Because the scariest place for a kid (and many an adult) could easily be made less scary if an animatronic, anthropomorphic talking bear told you otherwise, right?
Propaganda, my friends. Total propaganda.
I’d like to think I’m in the great majority of people who absolutely don’t like going to the dentist. I went every six months as a kid, went through the whole process of orthodontia (braces, two retainers, rubber bands on braces and retainers), and got through my childhood with a very minimal number of cavities/fillings (I think three between the ages of 12 and 18).
After I graduated from high school, I moved onto college, and worked during that time, and well…dental care got away from me. I brushed my teeth and took good care of my teeth, but I neglected that benefit of my father’s health insurance by getting my teeth checked. Young and stupid me managed to do this for three years…until I broke a molar and wound up needing a root canal and permanent crown. After that I was adamant about good dental care – no cavities, went every six months…until I moved. And then came the other excuses – months where I was uninsured (I worked a full time seasonal job, so for the first two years of my employment, I temporarily lost my insurance during the winter months while I was laid off), then a job switch and new dental insurance, but plenty of excuses not to go.
Admittedly, I decided to forego good and proper dental care to go alot longer than I should have. I kept chalking it up to other health issues I had at the time. I already hated doctors appointments, why would I want to add another one to the schedule? I had issues with my teeth stemming from braces. I was told it receded gums (later found out my teeth had eroded in a few spots), and I needed my Wisdom Teeth out. I didn’t want dental surgery (now I’m “too old” to have them removed, it also wasn’t necessary), so I avoided seeing the dentist. Admittedly, my first time back to one in way too long wasn’t because of pain and suffering, but because I knew I was being stubborn.
On my husband’s recommendation, I decided to go to his dentist. I had switched my dental plan to a private plan on my own dime (the only way I could go to this dentist), and sucked it up. What I got was probably the best experience I could ever have asked for in a dentist’s office. My hygienist, a super nice woman who grew up where I did, told me that for the amount of time I hadn’t gotten my teeth checked, they looked good. She even told me about the eroded teeth and how they would be easy to fix, after confirming that it wasn’t the issue the previous dentist had told me. After a cleaning and buying a great electric toothbrush, I knew I would become more proactive in taking care of my teeth. After all, I’d like to keep them.
I’m proud to say that my stubborn, anxious self has gone to three six month checkups, has had those little spaces filled, and has great teeth to go with the smile I’m confident about.
But hey, I get it. Going to the dentist is TERRIFYING! And when you’re a kid (or an overly anxious thirtysomething), reassurance is key. And when you’re a kid, it helps to know what goes on at the dentist, and how you should care for your teeth. Educational videos help, as do going to an office that allows you to see it and find out everything that an appointment entails, but sometimes, you need a friend to set you right about dental care.
And that’s where Teddy Ruxpin, and his good friends at Crest, come in!
*Rinse and Spit*
There was a reason I told that incredibly long-winded story of my dental history…to get to the nostalgia!
Teddy Ruxpin Visits The Dentist is the unofficial thirty-ninth “story” in The World of Teddy Ruxpin (there were thirty-eight adventures), serving as a promotional tape from Crest. It isn’t even a full adventure story, just a short-but-sweet tape where Teddy becomes a corporate shill for Crest, explaining the dentist and promoting an actual product. Teddy had safety story cassettes in his adventures, and he was the “Spokesbear” for the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but he also needed to remind kids that proper dental care (and Crest) could keep your teeth perfect.
Released in 1987, the run time of this cassette is two minutes. I’ll assume it came bundled with toothpaste, or dentist offices gave it out. I have no clue – what I do know is that Teddy Ruxpin goes to the dentist. (That’s a hint – if you know, please share this information!)
I’m not making this up. An anthropomorphic, mechanically animated bear with a tape deck where his internal organs and spine should be GOES TO THE DENTIST. He’s telling you this story of your next Dental Adventure while he’s WAITING FOR HIS DENTIST APPOINTMENT.
My husband is terrified enough of Teddy (he says he just “doesn’t like it” because Teddy Ruxpin is “creepy”). My twenty-month-old puppy shakes, barks, and runs away from Teddy. How does a dentist feel about working on the teeth of a humanoid-esque bear?
There’s artwork depicting bear dentists, right?
Teddy Ruxpin Visits The Dentist
Keep thinking about that title, friends.
All this talk about reluctant dental visits and bears with giant human teeth, as well as anthropomorphic bears going to the dentist was all just a lead up for the actual reason why you are here: the listening of…THE TAPE!
You waited this long and combed through over 900 words to get to this point, why not drag it out any longer?
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So, um, yeah. That. Buy Crest. Or something.
These guys couldn’t convince you?
Oh, and there’s a commercial to win a Teddy Ruxpin through Crest!
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I swear, Bear With Teeth will haunt my dreams far worse than imagining Teddy Ruxpin at the dentist. I’m writing this at nearly 2:30 am. Sleep is so overrated.