Terrible Memories – Fluoride

December 23, 2010


No photo – I’m having some technical troubles.

So, we had to have flouride treatments at the dentist’s office when I was a kid. I don’t know why – I guess because that toothpaste I was slathering on daily wasn’t cutting it? Whatever.

The fluoride treatment the absolute worst part of the dental visit for many reasons. One reason was because of The Machine. The Machine was (and remember, this is from the faded memory of a kid) a hulking steampunk monstrosity that had hoses and tubes and grinding gears and such. It was kept in a back room of this old victorian house, where it was dark and full of fluoride-loving spiders. (I’m positive about that.) They strapped you into a restraining chair and asked the dreaded question, “What flavor?” Here’s where you had to decide what delicious flavor you didn’t want to love anymore. The choices were cherry, orange or grape, but they all tasted like slightly-sweet vomit. The doomed flavor was poured into a tray, hooked up to a bubbler hose, then put into your mouth. You had to bite down on the tray while The Machine bubbled grape vomit around your teeth for an interminable length of time. Then the Assistant pulled it out, making ropes of grape-spit string all over your face. Rinse, spit. Rinse, spit. Gag.

Then – HORRORS – you had to do the whole process for your BOTTOM teeth, so now the tray was upside down and leaked grape vomit into the bottom of your mouth.

I’m getting woozy recounting this story. I have to stop.

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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6 Responses to “Terrible Memories – Fluoride”

  1. Brad Said on:

    I never had a fluoride treatment. But I’ve heard that many children today go their whole lives without getting a cavity because of the techniques that were perfected using people such as you. God bless you.


  2. Brad Said on:

    Incidentally, I just had a fluoride treatment about a month ago. The dentist painted something on my teeth and said I shouldn’t eat anything for 30 minutes. Aside from the disturbing coating on my teeth, it wasn’t that bad. My insurance doesn’t pay for adults to have fluoride treatments though, so I had to pay for it myself.


  3. Peggy Said on:

    …what flavor you didn’t want to like anymore…HA! Slightly sweet vomit…HA!

    I never had this treatment…thank goodness. But I did have a similar experience when I had to drink a vat of flavored (not--insert your comments here) the eve of my colonoscopy. Blech!


  4. Deborah Said on:

    We had to do flouride in school. We each got a small plastic communion cup of flouride. We all then had to chug and swish at the same time while our teacher timed out one minute. Then we had to spit it back in the cup, wipe our lips with a napkin, stuff the napkin in the communion cup, and throw it all away.

    I think we had to do it just so the teacher could have a minute of peace.


  5. Kristi Said on:

    I remember having to hand out “the swish” while teaching 5th & 6th grade in Minnesota. None of the kids liked it.

    At the end of the quarter, I asked the kids to list things they’d like to see changed in the classroom. Chris wrote, “Please, no more swish.”


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