Last Thursday was a mini-milestone type of a day in the Smith house. To quote Rod Roddy, “Pediatric dentist? Come on down!”
Not only can I check this item off my To Do list after 3 months, but I can also rest assured that Eleanor’s pacifier habit has not deformed her top jaw for life, Oliver’s 2-year molars are coming in and bribery does not work for both kids.
We arrived to a receptionist happier than I’ve ever been in my life and a playhouse in the waiting room. I maybe could have left both children there and run to Home Depot without them noticing. Not that I considered it or anything.
Eleanor thankfully went first and after talking it up the day before, she was moderately intrigued by the whole thing. I felt good about my stellar performance before bed when I asked her whether she was “SO excited to go to the dentist tomorrow” with convincing sincerity. (I’m more of a method actor.)
Here’s all the cool things these dental geniuses threw down: sunglasses, stickers, TV on the ceiling (um, yes!), cookie dough toothpaste, and plenty of schtick. Mr. Sucky Thing and Baby Water Sprayer put on quite a show in order for Eleanor to warm up to them.
Without a hint of condescension, I was told that the kids should be brushing their teeth every night (not just on their bath nights like I admitted to…); I liked the way they made me feel like in some universe this was new information that teeth brushing every night was the gold standard.
Then it was Oliver’s turn. He was quasi-chill during Eleanor’s cleaning… Cue the foreboding music here.
Suffice it to say, it did not go well. He showed blatant disregard for all of our ploys to earn his submission. Neither Cars© stickers, nor trucks nor TV would keep him from his tantrum. As a result, no pictures of Oliver in the dentist chair because he was too busy being held down in my lap. But his teeth are great! (They also kept saying they’d seen worse which makes me happy for me and sad for them.)
There is no purpose to this post, other than to say I am 1) thrilled not to have anything to do professionally with pediatric dentistry, 2) my daughter can be manipulated much more easily than my son (boys 12 years in the future, stay away!) and 3) putting “Mr.” in front of any unfamiliar thing seems to allay kids’ fears (e.g. Mr. Tooth Polisher or Mr. Paper Bib or Mr. Fluoride Brush).
I can rest at ease that my kidlets’ chiclets are all good. At least until our next visit in six months.
[I suppose I should also take this moment to apologize to the young man in the adjacent room for the time when Eleanor turned off the light during your cleaning and because you seemed mildly embarrassed to be going to a dentist at age 16 who has Nemo paintings on the ceiling and Dora stickers in every office.]