ABU DHABI -- It occurred to me today in the clinic that it is truly “love and orthodontics.”
There is nothing more joy-making than the beautiful smiles of the children and teenagers that I treat.
Oh, maybe there is - the incredibly wonderful connections with the children and their parents. It’s the happy grin of the bashful little Maryam I see as I approach her sitting in the corner of the reception room couch, drawing on paper. She won’t quite look up - she just grins and keeps drawing - until I am standing right there, and insist on getting a hug. Now the grin broadly covers her face and she stands and gives me a long, affectionate and happy hug.
Here in Abu Dhabi a medical (dental) office is called a “clinic.” Our clinic is the Advanced American Dental Center. What I do there is love and orthodontics.
One of the dads today said, “You know you are famous?” I thought for a minute, and realized, and said, “I do love being famous with the children.” Indeed. Famous because so many schoolmates see each other there at the clinic. (It’s fun how, to children, their teachers and dentists are “famous.”)
I regale Claude every night with stories of my day. And he patiently and interestedly listens. Oh do I have the best husband!
Tonight Claude and I walked down the steps of the clinic toward our white Honda CRV. Claude had parked it right at the clinic entrance.
I was anxious to tell Claude about Natalie’s mom offering to give me her daughter. But, our attention was taken by a calico Arabian Mau cat, walking from under our car, pausing to notice us, and our pausing to notice her.
Natalie and I had a talk about how and where to brush her teeth more effectively, and how the reason her retainer doesn’t fit now is inadequate wear.
And her mom asked me, “Do you miss Molly a lot?”
“Of course I miss my sweet (daughter) Molly a lot.”
Natalie’s mom, smiling wryly, “So would you like to take Natalie home with you?”
Me; ”I would take her in a heartbeat; but then you would miss her.” Both of us smiled at each other and Natalie.
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
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© 2019 Dr Chris Baker