“Don’t Be Scared.”
Luke’s been our patient for over 10 years. When he was 6, he agreed to this interview. By then, he’d had 5 fillings, plus the regular cleanings. A great patient, and real smart guy.
SCENE: His mom brings him to the office, and I escort him into an operatory to talk. He’s good with that, because he’s a real hands-on kind of guy.
LUKE: (picking up a plaster cast of upper teeth with an orthodontic appliance on it.) Two of my friends have these. One comes out, the other is glued-in.
ME: Why do they have them?
LUKE: They have a… crossbite, I think.
ME: What does that mean?
LUKE: Their bottom teeth come up over their top ones.
Did I say the kid is sharp?
He then eyes a large demo model with rubber gums and teeth that come in and out. Right at that moment, I’m called out of the room.
By the time I return, he’s removed all the rubber teeth at least once, and is in the process of putting them all back. Then he picks up the air/water syringe. I show him the two buttons: one that shoots air, one that shoots water. Most kids are happy with that.
LUKE: What happens if you press them both together?
ME: Hmm, let’s see.
After we spray down the dental chair, he continues his full inspection of the operatory.
ME: Mind if I ask you a few questions?
LUKE: Are they math problems?
ME: Uh, no.
ME: Well, I could make some up if you’d like.
LUKE: That’s ok.
He picks up the low-speed handpiece, which we call Mr. Bumpy.
LUKE: I thought this was gonna hurt, but it didn’t. Just tickles.
ME: That’s good. So…what else would you tell other kids about going to the
LUKE: They clean your teeth and keep them nice and strong so they don’t rot out.
ME: Yep. Anything else?
LUKE: If you get a filling don’t be scared. They’ll tell you what to do, and they’ll give you sleepy juice if you need it.
ME: Anything else?