Jake’s never much liked going to the dentist.
Not many kids do, but Jake especially doesn’t.
I suppose you could list the reasons:
- He’s got some oral defensiveness
- He doesn’t like other people all up in his space
- It smells weird
- You can’t help but hear/feel it when someone’s using that vibrate-y toothbrush thing or scraping at plaque on your teeth
- They always shine that bright light in your face
- You’re only there twice a year, so it’s hard to get used to anybody or anything
- Lying flat on your back with your mouth open is a pretty vulnerable position for anyone
Finding specialized care is hard for Jake. His examinations are always cursory. It was a long time before we got a good blood pressure reading on him because of how traumatizing the cuff can be. It’s almost like the trauma doesn’t outweigh the benefit, because …
“He doesn’t look sick.”
Even his eye doctor, who is about two hours away, says his prescription is “probably close enough.” Can you imagine Jake getting his pupils chemically dilated and sitting through a really good exam? Neither can I.
Anyway, I digress.
Back to dentistry. We were initially told that Jake’s dental care would most likely be reactive instead of proactive. We were just going to have to deal with problems as they arose. But then, we found a dentist who specializes in pediatrics, and has a really soothing way about him. His name is … wait … maybe it’ll be our secret – like a secret fishing spot. They’re booking two months ahead as it is.
Jake let met get in a couple of pictures. I even took a 75 second video of him getting his teeth brushed. He squirmed and moaned and made all kinds of animal noises. He told me to delete it because he didn’t want it on “youtube.” I have to respect that.
Jake got the most thorough dental exam and cleaning he’s ever gotten at this place. The doctor is a giant of a man, talks funny (He’s from Cameroon), and he’s jet black. He’s approximately 12 feet taller than Jacob with hands the size of tennis rackets, yet he’s a pediatric dentist. He’s amazing, and we’re lucky to have found him. Two visits ago, he told us that Jake would really benefit from sealants. They’d help prevent him from getting cavities in the first place. We made the appointment, but Jake got sick. We had to cancel.
Flash forward to last weekend, when we were there for our regular cleaning, which I’ll grant you, isn’t as regular as it should be. They’re only open one Saturday a month, and they’re 60 miles from the house. We have a hard time committing to appointments. During Jake’s cleaning, the hygienist finds a cavity. It’s pretty obvious. To rub salt in our wounds, it’s in a spot that would have been sealed – had we kept our last appointment.
Let’s schedule an appointment where Jake can get his cavity filled, and his teeth sealed at the same time! Brilliant! How in the world are we going to accomplish this with a kid who won’t sit still for a cleaning?
They’re going to give my baby laughing gas. It’s the only way to get the job done, but it makes me nervous. I’m not sure how or when to break it to Jake. It’s always tricky to decide how much warning to give him. Too much and he frets excessively. Too little and he’s caught unaware without time to process. More than that, they’re going to drug my baby.
Has anyone else out there done this with their kids?
Is it OK?
I’m hoping it’ll be worse for me than for him. Is this true?