THE GINGIVITIS MONSTER

Monsters

Okay, I have to admit, nothing about this picture is even remotely scary.  But my point was not to scare potential readers, but to discuss another point entirely, namely the scaring of children.

First point, I have no children of my own, I only have vague memories of my own childhood to rely on, and even those are fading into a squeamish blur.  This may make me less than an expert on this matter.  But here is something I do remember:  as a child, an adult removed her fake teeth to show me a large cavernous gap at the back of her mouth.  She told me that she lost these teeth because she could not stop eating candy – and this effectively put me off candy for a long time.  In short, it worked.  She made such a strong impression that even now – even though I’m pretty sure that is not how she lost her teeth – I still remember.  Is this a bad way to go about teaching children?  Should you have to pull a monster out of the air?

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