About one month ago, every person in our family had an opportunity to go to the dentist and have our bi-annual cleaning. I have always hated the dentist. Ever since I left home and got married, I have had one bad dentist after another. I have had painful and bad fillings and really poor bed side manner. But finally, after about 8 years of searching, we found a dentist with expertise, good bed side manner, and a gentle hand. He is even good with the kids. But after yesterday, if you didn’t know this about him and were sitting in the waiting room, you may question what you were doing there!!
Lucky for us, Jason and I escaped the dentist with no cavities. However, Garion and Kayla were not so lucky. We try to get them to brush well! We have tried to teach them and guide them in good dental hygiene. But it is like talking to a blank wall sometimes. Not all the time, but apparently more often then we thought, they are skimping on their brushing. We kept telling them their teeth would fall out if they didn’t brush well enough. Maybe we should have told them the truth though. It is almost more scary. It could have gone something like this.
“Garion and Kayla, if you don’t brush well, then you will get cavities in your teeth. If that happens, then we have to take you to the dentist who is going to take x-rays by putting really uncomfortable square thingys in your mouth in a whole bunch of weird positions that keep you from closing your mouth without getting poked painfully in the jaw. Then after they look at the x-rays and find all your cavities they are going to have to fill them. Only they won’t fill them right away. They will make you an appointment to come back in a week or two and then leave you to your imagination, dreams and horrible anticipation for all that time until it is time to go back. On the anticipated day, you drive to the dentist (hopefully on a full stomach because you won’t be able to eat or feel or taste anything for several hours afterward), and they lay you back in the chair and put a nice orange mask on your face. This is the gas that is suppose to help you relax. I works wonders until they pick up the long and incredibly torturous looking syringe that they plan on shoving into your mouth. When you heart is beating so fast you think you are going to have a heart attack, they stick it in your mouth and tell you not to move while they jam it into your gums and wiggle it around. All the while, pulling on your lip like they want to take it off your face. Once they are done with the shot, they leave you alone for awhile so you can get your heart back under control and wait for half of your face to go numb. Then they come back with big smiles and tell you to open wide again so they can drill. That’s right kids! They pick up a drill like the one daddy uses to put holes in the walls and they put holes in your teeth to get rid of the cavities. Once the cavity is gone, they fill the hole with some weird stuff that looks like tooth, only it isn’t and tell you to have a nice day. And by the way, please be sure you don’t eat anything or you might just bite your tongue off since you can’t feel it.”
I think that is the story I will go with when it comes time for Brynn to go to the dentist. Maybe she will listen to me. Kayla refused to let me help her brush until after her dentist experience. Now she practically begs me to help her brush every night! And Garion brushes for a full 2 minutes or longer now if he can spare the time. Kayla had 2 cavities and they had to be filled on different days because they were on opposite sides of her mouth. She had both filled before Garion went in for his appointment. I was really proud of her! She didn’t want me next to her so I waited out in the waiting room with Brynn and watched a movie. She didn’t cry or whine or whimper or scream or anything. She did fabulously. Both times. Although, with her increase in brushing, I am sure she doesn’t want to repeat the experience.
Garion was a completely different experience. The funny thing here is that he has had one other cavity filled in the past. He was in and out of there the same as Kayla. No tears or fears and I don’t even think he knew they drilled on his teeth. They just “tickled” the cavity away. This time, he either figured out what was happening ahead of time, or has out grown the silly terminology the dentist uses to put kids at ease. Again, Brynn and I were in the waiting room watching a movie while Garion was taken back to the room. About 5 or 10 minutes later, I started to hear the screaming. Not just one scream, but several. After about 40 seconds of non stop screaming I decided to go see what was happening. I didn’t want Garion to be in pain, but I was more worried about the dentist. We have always taught Garion that it it okay to defend yourself if someone else wants to hurt you. I wasn’t sure if he would apply this lesson to the dentist with the torture syringe. I got to the room just as the dentist was finishing and in time to hear him tell Garion that if he grabs his hands (the dentists hands) then he can’t hold the shot steady and it huts more. Turns out the assistant had to restrain him for most of the injection. I retreated back to the waiting room so the dentist wouldn’t feel like I was going to hang over his shoulder. He gave me a look like I was the one at fault here! Pshahh!! I am not the one shoving needles in peoples mouths! Anyway. The rest of the appointment went pretty well. I only heard him one other time as the dentist started to drill. Not as loud and definitely not as long. Then it was over. He had a numb mouth probably until bedtime with a birthday party to go to in the meantime.
And we are dentist free for 6 more months. In one year, we take Brynn for the first time. I wonder if she will be the quiet type or the screaming type? I am sure I will be surprised. I certainly was with the other two!