Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Dentist

Yesterday afternoon hubby and I took the girls to their dental appointments (TJ went, too - couldn't leave him at home now could we?) For Kelley, this was her 2nd appointment with this dentist. The first was last year before Christmas for an exam to find out how much it would cost to fill cavities. One was very seriously huge so we knew it had to be taken care of. No dental insurance here, though (which reminds me to be sure and add that during the yearly insurance enrollment this month).

Well, we finally took her yesterday to get that serious cavity filled. She did pretty well though I knew she was anxious about 'the needle'. Who likes needles anyway, right? Well, the Dr. was kinda sneaky when he gave it to her, holding it down by his side until right when he was going to put it in her mouth. I didn't like that he didn't prepare her, but maybe he knows better than I how most children would react if they were given the foreknowledge. But, to alleviate her fears beforehand, I did tell her that I was sure the Dr. would tell her every step he was taking before he did anything (and he pretty much did). Such as "Now I'm going to swab (showing her the swab) this yucky tasting medicine on your gum to deaden it...now I'm going to scrape the tooth...now I'm going to stick you with a needle!" Yeah, I guess you wouldn't really want to announce that would you? But when he did, the way he announced his intentions was that she would feel a little "mosquito bite". She knew immediately what that meant (I could see her tense up), and when he stuck her with it both legs and arms flew into the air! She stayed in the chair, thankfully, but she didn't like it. I could tell she was disappointed to have been given the needle. He did tell her when he came into the room, when the first thing she said was "I don't want any needle", that there would be no needle. So I'm sure she was disappointed and probably mistrustful of him thereafter. I mean children naturally expect grown-ups to mean what they say. They learn too quickly that grown-ups are not always truthful. Even if their intentions were good, a lie is still a lie in a child's eyes, you know? I felt badly for her. I still wish he would have taken an extra moment to just warn her that he would have to use a needle to deaden the tooth. Sure she would have been scared and he may have to take a little extra time with this patient to assure her it would be alright, but I feel it would have been better than shatter her trust of him when she had last heard him tell her that there would be no needle.

Yeah, it's over now, and all went pretty good after that. She got that big gaping hole filled and she looks like she has a new tooth. I think she's satisfied with the new tooth she sees in the mirror, too! And I think she feels better being able to drink water and not feel it "tickle" her tooth, as she calls it.

Now Jessica, my soon-to-be-4 year old...my shy one...I prepped her before we left hoping to help her overcome her shyness for just awhile and let the dentist be able to look at her teeth. But inside I was thinking "She'll never let a dentist see her face (it'll be buried in me!) much less her teeth!" But I explained to Jessie at home that she'd get to sit in a special chair and that she'd need to open her mouth real wide so the dentist could see her pretty teeth. She has a problem with enamel erosion on two front teeth. Well, fast forward to the dentist. We're in the room and I point out her special chair real cheerfully and she ALMOST climbs in it! But she hesitates then backs off and the dental hygenist asks if Jessie would like Mommy to sit in the chair and then Jessie sit on Mommy's lap. Oh, that worked! Jessie layed back against me and let Miss Tracy clean her teeth! Never a peep! I couldn't believe it! When the Dr. came in to determine what to do about the enamel wearing off her teeth, before he even said anything or had his gloves on, Jessie saw him and immediately opened her mouth for him! I was chuckling at how well she was doing. No fear! It was so uncharacteristic of her. She's shy of most strangers.

Tommy said later at home, as we were still marveling at Jessie's courage and fearlessness, that it was because of the prayer I had said for them right before we went in to the dentist's office....I thought "Oh yeah...I had forgotten about that." But I had specifically asked that their fears be removed and that they would feel comforted. I just am so pleased at how well they both did. And I'm thankful for answered prayer.


Lulu said...

glad things turned out well..poor baby...Its scary for us grownups, let a lone a little one..

Jennifer said...

Wish you could have had our dentist. He gave Alison a shot in her mouth and she didn't even know it!

Rosesandtea said...

I'm with you - I think honesty is best. I'm glad your daughter got the dental treatment she needed though.

I tried to comment the other day when you first posted but couldn't. Just wanted to let you know I'm a faithful reader!

kelley said...

and it hurt he didn,t num it enough