I went to the dentist today. Much like going to that "other" doctor...it's not something I jump up and down to do. Well, today was a little different because I took Melody with me. Now, Melody (she's almost 6 years old) really hates the dentist. And when I say hate, I really mean it. Poor girl.
Melody had a dentist appointment earlier this week. A little over a month ago, she jumped onto the couch, and in doing so, jammed one of her front teeth into her gum. After the last episode of crying, screaming, and having to restrain her in the dentist's chair...just to get her mouth open...Jamie and I tried a new strategy this week in an attempt to help her overcome her fear of the dentist. It's called Positive Reinforcement (aka Bribery).
We started by asking Melody what her specific fears are about the dentist. We didn't get too far with that, so I told her that if she sat in the chair like a big girl and let them peek at her tooth, then she could go with me to my grown-up dentist appointment, which also happened to be this week. Voila!! She readily agreed to cooperate, and she followed through with her promise. She was excellent at her dentist appointment!! I'm hoping her excitement about doing such a great job at the dentist will carry over into August when she goes for her next cleaning (a whole 'nother monster altogether).
So, I checked her out of school this morning and off we went to see my dentist. Of course, I brought Color Wonder to occupy her little hands while I sat in the chair for an hour. Naturally, once we got there, it was completely anti-climactic for her. She could care less what I or the dental hygenist were doing on the other side of the room; she just cared about coloring pretty cards for her teacher and me. On the bright side, nothing happened that scared her even worse!
You know how they save the flouride rinse until the very end? Well, today they had a new flouride treatment, and I was one of the (un)lucky guinea pigs. It's a flouride gel that they brush onto your teeth, and you can't rinse afterwards. Essentially, it's like smearing grainy Vaseline all over your teeth and leaving it there....for 4-6 hours!!! Yes---no brushing your teeth for at least 4 hours! My hygenist puts this nasty stuff in my mouth, and I then have to proceed to check-out, afraid of closing my mouth for fear of swallowing the stuff. Ugh. Then I HAD to close my mouth so I could talk and make my next appointment! Is this stuff safe to swallow? Did the people who invented this stuff do a test on their own teeth? Why 4-6 hours??? At least with the rinse, it's in and out..quick. What is so special about this newfangled junk that I have to leave it in my mouth for most of the day? It really discourages socialization and conversation because I don't want to smile at people; I have white goo on my teeth!
Melody and I proceed to lunch (since by now lunchtime is over at her school). The dentist told me not to eat anything hard or crunchy. As I'm driving to Wendy's (nothing hard or crunchy there except salad, right?), I start telling Melody that my teeth feel furry. I mean, it literally feels like there is hair on my teeth. Kinda like if I forget to brush my teeth in the morning (not that I've ever done that..), and by the time I've had breakfast and lunch my teeth start feeling dirty and hairy. Same feeling, but 10 times worse. Yuck!! We arrive at Wendy's and I asked Melody to look at my teeth and tell me what she sees. She claims she didn't see any hair or fur or fuzz, but I swear it was there!
Ok, once all is said and done...dropping off kid at school, picking up other kid at school...blah blah blah...I come home and immediately brush my teeth. That's right! I'm usurping the dentist's authority AND the 4-6 hour rule and I brushed every bit of that nasty stuff off. So what's the worst that will happen?? The horrid goo was on my teeth for 2 solid hours, so I figure I got half the treatment. Not bad, eh?
Next time I'm "opting" for the fluoride rinse, thank you very much.