So it was time for the kids’ regular dental inspection.
Maxi was registered with a dentist from the month her first tooth popped through, and I’ve tried to keep to a regular-ish dentist trip every 6 months ever since. When we brush the minxes’ teeth at night, we call it ‘Mummy/Daddy being Dentist’. All in a bid that the girls grow up used to calmly going to dentists, that they see it as a routine maintenance check.
Since our 3rd-last house move, I’ve not been able to get the girls or The Boss with an NHS dentist (one of the very bad things about moving so regularly). However, I’ve reasoned that you can’t budget for your health, so I find the money each time and usually manage a smile as I part with my cash. Yesterday’s visit, though, had me silently fuming.
I tried making a check-up appointment a while ago (when Midi Minx was still 2, so at least her check-up would be free), but seemingly they had none where I could fit all the girls and The Boss in consecutive appointments last thing in the day. Apparently each appointment takes 15 minutes. Fine, so I had to wait a few months. The kids were looking forward to it for days and were quite excited because I’d done a real marketing job on it. We arrived in plenty of time, to an empty surgery. We waited 7 minutes, then were all shown in at once.
The dentist had an absolutely appalling patient manner: quiet to the point of being surly, disinterested, and almost afraid of the girls. No surprise then that they reacted in kind, and refused to sit in his chair and be poked at. I worked my own magic and persuaded them to come out from behind me after maybe 4 minutes. He put a mirror in their mouth and counted their teeth. That visual inspection took 20 seconds (max). I’m sure he would have seen if there was anything amiss with their teeth, but even so… that quick squizz cost me £54.
He was back in civvies and jumping into his fancy car before the surgery door closed behind us.
Call me a rabid old communist if you must, but I think preventative health care should be free. Fixing it should be chargeable (as to whether flat rate, all the market can take, or means tested, I’ve no special preference), but check-ups should surely cost nothing?
One last thing: one toy in the waiting room and a reel of stickers does not make a dentist or dental surgery ‘child-friendly’! I’ll be taking my perfectly-toothed kids elsewhere in future.