Thursday, June 23, 2016

Big Boys and Dental Tools

I grew up hating the dentist.  HATING.  The smell of the dentist's office made my stomach hurt.  I would dread going to his office, and would be in pain and sick to my stomach the rest of the day after we went there.  I always just figured that was the way it was, and everybody felt that way.  My last dentist appointment with him was the week before I got married, at a very young 19 years old.  I had cavities I needed to get filled, and I was losing my dental insurance when I got married.  I was pregnant, sick, miserable, and for some reason the anesthesia didn't work on me so he filled two cavities with me not numb.  I had more to get done, but I never went back.

It took ten years for me to go back to a dentist, and the only reason I went is because my sister (who felt the same way I did) swore up and down that she had found a dentist that didn't hurt, and she didn't mind going to.  I decided to give it a shot, went to him, and absolutely loved him.  He finished up all my dental work that I had neglected for that ten years, and when Cory and I started dating, he started going there too.

The kids went to a pediatric dentist my sister started them out with.  I figured with him being a kids' dentist he would be the best suited to work with Phillip and his special needs.  He was the one who did the crowns on Lexie's baby teeth (twice), and I figured the routine was good for Phillip.  Every time we took him, he would scream, cry, and fight us.  The dentist would have me hold him down and he would put in a bite guard and hold his head so he could examine his teeth.  It was horrible.  I dreaded it.  But, again, I figured routine was good, and Phillip would get used to it.

After a horrible fallout over a billing issue with Lexie's crowns, I decided I was done with him.  I pulled the kids records, and took them to the dentist Cory and I were going to.  I figured if he was going to hate the dentist, he could hate any dentist, and this would be easier having us all in one place.

The first time we took him, he fought us getting back in to the room, would not even come close to sitting in the chair, sat on my lap and huddled in to my shoulder, but after some sweet talking and loves from one of the amazing hygienists, opened his mouth willingly and let them look a little bit at his teeth.  The dentist said that was good for the day, and they'd keep working on him, and we scheduled another appointment.  Not horrible, but not great.

Six months later, we took him back, and he threw a fit going in to the room, sat on my lap in the corner, and whimpered for a little bit.  We had messed up the appointments, and I had an appointment at the same time they were doing his.  I left Cory in charge of him, and they took me in to the adjoining room, separated only by the x ray machine.  I could hear everything that was going on.  I heard Cory coaxing him in to the chair, I heard the hygienist talking him through all of the tools that they use, and letting him play with them, and then I heard them using the tools.  I could hear from what they were saying that he was letting them clean his teeth.  I laid there in my dentist chair, bawling, while they cleaned my teeth.  He whimpered a little bit, and wasn't extremely happy, but he let them clean, floss, and examine his teeth.  It was amazing.

Yesterday was his third visit.  He was fine waiting in the waiting room.  He was a little agitated walking down the hall to the room.  This time, Cory immediately got him to sit in the dentist chair, and with a little bit of coaxing and reminding, they got him to lay back and open his mouth.  He played a little bit with the tools, and had no issues letting the hygienist clean his teeth.  He was humming, singing, talking, and smiling the whole time.  He let her floss his teeth, and then took the floss away and flossed them himself, before giving it back to her to let her finish the job.  He let her examine them, and then took the mirror from her and stuck it in his own mouth.

I was completely blown away with the changes that have happened in just three visits.  This time, the only tears were from the amazing hygienist who had to excuse herself and pull herself back together when she was done cleaning his teeth.  I am so grateful for her and all the effort she has put in with him, making him comfortable and letting him take the lead.  She never pushes his boundaries, and she is amazing at her job.  She is so gentle and caring with him.  I am so grateful we switched dentists, and I am so proud of my boy.

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