Ex#2 Kids

The Dentist

August 18, 2010
School dentist examining a school girl in the ...
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It’s not just me who is having a hard time coming up with stories. My local news station, KARE, reported on a Wisconsin man who was stopped in his car by police because he was changing clothes while driving. He had been to the state fair and was sweaty. He was given a warning. This is such a non story I can’t even find a link to it.


Monday I took the kids to the dentist. A routine visit for cleaning. My son has spent the last two years doing the braces thing so he had no trouble opening wide and having a bunch of fingers and instruments in his mouth. My daughter, on the other hand, did.

I didn’t tell her we were going to the dentist until the day before the appointment. I remembered well the eye doctor appointment and how that caused her all kinds of anxiety days before the actual appointment. I don’t know why she freaks out about going to the doctor. Aside from her normally scheduled vaccinations, most so long ago she can’t recall them, she hasn’t been poked or prodded by anyone in the medical profession. Even when she shoved a straw through her upper pallet they didn’t do anything but take an X-Ray. She comes from a family full of doctors and nurses, there is no reason for her to fear anyone in the medical profession. And yet she is terrified.

The drive to the dentist was easy enough, it was only half a mile, but once we sat in the waiting room she got all quiet. When the technician came to bring her back to the exam station she started to hyperventilate.

I knew this would happen so I scheduled my routine cleaning for another time so I could sit with her to try to calm her down.

That didn’t work.

She sat in the chair and started crying. She kept asking if they were going to hurt her. Like they’d tell the truth if they were. When the technician tried to put the bib on her she started screaming. Loudly enough that the other patients were beginning to get nervous.

I tried to calm her down by talking calmly and lovingly to her. I explained this was just a cleaning (silent prayer that there were no cavities but who was I fooling?) and that if she just lay back and opened her mouth it would be over before she knew it.

Louder screams as the lowered the chair.

Another tech came in the room with pictures of her last visit. My daughter had been given a face mask and gloves at the last visit and was pretending she was a doctor, she looked like she was having a good time.

Nothing but more screams.

The technician kept telling my daughter that if she didn’t calm down I would have to leave.


I wasn’t ready to leave. I had to protect my baby, or at least give her comfort while terrified.

The technician had balls of steel and told me in no uncertain terms that I had to leave the exam room.

I grabbed a few Kleenex and reluctantly left the room. I went down the hall do see how my son was doing.

He was doing just fine and told me to leave.

I walked down the hall, listening to my daughter scream, and sat down in the waiting room.


So I did what any single mom would do and I texted her dad to tell him all about the screaming.  The dentist is a family friend of her dad’s family, I just thought he should know what was going on and misery loves company. Her dad called within seconds and said he would talk to her to calm her down. Like that was going to help. I told him I had it under control (from my perch in the waiting room) and that she had to learn to deal with this on her own. No more enabling, we had to start some tough love.

A few minutes later she walked into the waiting room and hurried into the bathroom.

“She’s stalling” said one of the technicians, but not the one with balls of steel.

The tech explained that they were finished, they were not able to get X-Rays however, because she couldn’t handle the thingmabobs in her mouth. Those suck and I can understand but I really wanted X-Rays because I wanted to know if her two front teeth were ever going to grow in. It’s been nine months since she lost the first one and seven since the second one. I’m tired of cutting her corn off the cob.

The dentist wasn’t willing to try to get X-Rays. They didn’t see any problem with the teeth taking so long to come in so they weren’t going to go through another screaming fest. They had other patients they needed to see and they didn’t want to scare any away.

Here is the irony, the daughter who has to be reminded to brush and floss (and sometimes mom forgets) had no cavities. None. The boy on the other hand, the one who has been brushing and rinsing and doing all the right things has six. Six! Thankfully two are on his wisdom teeth which are coming out next month.

We go back for another cleaning in six months.

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