Four cavities for my poor little Conner. I have been at the dentist 3 times with him this month trying to get things taken care of -- today was the last visit.
When I first heard the list of work he needed done (including a silver cap on one tooth) I couldn't believe it! He's only 5! We brush his teeth morning and night, go to the dentist every 6 months for cleanings, give him a vitamin with fluoride everyday, what else are we supposed to do? Well, when I came home from that first visit I went straight to the store and picked up disposable flossers and mouthwash for the boys. Now we have a pretty big morning and evening teeth cleaning routine.
So, visit #1. We took him to a pediatric dentist. Our family dentist suspected that work needed to be done but they weren't able to get x-rays from Conner -- he just wasn't cooperating, but they weren't trying very hard. They wanted it to be "a good experience" for him. Thank goodness for the ped-dentist who took matters into his own hands and physically held Conner's face and mouth still and stayed in the room while the x-rays were snapped. We like people who get things done.
Visit #2. I was really nervous about the novocaine shot. I know that I don't like it. I couldn't imagine a 5-year old having to go through that. But the dentist assured me that other kids have had it and done just fine. They took Conner back and I stayed in the waiting room. They say that if the parent is in the room then it becomes harder for them to get the work done because the child relies on mom for sympathy, reassurance, etc. I totally understood what they were talking about and I was fine with the set-up. 40 minutes later the dentist came to see me. The first thing he said was "Did you hear him?" Oh no. I hadn't, but I could just imagine the fuss that he had put up. He went on to say that when Conner is happy, boy, he's 100% happy and talkative and fun. But when he's upset, he's 100% upset and gets there in a hurry. Soon the dental assistant came out with Conner & his prizes. His face was all red -- he had obviously been through an emotional ordeal. The thing that made him so mad was the rubber dam that they placed over his mouth. He did not like that at all. So I packed him up in the car and treated him to a McDonald's vanilla milkshake for the drive home.
Visit #3. Today. I only told Conner that we were going to the dentist last night. No need for him to worry and complain about it for a whole week. He told me, "I do not like the dentist's tools!" We arrived at the dentist and they took him back as usual. 30 minutes later they were done and I was greeted by a happy, smiley boy with hands full of prizes. I couldn't believe what a good mood he was in. And he was so proud that because he was such a good boy the dentist was able to finish so quickly. Again, I packed him up in the van with a high five and treated him to a McDonald's vanilla milkshake for the drive home.
But apparently this time the numbness in Conner's lip was a little too much for him to bear, or such a novelty that he couldn't resist playing with it, because it has blown up to twice it's normal size or more.
And this picture doesn't quite do it justice. It got so big this afternoon that I even called the dentist to find out if this is normal. He just needs to stop picking at it and maybe eat a popsicle or two.
So hopefully Conner will not have to experience novocaine again for a long, long time. Meanwhile we'll be teeth brushin', flossin', and a-mouth-washin' all the day long.