Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fun at the Dentist?

Today, the kids and I went to the dentist for our six month checkup and cleaning. Earlier this week, our daughter, Katherine, was sick and was quite concerned that she would not be able to go to the dentist. She's nine, and loves going to the dentist. In fact, all of our kids actually enjoy going to the dentist.

Man, things have changed. I didn't like going to the dentist at all when I was a kid. In fact, when I was their age, I'd rather go to the doctor for a shot than to the dentist for a cleaning. It seemed like it took forever, and all that scraping, poking and rinsing. If you had a cavity, that was tough. The sounds, smells and tastes that one only experienced at the dentist.

You know, I've noticed that they do things a bit differently at our dentist than the one I went to growing up. For one, at our dentist, there is a TV in each room. So when you go to your room to sit in the "chair", the hygienist asks you what you want to watch on TV. Cool. Today I watched Regis and Kelly. (It was already on.)

Next, they took x-rays of my teeth. No big deal, just bite down on a piece of plastic that's connected to the computer while the hygienist pushes the button. As fast as it took to position the plastic in my mouth four times, the x-rays of my teeth were now on the computer screen.

Now, the cleaning. No more scraping. They now use a miniature power washer to get the plaque off. It's painless and takes little time. A quick polish, floss, rinse and I'm done. No wonder my kids don't mind going to the dentist.

Well, they haven't had to get a cavity filled, you might say. In fact, Kaleb had a cavity filled a while back. Since it was in a permanent tooth, I decided to get the composite (white) filling so it wouldn't be noticeable - like all the silver in my mouth. Afterwards we went out to eat, I told Kaleb he would have to wait a few extra minutes since he just got a filling. He said he didn't get a filling. I had to go to the car and get the receipt to show him that he had gotten a filling. When I was a kid, you knew when you got a filling. In fact, it was such an experience, I still remember getting a filling to this day.

Why write about this? You see, the mission of the dentist has not changed over time. His/her mission is to help you keep your teeth so you can still use them when you get older. In fact, they are pretty much doing the same things today as when I was a kid. However, they have done well to make the experience more pleasant for the patient. In fact, going to the dentist has gone from being a dreaded event when I was a kid, to a pleasant event that my kids anticipate.

I think church should be that way, too! I want to make church - a relationship with God - so fun that kids can't wait to get to church. I don't think that the mission has to change, just maybe some of the ways we do things. In fact, this isn't just for kids. I think church should be so great that adults can't wait to be there! That's what we're trying to do a Bagley Swamp. What do you think?

1 comment:

Matt Guthrie said...

Great analogy. To paraphrase Larry Norman, why should the dentist get all the good ideas or fun?