Mr W has a check up at the dentist today. On the up side, he’s got plenty of room in his jaw, so isn’t expected to need braces. But on the down side, he’s prone to cavities. He had one horrendous appointment where they filled four cavities at once and he was a wreck. I am a wreck as well, because I’m fairly certain that I transfer some of my dentist anxiety to him, although I try my best not to.
I can remember being four myself and sitting in Dr. Rossi’s office. The family story goes that I actually asked him to shut the door so my mom wouldn’t hear me crying. Nowadays, I can easily get through a cleaning like a big girl, but if I have to get work done, my preference is to have both Valium and the nitrous oxide to smooth me out. At that point, they could probably offer to pull them all and I’d drowsily say, “OK”.
Pediatric dentistry has come a long way since the dentist would try to drill without anesthetic because it was “a small one”. They use distraction to give shots, are willing to use the nitrous and have a kid-friendly wait area that looks like a McDonald’s playland. I think it goes a long way to take some of the stigma out of what can arguably be an awful experience for a kid.
I know they’ve been doing this for years, but at his last visit, Mr W had four of his permanent molars sealed. How I wish I could have take advantage of this when I was a kid. The dentist said something like, “there aren’t any guarantees in this life, but sealing teeth against cavities comes pretty close”. So hopefully he’ll have fewer cavities overall, and both he and his mom can breathe a little easier at the dentist.
Update: NO CAVITIES WHOO-HOO!!