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Do you recall your first visit to the Dentist? It's so different now for little ones than it was in my day. Now they get a nice smiling friendly dentist and hygienist, are given nitrous oxide which makes them giggle, are told the dentist is going to "tickle" their teeth.... sigh. So unlike my experiences!
Our little village had the most horrible dentist ever. He was elderly, and quite nasty. Even my brother and sister remember him with distaste. And for me, who had so many fears anyway, going to see him was almost unbearable. He would grab my arm and squeeze really hard if I cried. He'd hiss in my ear "shut up!".
He wouldn't allow my mother to come in the room with me when I was about 7 or 8 and when I cried he slapped me across the face. Is it any wonder I developed quite a phobia about dentistry?
I also had a very bad experience when I was 8 or 9. All my baby teeth had to be extracted so I had to go to the big city to be put to sleep while this was done. The dentist there was very nice but on my first visit (yes there was more than one) his nurse strapped me on to the chair/stretcher and it freaked me out.
My mother bought me a milkshake before the surgery and so I was sick all the way home. I threw up on my favourite doll and my mother pulled over to the side of the highway, tossed the doll to the side of the road and yelled at me for making a mess in the car, then ordered me to not be sick again!
My second visit was horrendous. I admit it - I was hysterical in the office. I cried, I struggled, I did not want to be strapped down in that room. I was so upset that the dentist gave me some orange liquid to drink.
It was supposed to calm me down but all that happened was it made me sick and I threw up on my blouse. So my mother made me take off my blouse and sit in the waiting room in my undershirt. I was mortified. The waiting room was full of kids and parents and I felt humiliated sitting there half-undressed.
Once again I was sick all the way home, no doubt due to the effects of the gas and the fact that I always got car sick. To this day I can't visit a dentist without shaking uncontrollably although I no longer cry, struggle or fight the staff off. I just shake. my heart races and I feel like I'm going to throw up or pass out. Did I mention this happens even just going to the Hygenist for a cleaning? Wow, childhood phobias run deep!
And that orange liquid the dentist gave me? To this day the sight of that specific shade of orange (it's the same colour as those little orange plastic rulers) causes dry heaves. Interesting how colours or smells can evoke such a strong physical and emotional response in us as adults!
And in some weird bizarre twist of fate, my first husband was a dentist. Yep. Life got me good.
I hope your experiences with the dentist, whether going to one as a child or being married to one!) were better than mine.