I haven’t forgotten about this blog. I realize that it has been since November that I have posted anything, but the holiday season just gets away from you and we all (me especially) suffer from some awful form of seasonal depression around winter time that leaves us feeling pretty grumpy and worn out. Anyway, it’s not that there’s nothing to post. It’s just hard to put it in words sometimes.
Today’s topic…the dentist. I’ll be brutally honest. We are really bad at doing the dentist appointment thing around our house. I haven’t been to the dentist for any routine care since I had braces back in early high school. Anxiety. Bad gag reflex. Not a fun time. But my husband and I both had broken teeth that needed to be addressed. Long story short, husband went in to get his broken tooth yanked which has led all 3 of us to visit the dentist.
Now Asher has been to the dentist before. One time. We took him for his first dentist appointment when he was 2. He doesn’t remember it. When Brandon went to get his broken tooth pulled a few weeks ago, Asher knew he had an appointment soon so he was curious. Brandon came home with a numb mouth, talked funny, was unable to eat normally, and was sore for a few days. This convinced Asher that if he went to the dentist he would have to get shots in his mouth that made all of that happen to him. We reassured him that he was just going to get his teeth cleaned and absolutely nothing would hurt him. But we’re dealing with Asher here. He was a little unsure.
We were able to get him excited about going to the dentist when we told him that there was a treasure chest there that he would get to pick from when he was done. He talked about that treasure chest for a week before his appointment. He wondered what was in it. Would he get to pick anything he wanted? Could he pick out something for his friend or could he only pick one thing? That treasure chest took his mind off of what was actually going to happen to him when the dentist looked at his teeth.
So today was the day that he finally got to have his appointment. I made sure to reassure him beforehand that nothing was going to hurt and he wasn’t getting any shots. He would just need to open his mouth really wide and only talk to the dentist if his fingers aren’t in his mouth. Asher had watched me at my appointment 2 days ago and he was very quiet and I could almost see the anxiety in his eyes, so I guess I was expecting that same quiet, nervous boy for his appointment. I was wrong.
They called Asher back and told him that he would be going to the same room that Mommy was in a few days ago. He told them that he wondered if he would be and he was right. He goes in and sits down in the chair and says “So when are we taking this thing for a ride? You said we would see how high it can go and I’m ready.” This starts the giggles and smiles from the dental assistant. So they see how high the chair will go and then start in on all the tools. They showed him each tool they would be using and let him touch everything to see that it’s not going to hurt him. Asher wasn’t going to settle for just touching things. He had to hold them. He wanted to turn them on and off and see how they worked. He asked how she turns the drill on so she showed him it was a pedal for her foot. She showed him how she could squirt water or air with this tool and then if she squirted water in the cup, this suction tool which she called “Mr. Thirsty” would suck it all up. Asher kept reaching his hand out to take the tools from her instead of just touching them to see how they felt. Finally she asked him to put his hands on his belly and she was going to get started.
She started positioning the light over him and shined it on his legs so he would see that it’s a bright light to help them see in his mouth. He replies “I do NOT like bright lights in my eyes.” They are always prepared for things like this I suppose so she offered him some sunglasses to wear when she had the light on. We were in business and he felt like a cool dude. Now to get to work.
First thing she had to do was count his teeth. She asked him how many teeth he thinks he has. He says “ummm…maybe about 20.” She kind of grinned and said “Ok well let’s see” and began counting his top teeth… there were 10. He got all excited. “TEN!! Yes! That means if there’s 10 on the bottom too then I was right! 20! Because 10+10 is 20!” Ok really…was it just a good guess or did he actually know he had 20 teeth? We may never know.
Next they talked about brushing. She asked him how many times a day he brushes his teeth. “Welllll…..twice. Yeah, twice because we brush once in the morning after breakfast and then again right before bedtime.” She then told him that she was going to use this tool on him that was like a toothbrush and it would clean his teeth. She asked him if he would want mint, bubblegum, or strawberry flavor. He picked mint. She says “Really? I thought you would pick bubblegum.” He answers, ” Well I like bubblegum too, but I want mint because I like my mint toothpaste.” She begins polishing his teeth and he says “Mmmmm!” As she worked her way around his mouth I guess her head got in the way of his tv watching so he started trying to move his head to see the tv. She asked him if she was in his way and joked that he should be able to just look right through her head. He then told her that he could try using his “night vision.” But it only works at night. She asked him if she turned the lights off if it would make his night vision work and he thought about it for a minute and says no…it was still too bright.
He then enjoyed rinsing, swishing, and using “Mr. Thirsty” to clear all the water from his mouth. I told the assistant that we’re lucky he’s not just swallowing the water because he usually just swallows his toothpaste at home even though I ask him to spit it out. She said that he must like using the suction to get it out. He then asks if he could have a “Mr. Thirtsy” at home. I said I didn’t know where we could get one. He then tells us that “Maybe this one will stretch all the way to our house and we could borrow this one.” He basically had everyone cracking up by this point.
So she finishes up and the dentist comes in to check him out. You can tell the assistant had already informed him about Asher. He comes in and asks him,
“So how old are you Asher?”
“And how many teeth do you have?”
“Are you sure.”
“Yep. I’m sure.”
“Well can I just look in there to double check?”
“Yep. You can, but I already told you. There’s 20.”
“Well, I believe you. But I kinda have to count again. That’s my job.”
Dentist counts his teeth again. “Well you’re right. There’s 20.”
“Yeah. I know. I told you!”
Sad news is that the dentist told me he sees braces in our future because of the way his jaw sits when he bites down. He says he will need some help with that in the future. (Yay.)
Good news is that Asher has no cavities and his teeth look really good and especially shiny now.
He got to go home with a new Lightning McQueen toothbrush, toothpaste, and some floss. And yes, he got to choose something out of the treasure chest. Of course, he chose a wind up mouth that walked. He calls it his chomper.
He has already informed me that he can’t wait to go back in 6 months so he can choose from the treasure chest again.
And I thought he would be nervous….