On Wednesday morning Tim Barnes, the horse dentist, came to the Meadow. He comes once a year to check up on our teeth. He likes to give them “A nice clean up all round.”

We, Meadow horses and Meadow ponies, like Tim very much because he is a kind and gentle dentist. And, we know that if our teeth are not healthy we will not be able to eat our food properly and then we could get sick.

Snoopy, the leader of the Meadow dogs, always barks at him and says,  “Go away, Tim Barnes!” Tim tries to make friends with Snoopy but Snoopy refuses to come near him. Snoopy absolutely hates the smell of the disinfectant in the silver buckets Tim uses to clean his dentistry tools. Maybe that smell reminds Snoopy of the time he had to go to the veterinary hospital for an operation. Who knows!

The other dogs are quite friendly to Tim, especially Maximo. Maximo even opened his jaws wide to show Tim his teeth (just like the horses do) but Tim explained that he is a Horse Dentist, not a Dog Dentist, and in any case his teeth looked perfectly good and definitely don’t need anything done to them!  Little Oscar is very curious about Tim’s silver buckets! He would love to see what is inside them!

This visit was a very important one because it was the first time young Ravel was seeing the dentist.  Tuxedo Junction, the Oldest and Wisest Horse of All had a long chat with Ravel to explain how important it was to have a check-up with the dentist. “Everything will go just fine!” he reassured him.

When Ravel came up to the stable Tim said, “He’s grown up to be a fine young horse, hasn’t he! I hope he’s quiet and sensible like his mother, Pippy!” Tim said that he would like to do my teeth first so Ravel could watch on and learn what to do. “That way, Ravel will know there’s nothing to be afraid of”, Tim said.

Because I am so small Tim had to kneel down to do my teeth. With a very small rasp he gently filed my teeth making sure there were no sharp edges. “Your teeth are now in great shape, Ryan O’Brien!” he said.

“See, Ravel!” I said. “It’s no big deal! Tim is a super kind and gentle dentist! You have nothing to fear!”

And do you know what? Ravel coped very well! He opened his mouth wide so Tim could feel his teeth with his fingers.  He didn’t even try to bite! Tim said that Ravel had already lost many of his baby teeth and was growing a very fine set of adult teeth!

Then Tim carefully took off the sharp edges off Ravel’s teeth with a metal rasp, all the time reassuring Ravel saying “You’re a good boy, aren’t you.”  Finally he put Ravel into a special mouth brace, to help Ravel keep his mouth open while he filed the very back teeth. Ravel stood perfectly still and felt perfectly safe in Tim’s hands.

Ravel won’t need to see Tim now for another year. He feels very proud of how he behaved with his first visit from the dentist and loves to boast to the other horses, saying, “I have a very, very fine set of teeth! Tim Barnes, the Horse Dentist, told me so!!”

And he loves to show us what he can do with those very fine teeth!

I don’t think that human dentists come to your home, do they. And I don’t think they have to file your teeth or put you in contraptions to keep your mouth open! But they do probably smell of disinfectant and they definitely do help to keep your teeth healthy!

Have you ever been afraid to go to the dentist like young Ravel?

Ryan O’Brien