Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To The Dentist We Went

Yesterday Tommy had a dentist appointment. He was a bit nervous about it. I managed to find him an appointment at a pediatric dentist because I knew they'd probably be more patient with Tommy.

Thankfully they accepted Tricare which is the military dental insurance.

When we walked in they had a white board that read: "We welcome our new patients," and then it listed all the children's names. Tommy spotted his right away.

"Mommy look!" he said, pointing to his name. "It's ME!" Then he pointed to the other names. "What's this say?"

I read all the names to him and he nodded seriously.

He was called back a few minutes later. I was able to walk back with him. First they led him into a room for X-rays.

And here's where some trouble started.

See, Tommy inherited my gag reflex. So when the lady tried to get the X-ray thing into his mouth, he kept gagging it out. I have the same problem. I really have to breathe hard through my nose or else I will totally gag.

The lady kept trying to get the thing into Tommy's mouth.

"Okay bite down on it..bite down..that's right..that's--" she would say. And then Tommy would gag it out.

She tried so many different ways.

It just wasn't working.

Towards the end Tommy went, "I'm done. Stop it!"

In the end, no x-rays were taken because he just couldn't keep it in his mouth.

We were led back into a bigger room where a lot of dentist chairs were laid out. There were two other patients in the room and the nurses were working on their teeth. (They're nurses in a dentist office too, right? I've no idea..I'm assuming.)

Tommy was asked to lay back in the chair. Above him was a TV screen that was playing a cartoon.

"Do you want to watch Brother Bear of A Bugs Life?" the nurse asked him.

"Hmmm," Tommy said tapping his chin. (Obviously this was a very important decision.) "Brother Bear. We don't have that movie."

So she flipped a switch and put some earphones on him.

I'd like to mention that at this point, I was starting to have a mini panic attack.

I can't stand dentists.

I haven't been in a long long time. I know, shame on me. But I seriously get panic attacks. I feel like I'm going to pass out and burst into tears. Which is why I can understand how Tommy must feel when he cries in the classroom.

The nurse noticed me standing there and asked if I wanted to sit down.

"You look a little pale," she observed, pushing a stool over to me.

"I--I'm fine," I said, settling down into the seat.

Breathe, breathe, breathe..

The room thankfully stopped spinning and I tried to tune out the buzzing of the equipment.

Another thing, I didn't get a chance to brush my teeth before I arrived there. And I just KNOW that everyone who works there stares at other people's teeth. I mean, I can't blame them after all. They work in a dentist office.

I totally meant to brush my teeth before I left too. But I ran out of time. I had to change Natalie's diaper, then I had to get Tom up so he could watch Natalie and then before I knew it, it was time to go. At least I brushed Tommy's teeth before we left. I did it for him, which weirded him out.

"Let me!" he shouted as I started to brush his teeth. "I'm a big boy now."

"I know but we have to make sure we do a very good job," I explained.

"Bahdklj," Tommy said.

(I couldn't quite understand him because at this point I was brushing his back teeth. I'm assuming he said "But why.")

"Because," I said. "We don't want to get lectured. Mommy always got lectured when I saw the dentist. Because I never flossed. And then the dentist would give me a huge lecture on the importance of flossing and make Mommy feel like a child. Then the dentist would actually SHOW me how to floss."

"Kjlkafdjk," Tommy responded.

"I know. Mommy hasn't been to the dentist in a long time, which is bad of her. Don't be like Mommy. You need to always go to the dentist. Okay, you can spit."

Tommy spit and then washed his mouth out with water and spit again. "Is it time to go?" he asked.

I realized it was. I went in to wake up Tom.

"Huh?" he asked, as I rubbed his back. "Is it morning or night?" He lifted his head up slightly, blinked rapidly, and then smashed his face back into his pillow. And stopped moving. I realized he had gone back to sleep.

I shook his arm. "Tom? You need to wake up. Remember? You're watching Natalie so I can take Tommy to the dentist."

Tom lifted his head up again. "Is it morning or night?"

Oh for--

"Tom, it's the AFTERNOON and I'm running late. Please wake up and take the baby so I can go!"

Tom blinked rapidly again. "Huh?"

I set Natalie beside him. She went, "Ahh Dad!" and slapped his arm.

Who's this? I have a baby? What the-- was clearly Tom's expression.

Finally everything seemed to compute and he sat up. "Oh. Okay. Yeah," he mumbled to himself.

I gave him a quick kiss, gave Natalie a quick kiss and then we were off.

So you see, I didn't have time to brush my teeth.

And I realized it when we were in the waiting room at the dentist office.

So when the nurse started asking me questions about where I was from and all of that, I totally pulled a Ross from Friends.

Remember the episode where he overdyed his teeth and they were horribly bright? So he tried to shield his mouth when he talked to his date?

That's what I tried to do.

When the nurse asked me where we lived I pretended I had an itch on my upper lip. So I covered my mouth and answered, "On the base."

She nodded. "Awesome."

Then she explained to Tommy that she was going to brush his teeth for him. She explained how to brush his teeth--in a circular motion--and then asked if Tommy flossed.

"Er.." I debated lying. But I didn't. "No.." I answered this while pretending my shoe needed to be tied so she couldn't see my mouth.

I swear, they have a sense when someone hasn't brushed. I mean I had brushed after lunch so it wasn't like I had disgusting gritty teeth with lettuce between my teeth. But I know they must sense these things. I picture the dentists gathered together going, "Okay you know that patient in chair two? His Mom totally didn't brush her teeth."

"Well here is how you floss his teeth," the nurse explained and then showed me.

"I don't like that," Tommy explained to her when she finished.

"I know. But it keeps your teeth healthy," she answered in a sing song voice.

Then she said she was going to brush his teeth with her power brusher thingy.

"I don't think so," Tommy said, struggling to sit up.

"Sweetie, it's okay," I said, rubbing his stomach. "It'll make your teeth nice and white."

Tommy looked unsure.

"It'll be fine," the nurse reassured him. "I'll be quick."

Tommy reluctantly opened his mouth and the nurse started.

Tommy winced. "Ahh!" he screeched. "I don't LIKE it. STOP!"

The nurse pulled the brusher from his mouth and Tommy tried to get out of the seat.

"It's okay," she said.

"Can you be brave, Tommy?" I asked.

Tommy allowed her finish but he was wincing and every so often he'd go, "Ahhh!" But he allowed her to finish.

When she was done, she explained that the doctor would be back shortly.

"Okay," I said, pretending my cheek had an itch.

(She probably thought I was spastic or something.)

The doctor came back a few minutes later. He was this older guy who was really friendly. He made Tommy laugh and then he said he was just going to look at Tommy's teeth and count them.

As he counted them he said some things that made no sense to me for the nurse to write down on Tommy's chart.

"Bilateral immenient a prece a prace," he garbled.

(That wasn't what he really said. But that's how it sounded to me. I don't speak Dentist.)

It turns out that translated it meant that Tommy's teeth looked great. He marveled at how white they were.


No cavities!

Thank goodness. I don't know how I would have gotten Tommy to sit through that.

When he was done he let the nurse give Tommy the flouride. Usually they put that in those tray thingies but because they knew Tommy had that gag reflex they just painted it on his teeth.

I hated those tray things. Those made me gag too. Again I'd have to breathe through my nose or else I'd start to panic and then gag it out.

Because Tommy had no cavities he got to pick out a toy and wear a sticker that said: "I belong to the no cavities club."

Then I was able to make his next appointment--which is in July. And I made one for Natalie too. Apparently they like to see babies at a year old. How they're going to get a one-year-old to stay put is beyond me. But okay.

When we got home I called my parents to let them know that Tommy had a clean bill of teeth health.

"And have YOU gone to the dentist," Mom asked.


And I can't lie to my Mom so I croaked out, "Nooo.."

Of course the lecture started.

Then I could hear my Dad go, "What, what's happening?"

"Amber hasn't been to the dentist in a long time," Mom explained to him.

"Amber, you have to go to the dentist! It's very important. Your teeth are going to fall out of your head. Your teeth can KILL you if you don't take care of them. The nerves can travel to your heart. Do you want to DIE, Amber?" I could hear my Dad say in the background.

"Rick, Rick, I think she gets it," Mom said, trying to shush him.

"And if you don't take care of your teeth, you'll--" Dad continued.

But Mom must've moved into another room because I didn't hear him anymore.

"You MUST go to the dentist, Amber," Mom said sternly.

"I will," I said. "I just need to find one that gives me something so I don't panic."

"I think some offer laughing gas. Just find one that accepts Tricare and GO!" Mom said.

I promised I would.

And I will go.

I mean my teeth don't bother me at all.

But I know it's important.

I just really need one that helps with my panic attacks. I wish they could knock me out all together and I'd just wake up and they were done.

I just know that they'll probably want to take my wisdom teeth, which horrifies me because Tom went through that and he looked just awful when they were done. They stuck these cotton things in his mouth and he resembled a chipmunk. Then he told me horror stories of those who got dry sockets, which freaked me out even more.

Oh and Natalie was still alive when I got home.

Apparently she wanted to put Tom through Hell because she pooped. And Tom doesn't deal with poop diapers unless he has to.

When I walked through the door he was all, "Your daughter pooped. Then when I tried to change her she kept sticking her hand in her ass and her hand got covered in poop. So I tried to clean that but then she'd use her other hand to touch her ass."

I covered Tommy's ears. "Tom," I hissed. "Don't say the A-word."

Tom looked confused. "Oh. Right. Well she kept touching her butt and it was disgusting." He handed her to me.

"Did you call the pizza?" I asked.

Tom blinked. "Oh. I was supposed to do that?"

I rolled my eyes. "YES, Tom."


Tom called the pizza place and they showed up in like fifteen minutes.

Which is a record.

I gave them a five dollar tip.

The teenaged driver was pleased. "Really? Cool man, thanks," he said.

The pizza was delicious. Mmm..and the cinnasticks...


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