Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tooth Time

I had been dreading this for weeks.  Actually, I think I've been dreading it for at least a year.  The pediatrician had been telling me to take the boys to the dentist for a year and a half, ever since Ethan's 3 year checkup.  Originally, I just forgot.  And then I got pregnant with Isaac and there were just so many extra appointments that I didn't even want to think about adding another one.  Generally, I try to only schedule one appointment a week because wrangling small children in a doctor's office is just really tiring.  But then the pediatrician asked me if the boys had been to the dentist at Ethan's 4 year checkup...and then again at Noah's 3 year checkup, so I realized I really couldn't get away with avoidance any longer.  I just sort of inwardly groaned at the visions I was having in my head - visions of me holding a baby and simultaneously trying to comfort freaked out preschoolers in two different rooms. 

I chose to go to a pediatric dentist rather than a regular old family dentist hoping that it would go smoother.  And it was perfect.

Isaac slept in until 9:00 am (wahoo!) which meant that he didn't need to nurse during the appointment.  Alas, this did mean that he was ready for a nap during the appointment but I sort of rocked him to sleep for a short cat nap and he was fine.

The hygenists were great.  They let the boys feel the suction and the electric toothbrush on their hands before they had them lay down for the cleaning.

(Of course I took my camera.  I'm a blogger desperate for inspiration.)

They took x-rays.  Cute little techniques like telling them that they had to bite down on the "alligator" to take pictures helped them relax.

The boys were great.  They followed every single direction the hygenists gave them, never whined, never cried and never got weirded out.  I think it helped that I never portrayed to them that going to the dentist would possibly scare them.  I think some people say things like, "Now when we go to the dentist, you don't have to be scared."  And then the kids think they should be scared and therefore are.  I just gave them the facts of what was going to happen, "The dentist is a tooth doctor.  You're going to get in a special chair and the people will clean your teeth with a special toothbrush and then the dentist will check your teeth to see if they are healthy."

While waiting for the dentist, the hygenists were great.  One showed Ethan a picture book of yucky teeth and explained dental hygiene.  He asked lots of good questions and was able to explain to Dave all about tooth health at dinner last night.

And the results were....NO CAVITIES!  Ethan may have an anterior crossbite, which will hopefully self-correct when the permanent teeth come in.  He also has a suspicious area on one tooth that might turn into a cavity later.  This all definitely made me feel better because I do not brush their teeth twice a day, nor do I brush them for the requisite two minutes.  I'm lucky if I get to brush them for 20 seconds once a day. 

I also had the dentist look at Isaac's upper lip tie to see if he thought it was worthy of intervention (i.e. clipping).  He does not.  He said he was worried that the healing process would be too difficult and that the clipping would create scar tissue buildup that would interfere with his teeth coming in correctly.  Ugh.  So...basically, I have to suck it up and deal with minor nursing pain for several more months.  Thankfully, I'm no longer crying when he latches on, but it's still not a "gentle tugging" like normal nursing is supposed to be. 

So yea!  It was fine!  It was great!  Let's do it again in 6 months!  Hooray!

1 comment:

  1. So glad for you! I take all 3 on Monday. It'll Jania's first time! :)


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