1. “These molar cavities have grown since your child’s last visit. She will need several root canals, and I hate to say it, but it’s probably all your fault. Is she flossing? What does that mean, ‘not regularly?’ Is she flossing, or isn’t she? No, of course she’s not. That’s what I thought. You can lie to yourself and your family, but you cannot fool the x-ray machine that produced these unfortunate images.”

2. “What are you feeding this child? Is it candy for every meal? Look, I know many parents who insist they ‘don’t give their kids candy.’ Let me guess — you give your kids Mott’s fruit snacks several times a day because they seem like a healthier alternative to candy. I knew it. You know what we call Mott’s fruit snacks in dental circles? We call them ‘the devil’s candy.’”

3. “Oh boy, look at the grinding wear on these lower canines. Yup, that’s anxiety about dental health made manifest. Obviously, your child can sense that you harbor a great deal of worry and remorse about her hideous, rotten teeth, and she is channeling it like a little anxiety lightning rod. Most dental issues are perfectly natural and cannot be blamed on anything, but I’m afraid this one rests squarely on your shoulders. This level of transferred anxiety is not too common in seven-year-olds, but not all that surprising in this case.”

4. “Now, this I haven’t seen in years. The way this lateral incisor is growing sideways can only mean one thing: you never forgave your parents for not letting you play hockey, and now you are pushing your child to live out your dreams denied on the ice. Can’t you see she hates hockey, the sport responsible for more dental destruction than all others combined? Do you even know who your daughter is as a person? Before you leave here today, I want you to tell her you’re sorry and give her one of the many hugs you’ve been withholding due to your complicated and tragic relationship with human affection.”

5. “You haven’t paid your bill for her fillings last year. What kind of example do you think you are setting for this child in terms of responsibility? How do you handle her first-grade homework assignments? I’ll bet you just sweep them under the rug like all the other things you’re ignoring. Some day these bills will come due, and her educational journey will arrive at the divergent paths of great success and ultimate failure. Which road will she take? Will she ever move out of your house? Or will she languish in your basement forever, jobless and toothless, until you finally die from a combination of disappointment, regret, and congestive heart failure?”

6. “In the time we have been talking, your child has managed to run amok in our office, knocking over a tray of several incredibly expensive laser-guided precision drills. Because of your negligence, they are now broken beyond repair. We will add this charge to your bill.”