My New Bike – Toothy Grin

Toothy Grin

There was no particular event in my life that inspired this story. My mom worked for a dentist and my stepfather was a dental supply salesman, so you can just imagine the talk around the dinner table. Needles to say, those stories would have scared just about any kid from wanting to go to the dentist!

Moral of the Story

Take care of your teeth... You'll be using them for the rest of your life!

According to

If you don't take care of your teeth, cavities and unhealthy gums will make your mouth very, very sore. Eating meals will be difficult. And you won't feel like smiling so much.

Talking Points

  1. The dentist wants you healthy and happy.
    He/she is not trying to scare you. On the contrary, they typically do whatever they can to make you comfortable.
  2. Mom's mouth is healthy!
    Teach by example.
  3. Bring your own music!
    Most people, high school kids especially, have a cell phone. Make sure you have it loaded with music to take your mind off anything the hygienist and dentist are doing in your mouth.
    Just be sure to have only one ear bud in so you can hear when they talk to you.
  4. Why do they wear a mask?
    To keep you and themselves from getting sick.
    The dentist and hygienist see a lot of people every single day. And they are right in their face! The mask is there to limit the chances of passing colds, the flu, and any number of germs!


All definitions may be found at

  1. Hygienist
    Specialist in the promotion of clean conditions for the preservation of health.
    Short for dental hygienist.
  2. Dental hygienist
    An ancillary dental worker specializing in scaling and polishing teeth and in giving advice on cleaning the teeth.
  3. Indentation
    The action of indenting or the state of being indented.
  4. Novocain
    Another term for procaine.
  5. Procaine
    A synthetic compound derived from benzoic acid, used as a local anesthetic, especially in dentistry.

Personal Note

By the time I was a senior in high school I was working nearly full time for an accounting firm in the city of Syracuse. I'd go to a couple of classes in the morning in Baldwinsville then catch a bus or drive 30 minutes into the city. At that point in life kids are not thinking too far ahead. For example, I didn't think to bring a snack for the ride so I would regularly stop at the Corner Cakery to pick up a half dozen day old treats, their donuts were killer!

I wish I could go back in time to whisper in my younger self's ear, "brush your teeth after every meal... And snack too!" 40 years later, that would have saved money and time in the dentist chair.

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