I’ve developed a simple way to endure the poking and prodding and drilling and filling as your dentist hovers above your face. Take a walk through the years. I beam myself back to Brooklyn and the days when I walked to school, to stores, to movie theatres, and to the library.
Try it. As soon as you picture yourself leaving your house, walk familiar streets while recalling where your friends lived and the hours you spent together. The other day I walked down East 37th Street where my best friend Carolyn lived and where four of my other classmates lived in what were known then as the Trump homes. (Built by the father, not the Donald.) These brick attached homes with a garage and a basement were considered a fine addition to my Flatbush neighborhood.
Or your walk may take you past your church. Perhaps you stop in to say a prayer and light a candle, or look up at the choir loft where you sang Latin hymns. And, if you’re old enough and if your thoughts reach deep enough, when you reach your local shopping area you may recall the local bakery where you first saw a bread-slicing machine or the sawdust on the floor of the local supermarket.
My dentist trick has worked for years, ever since I was a child. I developed it - it was the only way I had to endure Dr. DiGangi’s novocaine-less dentistry. Now I no longer dread my annual visits with a more humane dentist. I encourage you to try it. Long buried memories will emerge and when the dentist tells you to rinse, you may not want to end your reverie.