Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today is another landmark day on my parenting skills calendar: the day my 6-year old sat patiently and in extremely good humor while the dentist filled cavities in his teeth.

After learning 2 weeks ago the he needed several cavities filled, I've been almost paralyzed by fear of his reaction to the process. He has not had a great amount of success with probing, specialist treatments even though he is always cooperative at the doctors for basic stuff. Add to that the potential for his first grade peers to tell him about their experiences. I knew I was in for trouble.

Let's overlook the negligent parenting involved in the development in the cavities in the first place for a minute and bask in the florescent glow of the dentist's bulb so that I can pass on my tips for prepping a child for the visit to the dentist.

While I didn't harp on the topic, I did spend the past two weeks prepping for the big day and I think it paid off, so here's what I did:

  • First, I made VERY clear that he should COMPLETELY IGNORE everything that anyone, especially his friends, told him about going to the dentist. I told him to call the person a liar, cover his ears, then to scream and run away
  • Then, I told him that it DIDN'T HURT, but that he would feel a pinch near his teeth and that this was only to make the fun stuff happen...the fat, sense-less lip.
  • I explained that the doctor would put something on his gums that would make his mouth feel stranger than he'd ever flelt before, that he would not be able to smile properly, and that he would talk with a really silly lisp. I told him, in theory, someone could punch him in the cheek and that he wouldn't feel a thing (until it wore off, of course.)
  • I imitated the screeching whir of the "cavity remover" (i.e. drill) and said that he shouldn't be worried about it as long as he didn't move.
  • I also reminded him to close his eyes so that the water didn't splash his eyes.
When the big day came, he said that he was a little, tiny bit nervous, but he approached the magic chair with poise and charisma. Forty-five minutes later, he walked out with a mouth full of fillings and a fat lip. I was so proud.

The last thing I told him as we were heading out the door was that I had to pay exorbitantly for him to have so much fun and that I couldn't afford to do it again with Novocaine so he needed to BRUSH HIS TEETH!!!!!

Seemed to work like a charm. Whew! Hope he doesn't come home with a peer-induced fat lip.


Anna said...

Rats! I really wanted to talk about your negligence.

And, is 'gracknop' a word? If not, it should be!

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