Saturday, June 16, 2007

Who's Afraid of the Dentist?

Are you one of those people who's afraid to visit the dentist?

I used to be one. Although it didnt start as such. I remember that my godmother was my dentist, and her clinic is just a stone's throw away from our house. We frequently visited her. No problem. Then she migrated to the US. It was the next dentist who gave me the dread. As said 'kasi di magaan ang kamay.' She was pulling my tooth and I was being pulled, too. Grabe! If the chair wasnt so stable, baka pati yun e nahatak nya ano. That was really a traumatic experience! Even though we changed our dentist, afraid na ako. I would rather endure toothaches than visit one, if I can help it. I resorted mostly to gurgling with a mixture of salt and lukewarm water.

Let's skip that and miss years! My next regular visit to the dentist was in Bangkok, Thailand. That means, years and years of not sitting on a dentist's chair. A plane ticket to Germany gave me the courage. I was to fly and meet my fiancee in three weeks time - arrgh! My first beauty regimen was to have my teeth checked. I found a dentist in the midst of the famous biggest textile market in Bangkok -- Pratunam. I chose the said dentist's clinic because he can speak English, his clinic is clean, and my apartment was just a few steps away.

Oh, he worked on me -- three times! To clean. To pull. To repair. Once every week. Dentist visit overload. But he was good and, magaan ang kamay! My trauma disappeared. I am not afraid of dentists anymore. The dentist and I even corresponded for more than a year via emails when I flew to Germany. I guess he had a crush on me, because when I told him I am getting married, he simply stopped communicating! Hehe.

MC had to visit the dentist yesterday. Oh, she's a regular visitor to the dentist's clinic. She's never afraid, and I am crossing my fingers that it would remain so. The dentist used to be our back door neighbor. Before MC sat on the dentists chair - we took time to be regular visitors first, as adviced by the dentist. We came twice every week, to let MC get used to the people, the place, the chair and the instruments.

Our first visit was to introduce her to the dentist. Of course, she knows the dentist, but only as a neighbor. The second visit, she was given her own set of toothbrush and toothpaste - and she showed the dentist's assistant how she brushes her teeth. The third visit, she got to sit on the chair and the dentist showed her and explained to her what all the instruments are. The fourth visit, they counted her teeth. It was on the fifth visit that they did something -- but she got distracted because she had a garfield dentist's bib and she got to hold a mirror in front of her mouth to help the dentist. Oh, she protested a bit when the dentist started drilling, but she calmed down when I held her hand.

Since then, bati sila nung dentist. Every time she complains of a toothache, she would push us to visit the dentist. The dentist, also a mom, knows how to handle her. Sometimes, they would not even need an assistant -- it would be MC who would be holding the small vaccum that sucks the saliva out -- in her mouth.

Papa is also cowed by the dentist. He wanted to try homemade remedies when he once experienced a throbbing toothache. He did go. Our little girl's puzzled glances, wondering why he has to endure his toothache when he can go to the dentist, made him move.

As parents, we must be good examples, even though the truth is -- we are afraid, too.


Liza on Maui said...


First you for your visit and commenting on my post about Thank you Note. I t's really a struggle for me (procastinator din kasi ako) so aprreciate your encouaragement.

Second, it's interesting that you posted about dentists today. I will be posting about my dental implant experience soon. To answer your question, NO I am not afraid of dentists. Sadly, the only time I had good dental care is when I came here in teh US. Hindi namin ma-afford nung nasa Pilipnas ako so there's a lot of work that had to be done nung dumating ako rito.

You're right, we need to be good models to our kids on good dental hygine, and good exmaples :)

ScroochChronicles said...

Buti ka pa nadala mo na anak mo. Thats my dilemna now. I've been telling my kids that I'll take them to meet Tita Dentist pero nag-freak out sila lagi.

Second, I just love Pratunam. We stayed at a hotel there for our honeymoon.

raqgold said...

i can understand -- that's why it is good to just make a casual visit first to your chosen dentist, to get to know her first. i forgot to add that our dentist here have a box full of surprises in which the kids can pick their choice of gift after every visit -- a nice touch, huh?

oh, i love bangkok! it used to be my playground ika nga ni madonna...sarap mag bargain hunting don ano?