Today was a day I was dreading.
It was dentist day.
Not for me, but for M.
At his check-up about a month back, the dentist said he had several cracked teeth that needed filling before they started hurting him. I was dreading the idea. M on the other hand was quite calm as he feels he trusts the dentist. I am not really surprised by the state of his teeth, as he still puts everything in his mouth for the sensory effect.
I don’t think our dentist quite understands the enormity of M’s declaration of trust. M has not only let this man into his personal space, but he believes he will do him no harm. This attitude not only amazes me but pleases me immensely. So many people begin their fear of the dentist at a young age, I have tried my best to encourage the boys to understand that a dentist takes away pain rather than giving it to them.
A few months back, M broke a tooth. He was very brave and I was able to get him an appointment for the following morning before school. As it was a baby tooth and so badly broken, the only thing that could be done for it was an extraction. I was mortified as to how M was going to react, and I was worried for inflicting pain on my baby! The dentist explained everything he was going to do before he did it, and let M look at the equipment before he used it – this level of care is probably the reason he is always running so late when you go for an appointment! I thought M would have a fit when he showed him the needle, but he just opened wide and carried on. Afterwards he was more concerned about the tooth fairy not paying up for a broken tooth, but with the reassurance of the dental nurse he was quite happy. M went into school that morning proudly showing off the gauze he was biting on, and telling his teacher what had happened. If it had been me, I would have been angling for a day off school!
When I explained to him what would be happening today he was quite uninterested with the conversation.
He was bored and getting a little fed up by the time we were called in 20 minutes late, but he jumped up on the chair with great excitement.
Once again the dentist talked him through everything he was going to do, and only did each thing in short bursts. He said he would do something for 5 seconds, and M was counting down with his fingers, so as soon as the last digit went down, the dentist paused before the next countdown. Every time he was told to open his mouth, I thought he was disconnecting his jaw as it almost doubled back on itself. At one point I did think he had got to breaking point as his feet were lifting off the chair, but he let the treatment finish without a word of complaint.
Then it was all done. M was happy to take a big swig of the pink water! The dentist told him how great and well behaved he had been, something M does thrive on being told!
Afterwards I told him how proud I was of the way he had listened and done exactly what he had been told to. He looked at me square in the face and told me that you have to listen and do what the dentist tells you because otherwise you will end up with horrible teeth like mine!! Well, that put me in my place. I must say, I have used my crumbly teeth as a scare tactic when telling them they need to be cleaning their teeth properly, so it sounds as if he has taken it onboard!
I am so impressed with the way the dentist treats both boys when they are there. He has an amazing manner about him, and it is no surprise it can take weeks to get an appointment with him.
He has totally rebuilt my teeth over the last year, well I have one more – hopefully only one more, appointment to go. It will be great to finally not be ashamed to open my mouth to smile or even talk.
When you find a medical professional that goes the extra mile, you just hope they don’t decide to move on. Luckily for us, our dentist is the senior partner at the practice we go to so hopefully that means he is here to stay. M trusts him so he must be one of the good guys!