Monday, September 29, 2014

The Dreaded Dentist Office

I suppose I must preface this post by saying I absolutely hate the dentist. I have a horrible history with them including two sets of braces, an awful wisdom teeth removal experience where I had 6 wisdom teeth removed while still wearing braces, and one of my worst childhood memories, actually having my teeth glued together, jaw shut while getting a permanent retainer. I had to sit there forever while they drilled them apart.

I am bound and determined that my kids have a better experience with their dentist growing up than I did. So despite any protests from them, I take them every 6 months. Funny what we make our children do that we are too scared to do ourselves right? We found a wonderful pediatric dentist in our town and headed off to their checkup last week. I see tons of pictures and blog posts with kids sitting nicely in the exam chair watching their movies happily. This is not at all how my kids act at the dentist office. Here is how our appointment went last week:

1:00: I check in while they run in to play in the waiting area. There's a climbing area, slide, and video games. All is right with the world.

1:15: Some tantrums ensue when their names are called and we force them to leave the paradise that is the waiting room. The hygienist promises them a movie and they happily follow her.

1:20: Despite promises of a movie, I cannot talk Grace into sitting in the exam chair. Connor happily plops down in it to watch "Finding Nemo" but starts to cry the moment it starts to lay back and rushes to me. I can't get him to sit in it again.

1:22: They are running behind so they apologize and give us some stuffed animals to let the kids practice brushing. You would have thought they gave them cake they were so happy.

1:22-1:24: 2 minutes of quiet happy brushing bliss!

1:24: Bliss ends when Connor decides to brush his own teeth with the large brush that is undoubtedly covered in germs. Despite my best efforts it ends up in his mouth about 10 times. I beg the hygienist for one that he can use that is his size and not covered in other kids' saliva. She works her magic and gets one out for him while I pry the large yellow one out of his hand. He screams until he gets his new one.

1:25-1:26: He quietly brushes his teeth and Grace continues to work on the alligator

1:27: He finds the only hole in the cabinet full of dental equipment next to us and quickly stuffs his brand new toothbrush into it. The hygienist retrieves it and throws it away apologizing. Any patience he had at this point is gone and I am apologizing as he tries to tear up their plants, wander into other exam spaces, and hit any button he can find.

1:30: Grace is now bored and has joined Connor in his quest to hit buttons and check out all of the equipment.

1:32: To my relief the dentist arrives and asks who will go first. Neither volunteers. Despite her protests, I grab Grace and sit her in my lap and force her head down so that the dentist can check her teeth and do the treatments. She screams, fights, and cries the entire time. I have no idea what Connor was doing during this, the poor hygienist took pity on me and watched him as he ran around.

1:34: The dentist is fast and states that her mouth looks great, crowded but no obvious cavities. Obviously she isn't going to let us do x-rays this time so we'll have to try at the next visit.

1:35: I catch Connor and thank the hygienist profusely for watching him and assume the same position I had with Grace. He fights even harder than Grace did and seriously scratches up my arms (must cut his fingernails!) The dentist said his teeth are great, but are even more crowded than Grace's and all I can think about is the 2 sets of braces in our future, $$$$$$$.........

1:37: The torture is over. As soon as it is done they both give the dentist high fives like nothing had happened. They happily go and claim their prizes and tell the hygienist that it was and I quote "lots of fun!" I am sweating, have scratch marks on my arms, and feel like I had run a mile, but sure it was fun. I swear these kids!

I keep hoping it will get easier at the next visit! Please tell me it gets easier.......

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