Our dentist told me the other day that braces are imminent in our family. I wouldn’t think twice about it if I hadn’t had the absolutely useless teeth straitening experience myself as a kid. Going to the dentist was a harrowing experience born in fear and pain. Dr. Spar always had Air Supply playing or even worst…top 40 ditties sans words filling the air space. While sitting in his chair, I’ll never forget the sailboat armada mobile that spun around as you squirmed in your chair; knuckles clenched as your teeth got drilled with barely enough Novocain. As the boats bobbed up and down, Dr Spar would talk in a slow muffled voice, making me feel seasick. Imagine a tape being slowed to a slur and that was my dentist. I swear to this day that he put on the gas mask when he was alone to rock out to Air Supply. To my misfortune, braces were slapped on my teeth for three years only to result in pearly whites that would crisscross and buck out for the rest of my life. Sigh…
The miracle of modern medicine has saved dentistry. While we may still have cheesy mobiles, gone are the days of unbearable music. Somehow, the new generation of dentist gets the fact that many of the dentists of our childhood scared the living daylights out of us. Perhaps in dental school, students now attend a “how to be a cool dentist’ class where you can’t move on if you don’t pass it. My kids actually look forward to going to the dentist to wear their super cool glasses while watching Spongebob, all as they painlessly get their teeth polished. To top it off, the prize chest has taken a step up over the decades. Happy feelings surround you except for the out of pocket expense. Perhaps, as Peter gets his braces soon, I’ll join him in a chair nearby for a second go around for strait teeth. Only this time, I hope I to sport the cool sunglasses and pick a prize all in the name of happy teeth.
Smile if you need braces!