The Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear, ‘Cuz He Eats Dentists

June 5, 2007

Edit: Update below…

I’m going to the dentist today. I’m terrified. Actually, I’m more that terrified. I’m gripped by the chill hand of a terror that defies description.

I am afraid of dentists. I find dentists, and all dentist-related activity, more frightening than spiders, and needles. Actually, more terrifying than spiders and needles combined, because you very rarely find a spider brandishing a needle, whereas dentists, in my experience, almost always have needles and are prepared to use them. (Also, sometimes, they have spiders. One of my more terrifying dental experiences involved a visit to a dentist with a perverse decorating streak on Hallowe’en. Have never recovered.)

I didn’t sleep last night, for the fear, and instead chose to drink two double vodka martinis, extra dry, in a misguided attempt to give myself a hangover so that I would be distracted by the pounding headache when the needle hovers into view. This was not a good idea. I’m exhausted, and achey, and I’m pretty sure that the vodka breath is not going to dispose the dentist – who, I am convinced, takes a perverse pleasure in terrifying and torturing her patients with needles and lectures on dental floss – to go easy on me. And I’m pretty certain that the post-vodka blurries are not going to distract me from either the needle or the lecture.

Once upon a time, Her Bad Father would accompany me to dental appointments, and hold my hand if necessary. But I am told that I am a big girl now, and he’s off making money or something stubbornly grown-up like that, and I am on my own.

And scared.

Anyone want to hold my hand?

Always floss.


In lieu of hand-holding, you could do something big-hearted, and it might help mitigate my terror somewhat. Or, at least, re-assure me that while I am in the ice-cold grip of fear, nice things are happening in the world. Jen of One Plus Two has launched a campaign to raise money this money for the wonderful Stephen Lewis Foundation or to Open Arms. You can read more about over at Jen’s place, or at Mad’s. Let’s join forces with these awesome ladies and take some more steps toward making the world a better place.

It’s not getting rid of the dentists, but it’s a start.

Also? Have you written your BlogHer post yet? I know that you want that candy. And don’t forget that you can write one for Parent Bloggers, too. MORE CANDY.
Update: I survived. White-knuckle-chair-gripping-cold-sweat-didn’t-make-it-through-the-whole-appointment survived, but still. I have to go back, so that they can finish the work, but I have a whole four weeks to freak about that. Thanks for your hand-holding. (And to the person who left the comment saying that they found my blog by watching me upload the site on my laptop in Starbucks? Um… NOT FREAKY AT ALL.)
I recovered last night by reflecting upon my teenage horror of school cafeterias, if you’re interested. Less terrifying than dentists, but still pretty scary.

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    Mimi June 5, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    uh-oh. good luck. i went to the dentist every two weeks for several years. if you ever had braces, it’s all gravy now that you’re a grownup.

    still, that’s not how phobias work.

    maybe if you got drunk *right now*?

    always helping …

    TB June 5, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Jeff’s dad is a dentist and he’s just about the nicest, most mild mannered man you’d care to meet. I feel confident if you could just come across two countries to southwest Florida, you’d have a great dentist experience.

    Also, Jeff never went to any dentist but his dad up until three years ago when we lived in Ohio. Isn’t that odd?

    crazymumma June 5, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    I was just at the dentist last week. I hate them as well.

    You are gonna be just fine.

    Mama V June 5, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    aw sweetie… I feel your fear… My palms got sweaty just READING about your dentist… have you considered sedation dentistry? works for me!

    Ms. B June 5, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I looooooooooove my dentist!

    First, he applies some freezing. Once the gums are a bit numb, he gives me one needle. We wait 5 minutes for the first needle to do it’s job, then he gives me 3 more needles that I cannot even feel.

    After 4 needles, I more or less fall sleep and wake up when the job is all done.

    I love my dentist!

    Karen June 5, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    It turns out I am not a grown up after all. All dentist appointments for me are made by Hewhoinstallsbatteries, at his lunch hour, with handholding/baby juggling and presents afterwards. So very pathetic, but true.

    Sarah June 5, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    My mom is a dental assistant, and so she used to clean my teeth. That’s worse than a dentist – having your own mother do the dirty work and lecturing you about dental floss WHILE she gets paid!

    Kai June 5, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    I feel your pain! I am terrified of all doctors, dentists and needle wielding folk! Good luck!!

    Tish June 5, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I feel ur pian…doing the whole dentist thing myself. AM recently recovering from a root canal and tooth pull in the same day…3 hours in that CHAIR!!! I hate spiders too…but I def think Id take them over the dentist. Good luck!!!

    metro mama June 5, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    I still haven’t gone either. Good luck!

    nomotherearth June 5, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    I seemed to have escaped the Fear of Dentists somehow. Don’t like ‘em though. If I wasn’t at work, I would be an excellent support team.

    You could picture the dentist in his/her underwear…Or maybe that only works for stagefright.

    Awesome Mom June 5, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Good luck! I hate dentists too. I like having the laughing gas when I get fillings. Being high helps me relax.

    Jenifer June 5, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    I go to a dentist for scared people and have gone for over 15 years, and even though I am much less scared they will still hold my hand if I want them too. They are kind and nice and never yell at you (yes that happened to me before) and they always make you feel comfortable.

    They are awesome. You can even be put under if you really want as well or any state of awareness in between. I use gas if it is going to be major work and that helps a lot.

    Good luck and if you are interested in the name of my dentist let me know, they are in the Leslie and Shepperd area and I live in Brampton and still go there.

    slouching mom June 5, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    I love the new look of your site! Awesome! And as a fringe benefit, it loads so much more quickly.

    I endured a root canal at the age of ten, and ever since I’ve found the dentist to be a (relative) breeze.

    And that’s about the only good thing I can say about having a root canal at ten.

    Fidget June 5, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    xanax and a cab


    works well.

    I’m sorry, hopefully there will be no followup

    jen June 5, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    first of all. THE NEW LOOK! LOVE IT. I love it.

    Second, dentists – whoa. nothing is worse, is there? i have to be medicated just to go in the front door. i wish i could come with you with a sippy cup full of vodka.

    Third, thank you. thank you, thank you.


    Megan (Velveteen Mind) June 5, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Love the new banner! This suits you so well! Clean punk. Just as a site featuring WonderBaby should be!

    Julie Pippert June 5, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    ACK! ACK! ACK!

    Who are you? Where am I?

    Whew, big moment of disorientation.

    Okay…looks good. A little wide even for my screen which is why i was baffled for a sec b/c I couldn’t see your name. I like the new banner.

    GL at the dentist. I find yoga breathing, zen meditation, and the SonicCare toothbrush is my salvation.

    Phoenix June 5, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    I feel your pain. I’ve had to go 6 times in the past two months to “fix” things. I knew I should have paid for dental insurance for the previous 5 years. Oh well. Good luck.

    Oh, the new design is very pretty. I love the header.

    Jennifer June 5, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    I hate going to the dentist, too. It’s not even the pain; it’s dealing with the staff. Having all those “how often do you floss?” judgmental questions. Too bad I’m not a movie star I could have one of those “You can’t make eye contact or speak to me” contracts.

    Maggie June 5, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    You’re brave — I just don’t go — I mean, I’ve had a broken tooth for over a year, and I still don’t go. Luckily it’s just a little bit broken. If I do decide to ever go, I’m going to make my husband take the day off, and he and both the kids are going to go and hold all of my hands. And I’ll still be freaking out. You’re not alone!

    Mad Hatter June 5, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    You really are funny, Bad. Stealing a horse and galloping off into a storied existence? No problem. The dentist? AHHHHHH!!!

    Thanks for the plug. This drive is really starting to take off.

    BOSSY June 5, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    You know you’re bad off when you look forward to the dentist’s chair because it’s one hour of peace. Not that Bossy knows anything about this. Not at all.

    Lady M June 5, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    I’m totally fine going to the dentist myself, but I’m nervous about taking Q for the first time. Maybe I’ll ask SwingDaddy to do it. :)

    mamatulip June 5, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Oh, honey. You know how I feel about dentists and what kind of dental hell I’ve been through lately. I am holding your hand.

    Jennifer Playgroupie June 5, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Oh dear. Hope the dentist visit went as well as could be. If needles were involved, I suspect it wasn’t all fun and games.

    Anonymous June 5, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    how did i find this blog? accidentally glanced at your laptop screen this morning in starbucks as i walked by and saw the title as you typed it up. decided on a whim to google it.

    go yorkville.

    Mrs. Chicky June 5, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    I would hold your hand, hon. Dentists scare the bejeezus out of me too.

    (Um, is your last commenter stalking you? Cool.)

    mothergoosemouse June 5, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Needle-brandishing spiders – my god, what a mental image THAT is.

    Last time I went to the dentist, Tacy came with me and put her head on my tummy while they scraped away. Infinitely more comforting than a double martini.

    Lara June 6, 2007 at 2:38 am

    wow, you have a starbucks stalker! that’s so… creepy, yet awesome.

    i can chop off my hand and send it to you so you can hold it while you’re at the dentist’s, but that really might just freak you out more than cheer you up. depends how you feel about mutilated body parts. :-P

    ewe are here June 6, 2007 at 5:49 am

    dentists… shudder…

    and i’m long oberdue to go in


    Diane June 6, 2007 at 7:08 am

    I am like you – hate the dentist! I was there yesterday too, but I’ve recently found a dentist with flat screen televisions hovering over the dental chair. Now I just lay back and focus on the Food network. They know I’m scared of dentists, so they talk to me like I’m about five. And no, I do not mind.

    Multi-tasking Mommy June 6, 2007 at 8:06 am

    Isn’t it so funny that as soon as we become mothers, we are expected to be all grown up and do everything on our own, be brave, etc.?! It’s amazing what motherhood does to ya sometimes.

    On of my more recent dental visits was terrifying….she drilled and filled 2 cavities without any freezing claiming that it wasn’t needed. GREAT! However, when she was done, she said, “Now, those cavities were a bit deeper than I expected–are you SURE you didn’t feeling anything?” Ok–wasn’t that her job to KNOW that I wasn’t going to feel anything? SCARY!!!! I did want my MOMMY!!!

    kgirl June 6, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Deep breath – you’ll be ok.
    I was a huge dentaphobe for a number of years, knowing that as soon as went, I’d be told that I had to get my wisdom teeth out. I need all the wisdom I can get, so I boycotted, until I absessed. Let this not happen to you, my friend.

    Laural Dawn June 6, 2007 at 8:50 am

    Your timing with this post is impeccable. I have had a tooth ache – and I have (literally) a hole in my tooth. I hate the dentist as well (actually, my dentist is really cool – but he still wields a drill).
    Have you considered getting Adovan? Seriously. Dentists prescribe it to calm you. I always get a prescription. I basically need it just to call and make the appointment.
    And, the other thing that helps. I listen to my ipod. We have a little system where he squeezes my hand if he’s going to use the drill – and then I turn it up. It doesn’t make it better, but it makes it easier.

    Beck June 6, 2007 at 9:23 am

    You need to go to my very gentle dentist and his accompanying hygenist who LOOOOVES us. It’s like a trip to the spa – and my teeth are made out of chalk so really, it takes a lot to relax me at the dentists. So maybe your dentist is just not a good FIT for you, you know?

    tallulah June 6, 2007 at 10:06 am

    I too, have an irrational fear of dentists. If you haven’t looked into it already, I have two words for you….

    Sleep Sedation

    It’s the only way I can go to a dentist. (Oh, and it’s fun – like having a couple of martini’s and waking up and not remembering anything.)

    Kelly June 6, 2007 at 11:51 am

    Glad to hear it’s all over. Last time I had dental work done, I decided that if I was ever a secret agent or soldier or someone privy to national security, it would only take a bit of dental work to help me spill the beans. Pleasant, it’s not.

    Bloor West Mama June 6, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Too bad about having to go back :(

    I too hate the dentist, every time I go I get a huge lecture about taking better care of my teeth and gums.. its like I hear you already leave me alone and get the torture over with.

    Karen Rani June 6, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    My dentist is GORGEOUS. It pains me to think about the things I think about when he says, “open.”
    THAT is why I hate going. I’m glad you survived, babycakes.

    Phoenix June 6, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Hey, your site turned green again. Was I dreaming yesterday or was it different?

    Her Bad Mother June 6, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    It’s under construction, P. Izzy is under the hood RIGHT NOW.


    kittenpie June 6, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Oh, that’s great. I already think spiders come equipped with all kinds of torture devices, but now I have a new fear with this needles image. Not that they need them , what with their mandibles of death and all. Yippee.

    If your next appointment is on my day off, I can come hold your hand.

    JayJenny June 6, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Something I’ve learned – Ask for the gas before you get work done, it’ll completely mellow you out!

    Lawyer Mama June 6, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Waaaah! I wanna see the pretty new site too!

    I also *hate* the dentist. And it does horrible things to my blood pressure. The hygenist always looks alarmed when she checks it. I’m glad you survived.

    And, interesting, you have a Starbucks Stalker. A litte creepy, but interesting.

    Tuesday Girl June 6, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    I never minded going to the dentist until he molested several people in his office.
    Then I understood why he was easy going with the laughing gas.

    Eek. Now I never go and when I do I get lectures. No wonder everyone hates the dentist.

    slouching mom June 6, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    re lawyer mama’s comment:

    or is that a latte creepy?


    Lara June 6, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    The dentist scares me too. And I hate the flossing lecture. So now they know (it’s in my file) that I’m nervous and don’t like a lot of the sensations and they coddle me :) And if I feel like the flossing lecture is coming I stop with a quick “yes, I know, I didn’t floss enough” and a big smile :)

    chris June 6, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Oh I so sympathize about the dental fear. I would hold your hand.

    I have spent more on my teeth in the past 2 years I could have a brand new car. And not an economy car either.

    Cathy June 6, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Since childhood, I’ve been forced into close relationships with dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, etc…

    That said, I would rather go through 17 hours of back labor again than return to the Evil Drilling Man next month for three fillings.

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