Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quickie Update

There are so many other things I should be doing right now, like chopping vegetables for dinner just to name one, but I wanted to write a little update first:

This morning I took the girls BY MYSELF to the dentist. Insane? Why, yes I am. However, it went even better than I had hoped, and I had high hopes to begin with, so it was good all over.

I had tried to take Sweet Pea to see the dentist before The Bug was born, but she was having none of that. The dentist was only trying to get her into the chair to count her teeth, but she FREAKED and we went home. I had a good feeling going into today's visit, though.

First, we were going to a family-oriented dentist's office this time, full of friendly, young, predominantly female staff, and toys and crayons and even a fish tank in the waiting room, cruelly imprisoning not only Nemo, but Marlin and Dory as well. But that was the kicker for Sweet Pea - she wanted to go there because they had those fish.

Second, not only is Sweet Pea older and more able to deal with things now, she has also been in school since August and has had plenty of time to realize that there are lots of cool people in the world who are not me. Thus, she now goes into unfamiliar situations involving people she's never met with a bit more of an open mind and more independent inquisitiveness than she ever had before.

When we go to the office today she was still skeptical and a bit afraid. She had wanted me to go first so she could watch me get my cleaning and x-rays, but that's not what the office had planned, so she was thrown into the deep end, as it were. The first thing they wanted to do was take two x-rays of her mouth but she was not up for that at all, so the hygienist took her to the chair where she would be getting her cleaning and let her pick out a new toothbrush. The Bug insisted that she needed one too, and I was telling her "no," but the hygienist was happy to let her pick out one as well. SO - with that out of the way we got Sweet Pea into the chair and she got to see and hear and touch the instruments that would be used on her and pick out what flavor of toothpaste she wanted for her polishing, etc.

At this point, when she was starting to relax and I realized that she was going to go through with the appointment, another hygienist came in and asked me to come with her.

I said, "uh, I can't really leave right now."

She looked a little annoyed and said, "I don't know if this is going to work."

I explained to her that this was Sweet Pea's first appointment EVER and I didn't really feel as if I could just leave when she was still getting used to the idea. The receptionist who made our appointments yesterday had known that this would be Sweet Pea's first ever dental exam so I figured our appointments would have been made so that I could be with Sweet Pea while she was having her cleaning. The hygienist who had come to get me seemed not to know what to do with herself at that point so she went to the reception desk to wait. I sat back down and figured that if they had to cancel my appointment so I could stay with Sweet Pea, so be it.

However... soon enough I noticed that Sweet Pea was completely taken up with her hygienist and what she was saying and doing and was not even looking in my direction at all. I asked her, "do you want me to stay with you through your appointment, or would you be comfortable with me leaving to have my own x-rays taken and my teeth cleaned in a different room?" She said she was fine with me leaving, which surprised but pleased me, and I went off to get my teeth taken care of.

The Bug, who was rather spooked by the dental office, had to be held by someone she didn't know while I had my x-rays taken. She could see me the whole time but she was red-faced and sobbing until I could hold her again. Then I was shown into a room for my cleaning and even though she was sitting on my lap she was saying, "no, no, no!" and was not enjoying this new place one bit. However, when she realized that nobody was going to take her from me again she relaxed, and she played happily on my lap the entire time I had my cleaning and polishing and talked with the dentist. I told myself that this was really good experience for her because she watched me be completely calm and matter-of-fact while having a cleaning, and once she's old enough to have her first appointment, she will have seen more of my appointments and probably Sweet Pea's, so hopefully we'll be able to get her in younger than we got Sweet Pea in for her first cleaning.

The good news: My teeth are in good shape and I have no cavities.

The bad news: Sweet Pea appears to have inherited my family's dental genes, which are horrible. We brush and floss and all that jazz regularly, but get lots of cavities. Slipshod has magic teeth with no cavities to date that I am aware of. Can you believe that? It's amazing if you ask me.

So anyway, Sweet Pea has three cavities. Bummer. We knew of two of them, and they are unfortunately in her upper front teeth. We had been seeing the decay for a while and I was sort of freaking out about getting her to a dentist to get those taken care of! She also has a cavity in one of her lower molars, on the chewing surface. So, now we need to figure out when we can get those filled. I'm going to make an appointment on a day when Slipshod can stay home with The Bug and I can go with Sweet Pea by myself and sit there and hold her hand or whatever she needs, with no distractions. The dentist said we could try at their office and if it didn't work he could refer us to a place where they could fill her teeth under anesthesia, but I really don't want to do that and I really don't think it will be necessary. I remember having cavities filled as a kid, and you know, this is something we have to deal with in life. Awake. Having her under anesthesia for any reason worries me a lot, so I certainly don't want to do it just willy nilly for dental procedures! It may be a little difficult but I think she will be fine. I will be there with her the whole time and she's getting good, apparently, at just powering through things that scare her.

It is unfortunate that we have not done a better job of taking care of Sweet Pea's baby teeth, but at least we're under a dentist's care now and we know what the damage is and can get it fixed.

I started brushing The Bug's teeth as soon as they came up - actually, she was interested in Sweet Pea having her teeth brushed so I think a few times I may have even brushed her gums before the teeth came up. So hopefully we'll fare better with her little teeth. Time shall tell.


QofS said...

Alright. We did the anestisia thing with the count and it blew. But...he had 6 (my DNA thank you very much) and honestly, some kids just can't hang with one, let alone 6. So we fully researched the whole thing, talked like crazy to the doctors. And we made the decision to just go ahead and do it. The problem is this little ones really have a hard time keeping still. Poor Count can't even make it through a cleaning. So we knew 6 were just too much to ask.

I put it off forever. canceled at least 3 times.

Then finally did it. He was fine. It sucked for ME...but he was fine.

Anyway. My point? Good luck.

Christina said...

We've been told we should take Cordy to a dentist soon, since she's three, but I'm terrified. I know she'll freak out. She would probably have to be sedated just for a cleaning. But sadly, I'm sure she's inherited my genes for teeth (like yours), so she's very prone to cavities.

Good luck with the fillings. I hope it goes well.