Monday, April 4, 2011

Dentist Adventures

“And they’re going to check our ears?” Natalie asked as we drove.


“No, Natalie. Your teeth. We’re going to see the dentist and he’s going to look at your teeth,” I explained. I was taking the kids to their dentist appointments—and it was early. We have to do it early because Tommy tends to panic if he misses a lot of school. So I always try to get the very first appointment because if I walked in and got him in the middle of school? Chaos. Most kids would love to be pulled from school and have the rest of the afternoon free. My kid? No.

“What about our ears?” Natalie pressed.

Why was she obsessing about ears? Sometimes she doesn’t make any sense.

“Now remember Natalie, don’t cry,” I said, dropping the ear subject all together. The first two times I brought her to the dentist she took one look at the equipment and burst into tears. I know the feeling. Dentists freak me out. Just hearing about procedures that dentists do make me want to clamp my hands over my ears and sing, “Lalalalala!”

“Am I going to get a shot?” Tommy asked. He’s obsessed with cavities. He read a book all about them and is worried he’ll get one. So far, he’s been cavity free.

“Not if you’ve been brushing your teeth well,” I answered.

Tommy slapped a hand over his mouth. “What if I need a shot?”

“Then it’ll be quick,” I said.

Tommy gasped. “So that means I WILL have to get a shot?”

Ugh. It was too early for this. I hadn’t even had any caffeine yet.

Natalie was brought back for Xrays almost as soon as we got to the dentist. It was her first time so she was wary about it all. At one point I thought she would scream the place down…her face was beginning to get that red tint and she opened her mouth…but then the dental assistant stuck the thing that she needed to bite down on in there and all was quiet. Phew.

After that, both kids were led back for their teeth cleaning. I tried not to panic as I took in all the dental equipment. I flashbacked to my childhood of being on those awful seats and my heart started to race. I need to be knocked out if I see the dentist, otherwise I have a panic attack. Yes, the kind where I need a paper bag to breathe in. Maybe in a past life my tooth was extracted without any pain meds or something.

Still, I have to make it seem like I love the dentist, so the kids don’t catch on. So I said in an overly exaggerated creepy children’s show host voice, “Isn’t this cool? We get to lean back and oh look, there’s a television screen in the ceiling so you can watch a MOVIE!”

Yes, I wanted to kick my own ass for talking like that. Imagine, there are people who talk like that ALL THE TIME. I’ve encountered some at my schools and I want to tell them to dial it down a notch or to take it easy on the meds.

Natalie was happy because Tangled was playing in the ceiling so she focused on that.

She only tried to bite the dental assistant three times.

“Do you help him brush his teeth?” another dental assistant asked me as she cleaned Tommy’s teeth.


I thought about lying. Of saying that yes, I help him. Because what if she was about to tell me that his teeth were AWFUL and that I needed to help him more?

But…lying was wrong. I mean, sure, I had Tommy tell the dentist that he flossed but it wasn’t a total lie. He flosses a couple times a month. Technically, it’s not a lie…

“,” I admitted. I tensed, waiting for the lecture.

“Well, he’s doing a fantastic job. I’ve barely found any plaque. He brushes better than most older kids that we see,” she told me.

Wow. Really? A lot of times Tommy seems to simply chew on his toothbrush until I’m like, “Do you want a cavity? No? Then brush…”

“Do I need a shot?” Tommy asked.

“Nope. You’re cavity free!” the dental assistant said, taking off her gloves.

Phew. That’s one kid down. One biter to go...

I stared at Natalie as the dentist came over. He checked over her teeth and I held my breath. What if she had a cavity? Tommy would never let her hear the end of it. He’d be like, “Haha, you had a shot and I didn’t…” This would work her up, she’d cry, I’d have to bring her back to the dentist kicking and screaming…

“No cavities here,” the dentist said.

Two kids down. Hundreds of dollars saved.

The dentist said both kids had beautiful teeth. This is probably because they mainly only drink water. Not because I force them to, but because it’s what they truly prefer. Tommy says soda is spicy, juice is too sweet for him…Natalie will drink Sprite occasionally, but only about two or three sips, and she’s never been a huge fan of juice either.

Milk? Ha. Both of my kids are not fans.

Which also saves me money. Milk is getting expensive, yo. They still have it in cereal though.

“Do a lot of kids get shots?” Tommy asked. When he gets fixated on a subject, it’s hard for him to drop it.

“Well, the ones that have cavities,” the dentist said. He seemed a little confused on what a child was doing grilling him on shots.

“Does it hurt?” Tommy wanted to know.

“It’s just a pinch.”

“Do people cry?” Tommy persisted.

The dentist scratched his chin. “Uh…”

“Tommy, how about you say thank you so we can get you to school?” I cut in.

The dentist shot me a thankful look.

“Am I late?” Tommy moved onto another subject, his face twisted with worry.

“No, you’re fine. But we better get going now,” I said.

“I don’t want to be late!” Tommy yelped, accepting his bag filled with a toothbrush and other dental goodies from the dental assistant.

“Goodbye,” the dental assistant said to us. She smiled at Natalie. “You did a good job, aside from the biting.”

Natalie bared her teeth as if to say, “Get any closer lady, and I’ll do it again.”

Let’s hope when we go back in six months that there are still no cavities.

Otherwise, Tommy is going to....

..well, research the Hell out of cavities and then quiz the dentist before he starts.


  1. I love reading about your kids. You're such a cool mom. I admire your strength and courage to handle all of this while Tom is in Korea.

    Have you read anything by Jodi Picoult? She's one of my most favorite authors. Last year she wrote a book called HOUSE RULES. It's completely fascinating to me. You should check it out if you haven't already.

  2. I was a biter too. Not b/c I meant to, but b/c it was just instinct! :o)

    Congrats on no cavities!

    My daughter actually drove herself to the dentist last month. I think I about cried b/c she didn't need me to go w/ her.

  3. Lady, you have no idea how lucky you are! ;)

    We just came from the dentist and it was scads of fun...they couldn't even near my daughters mouth and we were bumpped to a private room she was screaming so loud.

    Then the boy DID have a meltdown because he missed part of school, he loves it THAT much!

    I'll admit it, I'm jealous! :)

  4. I'm taking my 6 year old today. I am praying it goes as well as yours. I have forewarned our Dentist who happens to be a friend. Hopefully he'll still be after the appointment. Eek!

  5. I have a dentist appointment in a few weeks. I expect that I'll be doing some biting. BTW, thanks for following my blog! Check out the one my wife and I did:

  6. WAHOO no cavities! Good job kids! (and mom)

  7. My denist trips have been cavity free...since I've actually started going with some regularity and now wear a mouthguard so I don't grind my teeth into oblivion.

  8. Good for your kiddos for not having cavities! I work for a dentist, so hearing stories like this is always very humorous. and don't worry about 90% of people are afraid of dentists, at least the people I work with! :)

  9. My kids hate soda too. Say it tastes "sparky". they usually have water or milk. And on rare occasions juice.

  10. I love your stories. That's awesome that neither needed any work done - the cost of the dentist can be horrific. And so, when are you going to share your tips on getting kids to brush their teeth? ;)

  11. you are teaching your kids well. Good work to all of you!

  12. I have a dentist appt on Thursday. I think I'm going to ask for goodies afterward because it's been a long time since I've received any of those....I'm 50... ;)

  13. I won't lie, I'm 30 years old and I am terrified of the dentist. Like panic terrified. They can facken tell what you had for dinner like 25 days ago all by looking at the scrapings from your teeth.

  14. I'd almost prefer to have Natalie using wooden dentures than take her to the Dentist.

    :) You're a brave woman.

  15. Your kids crack me up. Glad y'all escaped the dentist unscathed {minus a few bite marks ;)}

  16. Thank god! No kid needs that drama or trauma in their lives if they can avoid it! I hated the dentist as a kid probably why I have bad teeth! I think I had a fit and my mom never took me back!

  17. Awesome No Cavities! I actually have to take both of mine back this week and next to get fillings. Not too bad just 1 and 2 but still frustrating. My kids aren't big fans but they don't freak out at the dentist. I've always let them get nitrous oxide if they wanted when they had cavities - that $35 was totally worth the piece of mind! You totally crack me up - I love how you tell your stories!

  18. Now that is a pretty successful trip. Yeah!

  19. Too funny! I don't care how old I get, I always hate going to the dentist!

  20. I am so glad the kids teeth were fine and there were no cavities. I hate going to the dentist, (even though I love mine). They scare the hell out of me even when it's just a cleaning. Oh the suffering we do just to keep teeth!

  21. Thanks for the comment on my blog. I had to laugh at your dentist office experience. I went last week and was throughly humiliated by the lady that cleans the teeth. They lecture you when you're all grown up, as if me saying, "Hello, I know I need to floss more, can we skip the lecture" wasn't enough.

  22. My son won't even let me drive him to school if I'm headed there for volunteer duties right at start time. He can't stand the thought of being the last one in the room. Or missing any work. Meanwhile, my daughter lobbies to miss school. Go figure.

    Glad your visit was cavity free! :D

  23. Yay for cavity free teeth! I always get nervous when I take my kiddos to the's like I'm getting my report card for motherhood. LOL ;-)

  24. Natalie sounds like my almost 4 year old. I can 100% see us having the same conversation about going to the dentist and them checking our ears.

    Yay for no cavities!

  25. My oldest had his first appointment with the dentist before he started school last summer. I wasn't allowed back with him, though. Which is stupid, because I could have helped. As it was, he wouldn't let them come anywhere near him with any of the special toothpaste/cleaning stuff which was the whole point of the visit, really. But he had no cavities, either, so at least there's that.

  26. I love hearing about your kids...They crack me up!
    YAY....NO Cavities! I lucked out with my kid's last visit too!

  27. haha. so adorable! :))

  28. Wait, there's something wrong with always talking like that?

  29. Yay for no cavities! Definitely a successful visit.

  30. glad to hear it went pretty well and no cavities.

  31. What, no stickers! My dentist gives stickers if you're a good girl/boy!

    I'm not afraid of the dentist. I think it's because I had a really good one when I was a kid! THANKFULLY! I don't need more panic attacks than I already get. ;-)

  32. I love the dentist, I know I am werid. It is probably because I've never had a cavity. My girls have only been once but they liked it too. I need to make another appt, actually I was supposed to call today damn, I forgot. Hope my middle one is as good as she was last year, she is way more difficult this year. Ohhh I can only imagine what a pain in the ass she is going to be. Oh good Lord help me!

  33. Congrats on another easy trip! We're gearing up to go again soon, too. I'm always afraid. . .


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