Whenever I go to the dentist and get a cavity-free, healthy-gums report, I feel like cheering and dancing. Going to the dentist no longer fills me with dread as it did when I was a kid, but I still feel great relief when everything is OK. Likewise, if I hear that something isn’t quite right and I need to make another appointment, I can’t help but feel that I’ve let the dentist down. Funny how those childhood emotions carry forward to middle age.
Something else that hasn’t changed is the idea that I need to reward myself after a dental appointment. The kid in me would have hoped for a sweet treat which my mom didn’t allow because, hello, you’ve just been to the dentist to make sure you don’t have cavities from eating sweet treats. The adult me no longer requires sugar as a reward (well, not as much), but I always want to stop for something, like a delicious hot drink, which I never can do because the fluoride treatment doesn’t mix well with heat. You know what? Sometimes it’s hard being an adult.
This is why I think everyone needs the Tooth Fairy. What if every time you went to the dentist, the Tooth Fairy popped up and surprised you with a treat? For example, Dear Tooth Fairy, I would enjoy a cool (sugar-free!) beverage; or someone else taking my car to the gas station; or, better yet, a quiet, responsibility-free afternoon sitting on my patio. I’m pretty easy to please.
Another post-dental-appointment idea is to visit the library. Did you know that reading is a fabulous way to de-stress after having your teeth checked? Well, it is, and the whole family can benefit from post-dental bibliotherapy. And because picture books are just so much fun, this week’s reading list is full of tooth-related picture books, human and otherwise. Squirrels, cats, whale sharks, vampire bats and humans – yup, it’s a world of dental diversity.
I am tickled to report that Aug. 22 happens to be National Tooth Fairy Day which means now is the perfect time to celebrate your choppers, no matter how old they might be. So, go get that delicious hot drink after you’ve visited the dentist…just so long as you’ve waited the appropriate amount of time for the fluoride to do its magic.