Friday, February 25, 2011

"A Flashback Friday to Sink Your Teeth Into"

Flashback Friday brought back a whole flood of memories! Here's the challenge:
What are your dental memories of childhood? Who pulled your baby teeth and how was it done - with a tissue, string, or other method? Was it a traumatic experience or no big deal? Did you have to have any teeth pulled by the dentist? Did the tooth fairy visit your house? If so, how much did you get for each tooth and how long did that last? How old were you at your first dental visit? Did you go regularly? Did you have any/many cavities as a child? Was dental hygiene taught in school? Was flossing a big deal when you were growing up? Did you have braces and, if so, for how long? Did you have to wear rubber bands, head/neck gear or other additional "accessories"? Did you need braces but your parents couldn't afford them? Have you had braces as an adult? Do you have any fond/funny//traumatic memories of old relatives or friends and their false teeth?
UGH. You can bet most of our dental memories will not be good ones! At least mine aren't. Because I was severely anemic as a child I was given liquid iron which not only did a number on my baby teeth but even penetrated my gums and messed up my permanent teeth so that I had cavities as soon as they came in. I've often joked that if I had the money we've put into my mouth over the years, we could build a very nice house -- unfortunately it's really not such a joke. *sigh* I've had A LOT of work done over the years!!!

But let's go back to the beginning. I don't remember my baby teeth falling out or having the tooth fairy visit. I think that's because I've managed to block out most of my tooth-related memories :)  I do remember being about five years old and hiding from my mom because I didn't want to go to the dentist. I was young enough that I thought if I squeezed between my bed and dresser and closed my eyes, she wouldn't be able to see me. LOL  Of course she could and then off to the dentist we went.

Although I don't really remember this, my mom enjoyed telling the story of the time I bit my dentist so hard he bled. Back then we were given "laughing gas" which put us completely under and is why I don't remember it myself. Apparently during one of the procedures I clamped down pretty hard on Dr. Root's hand. [Yes, his name was Dr. Root! And our general physician was Dr. Hart :) ]

I didn't start going to the dentist until I was about five. My teeth were such a mess though, I became a regular and repeat customer for many years. Thankfully I didn't need braces. I thought I might since when my "big" teeth came in they were pretty large for my face and seemed to stick out a bit, but I just needed to grow into them. It was a good thing I didn't need braces because there was a period of time in my teens when we couldn't afford the dentist at all. (Which meant when I could finally went back as an adult, there was plenty of work to be done -- old fillings that had to be replaced, root canals and crowns for teeth beyond repair...)  I'm sure they taught dental hygiene in school, but I don't remember hearing about flossing until I was an adult.

My mom was raised in Appalachia during the Depression so you know she had false teeth! She'd sometimes tease my sister and me when we were really little, chasing us around the house without her teeth while threatening to "gum us to death".  LOL   Back then I didn't know of many adults with all their own teeth; it was just accepted that most had false teeth because of when they grew up.

After all the trauma I suffered myself, I didn't want my own kids to experience the same thing and looked for a good dentist who was careful about keeping pain and discomfort to a minimum. I was very thankful to find an excellent pediatric dentist in the small town where we lived, especially since both my kids had to have braces (our daughter twice!). It also helped that the dentist and his family were involved in community theater along with our kids, so they knew and liked him outside his role as their dentist. I haven't ever really talked to my kids about their own dental experiences, but I think overall they have pretty positive feelings about it. Am I right, Jon and Tina?


skoots1mom said...

i giggled when reading your doctors' names...too funny.
my daddy chased me toothlessly when I was young! such great memories...
remember my daddy sneezing one time and his set of false teeth flew 10 feet across the room and landed in the garbage can, hahahah!
have a great weekend.

Mocha with Linda said...

We have a dentist here named Dr. Root. But the funniest one is the urology practice with two MDs who do lots of male procedures when couples are done having kids. They are Dr. Chopp & Dr. Hitt.

Sounds like you had lots of dental adventures to endure. I'm glad you were able to avoid that for your kids!

rita said...

Can't believe those Drs. names, including Linda's. LOL
You both are such good writers, have great memories and stories and so good at description.
Hadn't realized that Tina had braces twice! why?

bp said...

I think that's great you found a gentle pediatric dentist for your own children so they could have a good experience.

Have a wonderful weekend!

JonMagic said...

I hesitate to call any experience with a dentist or orthodontist a "good" one.

I'm thankful we had good dental care, but I'll never forget the top I lost my retainer (left it on the tray at burger king) the same day I got it, or when I had my wisdom teeth pulled and I came to in the middle of the procedure. Terrifying really.

The Bug said...

My first dental visit was a terror. I was put into this really small old fashioned room that had a cart with all these evil looking devices on it - including a huge syringe. A man came into the room to get the big syringe & pretended it was for me - I was terrified! I don't really remember the rest of the visit with my real dentist, but I was traumatized for life :)

My dad always preached flossing, but I didn't start doing it regularly until I was in my 30s. And you know what? It really did make my biannual visits so much more pleasant!

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Well, bet you never forgot your Drs. names. How funny! Sounds like we both had some memorable dental experiences. j

Yes, our kids are missing out on a lot of laughs since few have false teeth anymore. My Grandmother had more fun with hers and I think I just assumed that one day I would have false teeth. Thank goodness, I don't!

Wishing you a happy week-end!

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud when I read your doctor's names :) Another blogger said her dentist's name was Dr. Hollar. I laughed again...Thanks for sharing your good, and not so good memories.

Mari said...

I love your doctors names!
I don't have great memories of the dentist either, but not as bad as yours. Ours didn't numb our mouths, just drilled when we had cavities. Oh, did it hurt!

Lhoyt said...

As a child I was hyperactive. Today I would probably have been diagnosed as ADHD and doped up with Ridalin. But back then there was no such thing, for which I am thankful. When I was about three, I fell down the basement steps and one of my lower teeth went through my lower lip. It had to be extracted. I knew no bad words and the worst I could think of what what I called the dentist. I called him and "alligator". Throughout my childhood and teens I avoided the dentist as much as I could, and as a result lost one of my molars to the dental extractor at about 19, but my greatest trauma was the fact that dentists in Argentina did not use novocain, and they had belt-driven drills. Just the thought of it set my teeth on edge.