It’s the smiles.
I know, I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating, especially at the beginning of the year. I’m mature (old) enough to remember what it was like to go to the dentist. See when I was a kid, there was no such thing as a dentist for kids. There was just the dentist. One guy, it was always a guy back then, and one office that smelled like alcohol, or chloroform, or mothballs, or band-aids. What was that smell? And there was all those massive, cold steel instruments. Did I mention they were always cold? Apparently back then the dentist couldn’t give you a proper exam without sticking an ice cold screwdriver in your mouth. And there was that porcelain bowl of running water. And there was no telling who blew their nose or puked in that thing three minutes before I walked in and sat down.
Nothing scary here.
And then there were the needles. Heck when I was 7, the guy I went to didn’t bother covering any of that stuff up, it was all sitting right there for the entire world to see. All that shiny, scary steel glowing from that ridiculous spotlight. My doc wore that starched white overcoat that made him resemble Dr. Frankenstein in his lab. I’m pretty sure the chair I sat in had blood stains in it from all the other kids that were gripping the hand rails hard enough to rip their fingernails out. At least that’s how I imagined it.
This is what going to the dentist used to be like
That was then, back in 1960…uh, 1970 sumthin…when the earth’s crust hadn’t cooled and kids were treated to maximum shock value daily. I think adults must’ve thought they were making us tough.
I know I’m just a big kid. I know that. I do have my serious moments, say when I’m brushing up on my accreditation through CODA or the ADA. Or when I go to a conference or a seminar to learn some new principals on pediatric dentistry. I take that stuff seriously. I listen, pay attention, take notes, ask questions, then ask more questions. Because I know the ones on the receiving end of my dentistry have no idea how much schooling I have, or how much studying I’ve done, or where my accreditation comes from. What they do know is that going to the dentist is scary. Maybe their big sister told them stories, or maybe a kid in school, or maybe…doesn’t matter.
My goal is to be the least scary person ever! Heck my goal is bigger than that. Since I see most of my kids twice a year, I want to be the best part of your child’s day, twice a year. I want them to ask Mom or Dad weeks out “When do I go see Doctor Mark again?” Becaue believe it or not, when your child is sitting in my chair and they’re laughing and smiling at how goofy I am, I’m actually performing dentistry. So when they jump out of the chair and we exchange high fives over another great check-up, they’ll be smiling like Lydia is.
So with that I’ll wish you a happy new year and let’s make it a goal tto smile more often, whether or not you’re a little kid, or a kid at heart.
And as always, if you or someone you know needs a dentist for your child, one that remembers what it’s like to be a kid, send them our way. Click here for our contact information.