My mother worked as a dental hygienist, so when it came time for our check-ups we knew there would be dire consequences if we did not behave in an exemplary manner. I remember thinking that I understood why some kids freaked out. Dentist offices can be scary. Sure, they try to fool you with the relaxing music, delectable air fresheners, and some of them even offer freshly baked cookies. But then they take you to that room filled with bright lights and racks of torture instruments. Fortunately, I was blessed with great teeth, and I have passed that trait on to my own children. Still, making sure they receive regular dental care is just part of being a good parent. Instead of just promising a surprise from the dentist's treasure box when the ordeal is over, I also try to thoroughly explain the process and the instruments that will be used.