Lois’s story about Dr. Doyle made me laugh, and then it made me rather sad.   We just don’t get these kindly old Doctors, who had time to sit with their patients and drink tea.   Today, IF you can get an appointment, you have to sit in a waiting room, full of snuffling mothers and fidgety children, and hope that the allotted time for your appointment is not more than half an hour late, and than the 8 minutes allowed is long enough to get your tale of woe across.

And sometimes I wonder if there were dirty evil old harridans and surly doctors.   Maybe we never heard about those?

Which, in a way, brings me to dentists.   Our dentist when I was a child, and right up to when I was old enough to leave home, was a man called Mr. Pleasant.    Not the ideal name for a dentist in the days of brutal drills and no injections!    As children we were terrified when we had to go to see the Dentist.   Even now, more years ago than I care to think about and I am not going to own to, I can remember the waiting room, and in particular the old red and brown patterned carpet!   Myj sister and I tried to calm our shaking hands by playing with those little sealed boxes, where you had to get 3 or 4 balls into specified holes.   Always, always, we had just got two nicely placed, when our nerves would give way and our hands shook, upsetting the balls again.   And when our names were called………… oh dear!

Mr. Pleasant was a very big man and loomed over in a terrifying way to a small child.    The dreaded words “you need a couple of fillings here” quite ruined our day, as we had to make appointments for these.

And we were rightly afraid.     With no nice numbing injections (well, not until my teen years) and the drill, which to a child looked as though it could easily be used by a miner, painfully and very loudly drove its way through our teeth.   And that tooth hurt for the rest of the day.   With instructions not to drink anything hot, and not to eat on it we did our best to take our minds off the residual pain.   No TV then, I always had recourse to a book, and shut myself off from everyone else.   I’m afraid I don’t know what my sister did!

I could really have done with a nice, kindly old Doctor, like Dr. Doyle as my dentist.    But we didn’t seem to have one where I lived!

And yes, I did always clean my teeth, with Gibbs toothpaste, a solid block that came in a little aluminium tin with “Gibbs” embossed on the top.   To get enough toothpaste, you had to rub your brush quite hard across the surface.   I remember it was bright pink, but somehow never stained our teeth!

Teeth and Dentists were very definitely not the good old days for me!


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