When I was a kid I did okay with the dentist. My mom took my regularly and I had a retainer for a while.

I don’t really remember when I stopped going regularly, but I know that when I was in my last year of high school I had let a tooth decay so much that it broke. I had it pulled by a dentist who showed no mercy and I still remember the pressure of her entire weight pulling against that tooth to get it out.

Again, I started avoiding the dentist. Then my mother found a good one and I started seeing her and all was well until she retired and her replacement once left me sitting, waiting, mouth frozen, for over half an hour.

When I was on maternity leave I found another new dentist. I love her. Three years, nine fillings and one root canal later I decided it was a good time for my daughter to take her trip to the dentist.

She was a bit nervous, but the idea was to get this first visit out of the way so she would know that the dentist is okay. She actually ended up coming back with me to watch while I got my cleaning, and I think that helped a bit.

When she sat in the chair the hygienist showed her all the tools they used, and even sprayed the air and water on her hand. The dentist came in and counted her teeth – 10 on top and 10 on the bottom.

She was a total champ. The hygienists polished her teeth and when they were done she got two prizes from their treasure box.

I’m hoping that this will be the beginning of a good relationship between her and her dentist and that she’ll never have to get nine fillings over three years and a root canal.

Of course, she just needs to follow Grover’s simple advice:

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