I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t been over on all of y’all’s blogs. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’ve been relieved to not have your comments hijacked by the chatterbox. Well, whatever it is, I have a good excuse. We have family staying with us, mainly due to Gavin’s birthday (and a little because they like us…a little).
It’s been really nice to not go into work and to spend time with them and my kids. And because I’m such a great mom, I scheduled Gavin’s first real dentist appointment on the morning of his birthday. He did really well…a lot better than I was expecting since he gets really anxious around anyone in scrubs. I originally did a dental consultation with my own dentist where I got my dental implants and was looking into TMJ and TMD treatment, but after he left and the practice went to a different guy who doesn’t have children, I figured I’d bring the kids to a pediatric dentist. Wow…what a difference! I want my teeth cleaned there from now on! The whole office was decorated in a “Under the Sea” fish-type-theme, the forms I filled out had the fish all over them, the exam chairs were in various shades of blue, there were fish tanks, and all the kids there (varying in age from 3 to 7 at the time) were relaxed, laid-back in their chairs with sunglasses on while getting their teeth cleaned, staring at their own personal balloon floating above their heads. Periodically you’d hear the dentist counting a child’s teeth out loud, or loudly praising a child for “No Cavities!!!” or “Good Job on Your FIRST Visit!!!”
The hygienist we had was so sweet and patient. Gavin wasn’t too sure about the moving chair, but tolerated it if I let him hold my hand. She showed him the Tickle Brush and tickled his finger with the tooth-cleaning brush several times until he was comfortable enough to let her tickle his teeth with it. He thought that Mr. Sprinkler and Mr. Thirsty (the water pick and the sucker-thing) were hysterical and thought it was great that she could give him a drink of water! Once his teeth were cleaned, he even allowed her to floss his teeth….I was totally stunned! And so proud of him! Afterwards the dentist came, counted his teeth, pronounced him cavity-free to anyone in the office, and since this was our first visit with them, went over some basic stuff (how to get him to quit swallowing the toothpaste, when to call them if he sustains a mouth injury, reinforcing healthy food choices and brushing habits, etc.), and took a picture with Gavin for his personalized “My First Dental Visit” book.
Like I said, I want my teeth cleaned there.
As we were leaving, I saw their “Binky Busters” board, where it showcased photos of kids who kicked their (extended) binky habit. Most of the kids looked to be about 3…but some looked older. One little girl looked to be around 5. Made me feel a little better about Gavin having his until he was 32 months old (I have excuses! Want to hear them? Maybe just one? He didn’t cut his 2-year old molars until he was 2-1/2, when he got all four at once, and the binky gave him a lot of comfort and relief…I just couldn’t take that from him. Once they were in, he surrendered the binky pretty easily). And also glad that I got Gavin to kick his binky habit when I did, before any dental expert got a look-see in his mouth and chastised me for being a negligent mother who will allow her orally-fixated child go to college with his pacifier.
But like I said, Gavin did GREAT! He was compliant, minimally anxious, and was funny and charming when all was done. I was so grateful for such a great experience that I thanked and nearly hugged everyone on the way out.
Now tomorrow is his 4-year old check-up. Yes, I am a mean, mean mom…and a stupid one, too…testing my 4-year old’s patience with health professionals. But wait. There’s more: scheduled 2-1/2 hours after Gavin’s check-up is his 4-year old portraits…this child who can be very sweet and funny loses his trained monkey act and becomes the biggest stinker at photography studios. And I’ll probably end up taking him by myself. Right before lunch. Because I am a glutton for punishment.