging her nose deeper in my flesh. She’s been going through a shy phase and doesn’t much like strangers to address her. Basically if you’re not in our gene pool, she wants nothing to do with you at the moment.

The hygienist got all the equipment that the dentist would need out and then chirped that he’d be in shortly. From my chair I could hear Tommy in the X-Ray room. The hygienists were telling him to bite down, to not move, NO, don’t push it out with your tongue….

Tommy always has issues with the X-Ray. He has my gag reflex and will quickly try to push the offending object out and then will be politely admonished for it. Normally it probably takes kids less than five minutes to get the X-Rays done.

It takes my son over ten.

He eventually gets it but it just takes awhile. Usually all the available hygienists have to go in the room and try and distract Tommy so he won’t push the trays from his mouth.

I have the same problem. I’ll start to gag and make choking noises as the thing is pressed against my teeth.

Tommy was finishing up as the dentist strolled in the room. He carried Natalie’s chart and beamed at us. The dentist is this older guy, probably in his late fifties with thinning gray hair.

“How are you, young lady?” he asked Natalie and reached out and rubbed her leg.

Natalie made a hissing sound.

“So how are things?” the dentist wondered.

“Great,” I said even though it was a lie. Things haven’t been great. We’re moving to Montana. To another missile base. The Air Force is screwing us over and they don’t even care. We have to go through another move and Tommy will miss a few days of school and he can’t afford to miss any days because he tends to forget things and then will get frustrated.

Then I had to tilt Natalie’s head back into the dentist’s lap so he could check out her teeth. First he counted them and then started spitting out dentist codes to the hygienist. I think he said something like, “Okay she has A through F,” or some nonsense that meant nothing to me.

“Does she have her two year old molars yet?” I inquired. I had been curious because there have been days where Natalie will just whine and I’ll assume it’s her teeth.

“Not yet,” the dentist said.

Oh. I guess that’s just Natalie’s personality then.

Natalie was doing fine at first. She allowed the dentist to count her teeth and poke at them. But when it came time to clean them, she flipped the crap out. She started thrashing in his lap and tried to bat his hand away.

“Natalie. Let the dentist do his job,” I said sternly and then hummed the McDonalds theme song as a reminder that if she was good, she’d get a delicious McGriddle for breakfast.

Natalie brightened at the thought of McDonalds. She calmed down as the dentist brushed her teeth—but then I saw an evil glint in her eye and the dentist’s gloved fingers were in her mouth again as he flossed.

“Natalie,” I warned. I knew that look. She was up to no good.

And then...

“OUCH!” the dentist shrieked, pulling his hands from her mouth and shaking them. “She bit me!”

Natalie looked quite pleased with herself.

“Natalie,” I admonished even though I was secretly thinking, “Good on you. Get those evil dentists with their rotten meat loaf flavored toothpaste.”

“I’m sorry,” I felt the need to apologize as the dentist winced. “She’s just…well, she’s two.” I shrugged palms upward.

The dentist regained his composure. “That’s okay. It happens.” He grinned at Natalie but it appeared to be forced. When he was finished he said that Natalie had no cavities and that her teeth looked great.

“Goodbye, little biter,” he told Natalie, who made another hissing sound at him.

Then we headed into the back where Tommy was finishing up. I sat down across from him right as the hygienist said, “And do you brush you teeth at least twice per day?”

Tommy nodded.

“Do you floss?” she continued.

Tommy tossed me a Look before saying, “Yup.”

(Again. Not a total lie. He does floss. When he remembers.)

“Good news, Mom,” the hygienist told me, scribbling something down in his chart. I tried not to make a face at this. I detest when people just call me Mom as though that’s my only identity now. My name is Amber. I am a mother and proud to be one, but I am also Amber, the chocoholic who loves to read and hopes to publish a novel one day.

“No cavities,” the hygienist continued. “His teeth look fantastic.”

“Because I don’t drink juice OR soda!” Tommy said proudly.

The hygienist looked startled. “Is that true?” She looked at me with eyebrows raised. Most people are always stunned when they hear that.

“It’s true,” I confirmed.

My son has always been different. He’s never liked juice or soda. He only wants to drink water. We were at a restaurant once and the waitress accidentally brought over juice when he had requested water. Tommy took one sip and blanched as though he had just sipped oil. “This is awful,” he gasped, shoving it away. “I need water!”

Then the kids each got to pick out a small toy. The dentist came in as Natalie chose a plastic elephant and said, “Now, if you bite me next time young lady, you can’t pick out a toy.” He wagged his finger and Natalie just wrinkled her nose at him.

We headed out to the reception area where I was meant to make another appointment in six months. Instead I sighed and went, “Actually, we’re moving in November. So I won’t need to make an appointment.” I nearly cried as I said this. “So can I just have their charts now?” My voice started to come out all scratchy so I had to swallow quickly.

I still can’t believe the Air Force is doing this to us. Sending us to a crappy base. When do we finally get a break?

I was given their charts. “Well, we’re sorry you’re leaving,” the perky receptionist told me.

“Me too,” I croaked out. She has no idea how sorry.

I drove to McDonalds next. When the yellow arches came to view Natalie pointed from her car seat and yelled, “DaDonalds! DADONALDS!”

When I got into the drive thru lane Natalie was all, “Fries? Fries?” even though I had explained several times that there were no fries before 1030.

“You can have a hash brown. Basically the same thing,” I explained as I pulled up to grab the food. I ordered a large hot chocolate to cheer me up.

As soon as I got the food I handed Natalie her hash brown.

“Fries? Fries? Mommy, I want FRIES!” she screeched, hurling the hash brown past my head.

“There are no fries!” I replied as the hash brown bounced off the radio and slithered down into a cup holder.

When we got home I tried to get Natalie interested in her food but she just poked at it.

“Fries?” she said pathetically. “Fries?”

This meant that I not only ate my McGriddle, but hers as well because you can’t let good food go to waste. This meant that I couldn’t have lunch because I had already had at least 1000 calories for breakfast which meant that I was in a foul mood by the afternoon.

When Tom came home from work he asked how the dentist appointments went.

“Natalie bit the dentist!” Tommy offered and then started laughing.

Natalie bared her teeth at this and went, “I bite!”

Do I have a toddler or a vampire? Sometimes I wonder...


  1. Can't blame Natalie! I would bite my dentist, even now, if I could! :)

  2. that natalie is a riot. I'm sure pediatric dentists get bitten a few times a day. I'm sorry about your move :( I can really relate... our moves always come when I don't want them to, and never when I do, it seems!

  3. I would rather go to the gyno than to the dentist.

  4. There's something special about Natalies. My best friend's name is Natalie. Your Natalie is going to be a riot when she grows up! :)

  5. Really can't blame her. I'd often like to bite them!

  6. I could have written this post. I despise going to the dentist. My son loves it. He doesn't drink soda or juice, loves water...AND fibs about flossing.

    Nine and not one cavity yet.
    I'm thankful he didn't inherit my "love" for the dentist.

  7. I'm a weirdo, but I love the dentist. I can seriously fall asleep in the exam chair. I think it's because I grew up next door to a dentist's office in a small town - every day I'd ride my bike past Dr. Fuhrman's window while he was examining patients and he'd wave at me. So, you know, he was like a friend. :)

  8. Loved this. I hate the dentist with a passion. They're all sadists and wannabe torturers, just like in The Marathon Man.

    I hope Montana turns out to be bearable.... and that life then becomes better than merely 'bearable'.

  9. Chomp away, girl! Fight them off while you can still blame it on the terrible twos!

  10. They never suck up the pooling saliva fast enough for me. Really grosses me out.

  11. I was sad when I read the comment about asking for the charts :-( I don't like to move either. Just want to stay put with my comfy pillow and bed.

    Natalie is adorable! Glad your taking the bite in stride. She will outgrow it.

  12. Good for Natalie! I hate the dentist. Every time I go or take my kids, it is always bad news, especially for the checkbook. (Not to mention the physical aspects.) I think Natalie did us all a favor!

  13. Go Natalie! Dentists are the worst.
    Sorry about the move...wish you the best of luck through it.

  14. natalie's a girl after my own heart!! and i'm TOTALLY having my kids lie to the dentist...that's brilliant!

  15. Too funny! I hated the Dentist when I was young. Now my brother in law is my Dentist and he totally give me the Nitris gas and I'm happy as a clam!

  16. Crikey, what an awful day. I think Tommy veyr good about visiting the dentist but Natalie deserves a medal for biting him. I wish I'd been that brave!

  17. Last time I went to the dentist, I was such a mess that the dental assistant gave me one of her Xanax.

  18. What a cute story! LOL I have a two year old and he's a biter. Eek. Probably won't take him anytime soon....

    I'm so sorry to hear about your move. :-( Sounds horrible.

  19. LOL this was a cute daughter does not share the hate for juice and soda...she loves the stuff and even with monitoring she has had several cavities filled.

  20. No matter what I do, my kids remain frightened of the dentist. I think it's in their DNA.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! =D

  21. lol "i bite"!! i hate the dentist but my kids love it ... no idea why!

  22. If you come up with a way to get your son to floss, please let me know! This is a nightly battle at our house! Of course, I lose!
    Oh, Montana! I have a cousin who lives there! She is a homesteader, among other things! LOL

  23. That made me laugh out loud!
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  24. Wait...she bites, bares her teeth, and hisses.... wanna bring her in the house and train her in human ways? :)))

  25. I hate the dentist and I'm there soon arghhhh I don't wanna go..I gotta have a filling too :(((

  26. I can't blame the girl. I hate going to the dentist, too! LOL

  27. My boys love to go to the dentist - they hate the doctor. I don't understand it. I would take a doctors visit over a dentist any day!

  28. LOL....
    Although I like our dentist and his staff, for a long time I hated dentists....all dentists. I grew up with a mean evil dentist who had scary cartoon pictures on the walls of creepy little elfish beings doing ugly things to teeth. He would also hand out a slip (after each visit) that we could take down to the drugstore and get a free ice cream. He never handed out toothbrushes. I think he did it to improve his chances that we children would come back with a cavity or two. It wasn’t till about 15 years ago that I began to feel comfortable about my scheduled visits. Today’s dentistry, along with technology, has improved so much that it is virtually painless. But still in all, I can’t stand that smell of the office. They all have it. It’s like a mix of burning bone and Listerine. Yuck!....

    Hope your day is beautiful

  29. After having braces for 7 years (yes.. SEVEN) i am anti-"any type of medical profession who wants to come near my mouth with something sharp" .. Since your kids got such a good report, I'm hoping they'll never have to experience the terror that is the orthodontist.

  30. Wow. You are such a great writer. I am sorry about the move. I can't imagine going thru that.

    I am glad you have one child who loves the dentist : ) that will make up for the biter : ).

    I still have to schedule my sons dentist appointment and the summer is almost over. Seriously, I am such a RIDICULOUS mother. How can anyone forget that? : (

  31. Like that dentist hasn't been bitten by a hundred 2-year olds already? Puh-lease... What did he expect? Her spirit is wonderful!

    And Tommy is great to be flossing at his age! Awesome. My kids also preferred water over juice or soda. They still do! My daughter never wanted cookies; she'd rather have a pretzel.

  32. I hate going to the dentist, too, but my youngest loves it.

    I'm in the midst of some nasty intense dental work, now, actually, and the temptation to bite has been almost overwhelming on occasion.

    I'm sorry to hear the move is not going to be what you were hoping for, Mom. I mean, Amber. :-)

  33. Hey, I'd bite my dentist if given the chance. Instead? I cry. Every.freaking.time.

  34. Natalie is a girl after my own heart! I love her spunk! My girls LOVE the dentist and I soo don't get that. Like Kell, a horrible orthodontia experience totally turned me off of them. (yes I still go, but on my terms and with my own pre-medication lol and kicking, screaming, whining and other hysterics).

    I'm sorry you hve to move. I hate moving (probably why I was able to resist the hotty marines, milatary life is not for me).

  35. I just think Little Tommy is going grow up to be a Dentist!

    Like Steve Martin in "Little Shop of Horrors" kind of motorcycle rding dentist (YouTube Clip).


  36. If you get a minute visit my blog I have an award for you. Thanks!

  37. oooh i to hate going to get my teeth worked on, but, i can no longer say that i hate my dentist as he is one of my best friends.... i do hate other dentists, does that count?


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