15 Things People Whose Parents Are Dentists Will Understand

So many toothbrushes and toothpaste samples...

Some of the first images I saw when I was young were high-quality photos of the insides of people's mouths. At 7 years old, a toy I received was an anthropomorphic tooth made for holding toothbrushes that yelled, "Hey! Don't forget to brush your teeth!" when the motion sensor was activated. At almost 18 years old, I still get harassed about wearing my retainer (if my parents are reading this, yes, I've been wearing it). This, my friends, is just a glimpse into the life of a kid who has parents in dentistry.

While having an oral surgeon and an endodontist for parents can be a little scary (if only you heard or saw some of the things to do with people's mouths that I have — although if you're reading this you probably have), it can also teach you to appreciate your teeth and mouth and just how important they are as parts of your body. One of the things my parents are proudest of about me is that I have never had a cavity to this day.

So, for those of you reading this who have parent(s) in dentistry, I've listed some things I experienced growing up that might be relatable to you!

  1. As soon as your baby teeth started coming in, out came the toothbrush and proper brushing techniques.
  2. All of the dental impressions you saw and wanted to play with.
  3. You probably had a lot of random free objects from dental practices or suppliers that your parents left around or gave you — stress balls in the shape of teeth, pens, chattering teeth toys...
  4. Forgetting to brush your teeth was one of the worst things you could have done in your house.
  5. Spending long days at the office whenever your parent had to take you to work with them.
  6. Your parents talking about work, and you having no clue what half of the words they use mean.
  7. Having to get used to meeting and knowing other dentists because they're friends with your parents or they're referrals.
  8. Many, many free toothpaste samples??
  9. You probably had braces, and if you did. one or both parents harassed you about following all the rules to keep your teeth clean. You didn't want train track stains, did you?
  10. You've gotten free dental care from them (in my case, one took out my wisdom teeth, the other did my sealants).
  11. Lost your toothbrush? Not a problem, there's always extras in your house.
  12. Cavities are bad. If you get cavities, your life will be ruined.
  13. "Have you been wearing your retainer?"
  14. Having to tell people what your parents do for a living and then having to explain what an endodontist (or any other specialized field of dentistry most people don't know much about) does.
  15. The dentist jokes.

I'm sure the list goes on, but these are just 15 things that stood out to me! Apart from the annoying or silly things that may come from parents who are seriously obsessed with teeth and mouths, it's nice to know someone else is looking out for your oral health. Plus, if ever necessary — getting a root canal for free isn't such a bad deal.

Ysabel Velez