Dental health will drive you mad
What took dental health professionals so long to get it so right?
How hated did dentists need to be in order for them to think outside of the box? Is there a more feared healthcare professional in the history of the world outside of the local trepanist?
The difference being that trepanning was effin’ crazy, and I’d like to think that dentists of the 20th century could have put their brains together and workshopped some ideas about how to alter the perception of coming in for an appointment.
“Life moves pretty fast,” Ferris Bueller once stated and culture has rapidly developed the last 20 years at a rate that can make you crazy. Did the 10-year-old you think about iPhones, Apple TVs, “Swamp People” and Amazon.com? Heck no. We concentrated too much on dumb things like flying cars to realize that there were far too many cooler things that would make our lives way more awesome than our grandparents could even imagine.
One thing that remained relatively stagnant for about 100 years was a trip to the dentist. Yes, advancements in painkillers and procedures advanced, and the idea of dental health became more of the norm. But on the whole it was an unpleasant experience that involved you, supine in a chair with someone’s hands in your mouth.
Today, it is totally different. As stated, for 80 years the visit to the dentist putted around space and then suddenly someone put it in ludicrous speed (“What’s the matter Colonel Sanders? Chicken?”).
My kid’s teeth are falling out. She’s five and, to be honest with you, I couldn’t pinpoint the age when the baby teeth start getting loosey-goosey. Six? Seven? Four? Who knew?
This prompted her first proper visit to her very own dentist. Frankly, the dentist appointment is now a gigantic party and I want to go.
The waiting room is a virtual mall arcade. Televisions set up with video game systems burst with color and movement. The lambs led to the slaughter, their eyes are transfixed before zero hour when their teeth will be poked and prodded like the rear end of a limousine heifer at auction.
If only. Children are led to the chair. A Pillow Pet is laid beneath their heads and cushions support their weary legs and feet. They are given sunglasses. Why? So they can see the TV mounted in the ceiling of the room without the harsh glare of the examination lamp. The child is giving a choice of viewing options. Afterwards, the Treasure Chest has been replaced with a wall of supermarket toy vending apparatuses.
I’m not here to go all “old man” on you. Guess what?! Things were not better when we were kids. In fact, what the hell took dentists so long to make a trip to their office semi-enjoyable?
For years, we dwelled in an Orwellian cycle of fear when our only motivation for brushing our teeth was not to incur the vitriolic wrath of our dentist. Like a scorned lover, he or she would make you pay. Probably with that very pointy tool. In your gums!
I would guess some time in the last decade, dentists thought, “Hey, why not make the experience in our offices good? So, maybe, the kid will want to come back and not completely fear us?” Novel.
I think our generation – we the tweener Gen X-Gen Yers – will be the first to understand that not everything was awesome when we were young. Maybe it’s not made like it used to be, but it is better.