Actually, let me backtrack. This was the second time I took her to the dentist— the first time there was some sort of location snafu (apparently, I made an appointment at the East Village location on a day when my traveling pediatric dentist is in Brooklyn) which resulted in Mazzy crying at the foot of the locked dentist's door screaming, "But I WANT to go to the DENTIST!!!!"
"No, you do not, Mazzy. No you do not," I said to quietly to myself.
There are few things I hate more than the dentist. (Maybe vegemite? Or shark attacks?) Every time I go, I convince myself that it is not as bad as I remember and then while I am sitting in the chair, all I can think is, "IT IS!!! IT'S JUST AS BAD AS I REMEMBER!!! IT'S EVEN WORSE THAN I REMEMBER!!! IF THIS ISN'T OVER IN FIVE MINUTES, I MAY HAVE TO RIP THE BIB OFF, APOLOGIZE AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!!!!!"
Mazzy's excitement leading up to her first dentist appointment made me feel sad for her. She clearly had no idea what was going to happen there. I braced myself and prepared for the worst.
But through some miracle of pedatric dentistry, the worst never happened…
I had envisioned them strapping my flailing and screaming daughter down to the chair so the dentist could do his dirty work, but instead Mazzy acted like a total angel. She sat in the seat patiently, she opened her mouth when told, and she even stayed put while both me and the hygenist left her by herself to take x-rays. (I couldn't stay in there because of the whole pregnancy thing.)
Mazzy (if you can believe it) left smiling and bragging about her clean teeth. The whole experience was rather unsettling because it left me thinking— What the hell is MY dentist doing wrong???
5 THINGS MY DENTIST COULD LEARN FROM MAZZY'S DENTIST:
1. Give me something good to do in the waiting room.
In the waiting room of Mazzy's dentist, there was a wall of toys, books, stuffed animals, blocks, a blow-up Spiderman and a flatscreen TV playing 'Madagascar'. At my dentist, there is a Reader's Digest from February 2009.
Likewise, for the view from the dentist chair. Mazzy's chair faced a shelf lined with vintage toys. At my dentist, I have to look at a plain white wall. Might I suggest something similar to the "accesories wall" on Project Runway?
2. Play a movie on the ceiling.
If Happy Feet played on the ceiling of MY dentist, maybe I wouldn't mind sitting still either. Better yet, how about a Ryan Gosling movie? Or episodes of True Blood? I bet it's really hard to concentrate on gum sensitivity while watching hot incestual vampire sex.
3. Do away with the drill.
As far as I could tell, the only tools used on Mazzy were that spinning brush with the paste on it and a water pick. There was no pointy hook thing and no drill. I know I have done considerably more damage to my teeth at this point in my life, but maybe I'd visit the dentist more often if we narrowed down the power tool pool. Then wouldn't all potential tooth decay cancel itself out?
4. Assume I don't floss.
The dentist didn't ask Mazzy if she flossed— of course, she doesn't floss! He just told me that we should think about starting. No lectures about gum disease whatsoever.
5. Hand out an awesome parting gift.
The only thing I've ever left the dentist office with is a new toothbrush. Mazzy left her dentist with one of her favorite things on earth. That's right— a BALLOON. She even got to pick the color. Pink, of course.
I believe the equivalent to a balloon in my world is jewelry. What kind, you ask? Diamond earrings would be lovely, thank you.
Have you taken your kid to the dentist yet? Was it better or worse than you expected?