Sitting in the dentist office, my bridge was loose. I was irritated at being there, having to show up on time only to wait, the waiting, having to park on the street, my stupid bridge being loose, life in general I guess. As I sat in my sour mood, a mother came in with a child probably ten, maybe twelve.
It immediately made me think of my first time at the dentist. This child had obviously been before, but my first time was around that age.
I’d been terrified. Old enough to have heard all the horror stories, and young enough to believe them. The office was a tiny white room with scary looking equipment everywhere I looked. As I sat in the huge, weird black chair, I half expected to see a monster walk in.
Instead, a smiling man walked in, smiling like a looney bird and wearing giant bunny ears. The first thing he said to me was, “Are you married?” I said “No! I’m only ten!” and he laughed a silly laugh and said “Oh, I forgot. Do ten year olds have a lot of teeth?”
It just got sillier after that, but he also checked all my teeth and told me if I wanted to keep eating crunchy things I needed to brush them at least twice a day. Dr. Peters was my dentist until I was grown. I wondered if they did that any more, or if it was just Dr. Peters?
Somehow, I hoped it was all dentists. Even though my bridge was loose, I could thank old Dr. Peters for being silly enough with a ten-year-old that now, as an eighty-two-year old I still had most of my own teeth, and one loose, but easily fixable bridge.
It kinda made my day.