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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  • Reply Comedy Plus August 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Oh that would have been fun to watch. You could have invited all your blogging buddies and we could have been part of the drama. I feel for you. It’s weird how some kids don’t mind doctors at all and others are mortified. The joys of being a parent.

    Have a terrific day. 🙂

    • Reply redheadranting August 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      Now that would have been fun, to bring all my blogging buddies with. A day in the life of Jen. You have just given me an idea! Thank you!

  • Reply Anonymous August 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Oh man, I’ve hated going to the dentist all my life. It goes back to my childhood when I once had 17 cavities. In those days the drills were powered be a series of steel chords, whizzing around on these pulley things. And the drill bits were humungous, rattling my whole body as they did their nasty work on my molars. After all was said and done I had enough metal in my mouth that I broadcast the local radio station out of mouth for months. Good times!

    • Reply redheadranting August 19, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      17 cavities, wow. That must have sucked. I’ve been slowly switching out the old mercury fillings for the ones that look like regular teeth. I don’t get radio stations anymore.

  • Reply Freakyfrugalite August 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I scream when I go to the dentist. They are not NEARLY as nice about it as your daughter’s dentists are. Must be the Minnesota air?

    P.S. Let us know when the next appointment is, so we blogging buddies can remind you to bring your camcorder.

    P.S.S. Poor kid. I do sympathize. I shake and quake when I have to go. Which explains why I haven’t gone in, what, 8 years…

  • Reply JunkDrawer August 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    As a kid, I went to the dentist who weighed about 400 lbs, smoked while he stuck medieval utensils in my face and scared the crap out of me. That is why for about ten years after, I almost never went to the dentist. Then I had to have some teeth extracted due to lack of care. I blamed it on Gorilla Dentist.

    • Reply redheadranting August 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      I went regularly until I got my braces off and my parents stopped making my appointments, they figured I was old enough to take care of those things. I stopped going for about 10 years too. I don’t recall if it was that bad. I come from a family that has pretty good teeth, at least on my dad’s side. My grandmother died at 94 and had all her teeth, she was pretty proud of that fact especially because she was of the era where they would pull teeth and get dentures as preventative care.

  • Reply The Frugal Housewife August 19, 2010 at 12:53 am

    My mom used to make the dentist give me that laughing gas stuff. I hated that little mask that they would put over my nose but at least I didn’t feel the shots.

    • Reply redheadranting August 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      I would get that when I had a filling but not for regular cleanings. My son had a tooth pulled when he was about 7 and he got the gas. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen. Too bad it happened before YouTube.

  • Reply meleahrebeccah August 19, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Awwwww! I feel terribly for you and your daughter! When I was her age the dentist used to have to anesthetize me – even for x-rays. And, sorry to hear your son has 6 cavities!

    • Reply redheadranting August 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      Awww, poor you! I never really minded the dentist as a kid. I don’t like it now for reasons I can’t understand. I go, and I don’t cry or scream but it isn’t something I look forward to like I did when I was a kid. Of course, I probably did because it got me out of school and now it just sucks up time I don’t have.

  • Reply Joy August 19, 2010 at 5:40 am

    My brother, with his sweet tooth and cavities, thought our dentist was a masochist and hated his visits; I thought the dentist was the cutest man I’d ever seen and, with hardly a cavity ever, didn’t mind going even though routine cleanings were painful to me. I feel for your daughter and you, having to listen to her cries. Maybe she had a singular terrifying event, like a bad dream about her doctor, that she could talk about. Sounds like she’s inconsolable, poor thing. I’m not a fan of drugging children, but a mild sedative prescribed before the next visit would calm her fears. I’ve heard that some do better with doctor appointments in the morning, others handle them better in the late afternoon. On the other hand, telling her that good dental hygiene will keep dr visits to a minimum might encourage better habits. We all gotta play to our strengths.

    • Reply redheadranting August 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      It’s just like that episode from the Brady Bunch. The one where Marcia (or was it Jan?) had the crush on the dentist!

      I considered the drugging but I would really like her to conquer her fears without the use of drugs. If she had to have cavities filled I might be more inclined to go the drug route but for a simple cleaning I think it’s over kill. She is going to have to learn to deal with things that she doesn’t want to deal with.

  • Reply Joecap3 August 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Read your past posts about the adventures of the loose teeth.
    I am relieved that the tooth that got knocked out was a baby tooth.
    I wish MY teeth would re-grow roots now!

  • Reply Rachele August 19, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Crap. I think my kids have appointments this month. I have no idea when.
    Puddin Pop had her two front teeth pulled out before she turned two. She let’s the technicians do their work but runs with her hands covering her mouth whenever she sees the dentist. It’s gotten better (she’s now 4) but he still has to peak in her mouth while she stands in the corner and he stands two feet away. I can only imagine what he’ll find when he finally gets a real look.

    Oh. I don’t think I could have left the room. I may have left, with the kids, and found a new dentist.

  • Reply Joe Cap August 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Getting the x-rays is painful…those stiff cardboard things dig into the gums and really hurt!

  • Reply Linda August 19, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Well, I had typed a detailed comment, and my fingers got in the wrong place and I lost it. At any rate, I do sympathize with your daughter. I had some less than pleasant dental experiences as a kid. I have a wonderful dentist now, which is great since I am needing a crown in the near future for a cracked tooth. Thank goodness for the good drugs available now. I’ll probably need them.

  • Reply Linda Medrano August 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Poor baby. I hate going too, even though I love my dentist. Poor you. Nothing worse than feeling helpless with a terrified child.

  • Reply Linda R. August 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I definitely sympathize with your daughter. I had some less than pleasant dental experiences as a kid. Lots of torturous cleanings, and many fillings to prevent cavities. The feelings those experiences evoked lasted well into adulthood. I have a wonderful dentist now, though, thankfully.

    I tried to comment yesterday, and messed up and lost it. Re-did it, and apparently it didn’t take. Hope this makes it.

  • Reply Frances Schmig August 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm

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