The high horse of being a dentist…

Oct 31,2015

Today is one of my favorite days, while also being a day I dread every year. It's Halloween. I like the decorations, I like the idea that is a one night of celebrating, and most people like to celebrate it. There is no gift-giving, but there is the treat-giving at your front door. Now that my own son and daughter are older, I look forward to seeing the kids come to my door all dressed in their costumes. I like to direct them to my kitchen door, not my front door, because it has an old-fashioned ringer on it that you have to turn and they get a big kick out of that. But after they ring the door, and the thrill of yelling out ,"Trick or Treat!!" is over, I look at those young faces of expectation, and I am at a standstill. They want a treat. I want to give them a treat. But every day I battle the problems caused by sugar. With every cavity I have to drill out, I look at it and say to myself - how did this get here? Really? In this day and age of healthy living, drinking water, eating organic.......people still get addicted to sugar. And I am about to contribute to this addiction by handing out candy???? I can't do it. I just can't do it.

Months ago, I started trying to get banks, stores, dry cleaners, gas stations in my town to eliminate the darned candy basket at the counter. I don't know if you see this where you live, but for some reason in my town, which prides itself on being fit and healthy, there is a basket of candy in just about every public place you go. I would stand at the counter, look at the clerk, and ask, "Would you consider getting rid of that candy basket?". The answers I got in return ranged from ,"No", to "We just can't do that" to "Why??". When I gave a short answer about how unhealthy it is, how kids see it and that causes a bigger problem with an argument with the parent they are with, and how addictive sugar becomes, I then finally get to the point of saying," You know, the problem really sits with the fact you are giving it to them, you aren't selling it and the kids see it as a treat or gift, and it isn't a treat at all. It is like you are giving them a little bit of poison. Why don't you just put out a basket of cigarettes and see how that is perceived??". Oh, that went over well. Not. I was told to get off my high horse!!! The high horse of being a dentist.

So, back to the day of Halloween. This year would be different. I was ready. The kids were at the door. The Trick or Treat chant began. I opened the door. There were those young faces, waiting, looking, expecting a treat. I reached for my bowl. Their faces lite up with surprise. In the bowl, all a glow, with yellow, orange, green, blue and red circles, were glow bracelets. They absolutely loved them! They ran from my doorstep, out into the darkness, lighting up the night, and I felt good. Good that I created smiles, without use of sugar.