My daughter got her first tooth filling yesterday. Dang genes, I spent my whole childhood at the dentist’s and I detested sweets. My great-grandfather would try to tempt me with all kinds of sweet treats but I had zero interest. I survived on gigantic quantities of apples. Still, my teeth were atrocious.
In any case, looking at how an American pediatric dentist (a specialization that didn’t exist in the USSR) works made me hate the Soviet Union even more. Klara loved the visit so much, she’s asking when we can go again. My argument that it’s important to brush teeth to avoid cavities has lost its potency. She now thinks cavities are great.
The dentist warned me not to prepare her and not talk about it at all. “Let us do our jobs,” he said. “We know what we are doing.”
And they really do. There was no pain, no tears, everything was scripted as a game, the dentist explained everything, showed her exactly what was going to happen. Plus, there was a TV with cartoons in the ceiling. My child is screen-deprived, so the second she sees one, she’s glued to it and forgets everything else.
In the USSR, I had a dentist who hit me in the face with a fist, I had a drunken dentist, I had a dentist who terrorized me into selective mutism. It’s a different world.