This week has been one I’d rather not repeat. For those of you who have ever suffered a toothache, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve spent a good deal of time in the dentist’s chair over the years and as if that wasn’t enough of a reminder about how I want to instill good dental habits in my boys, this toothache, subsequent draining, and future root canal is most definitely confirming its importance. It was a completely miserable few days of icing my face and trying to survive (while barely eating or drinking). I’m doing better now (PRAISE. THE. LORD.) and am trying to psych myself up for the upcoming root canal.
A few things I’ve learned this week:
1. When you’re not able to eat or drink, you don’t have energy. When you don’t have energy, your patience is very limited…and you’re cranky. And it’s nearly impossible to focus and accomplish anything. And you’re cranky.
2. Little boys don’t understand that you don’t have energy, they always have energy.
3. A wonderful hubby is key to surviving absolutely debilitating tooth pain and little boys.
4. Ice is awesome.
5. The importance of finding a dentist you like and trust.
6. The importance of finding a dentist your kids like and trust in order to make dentist check ups more enjoyable, and much easier.
And on that note, the boys recently had their 6 month check up. Three up, three down. The boys have been going to the dentist ever since they had teeth, even if it’s just to sit in the chair and look around, and now the boys love going. “Those are nice people that clean our teeth!” Diego said excitedly as we pulled into the parking lot. Justus has gone to this dentist since he was an infant, accompanying me for my many visits. And I’m very thankful for the receptionist who dropped everything in order to hold him and rock him and walk with him so I could get my teeth fixed, though I don’t think it was much of a sacrifice on her part. One of the many perks of a visiting the dentist is Ibrushing the monkey and frog’s teeth.
And yes, these stuffed animals are really creepy looking, but the boys absolutely love them. *shudder*
Wearing some pretty snazzy accessories never hurt either.
One thing I love about our dentist is how they talk to the kids and show them the different tools, and explain how they just want to brush their teeth or give their teeth extra vitamins to make them strong. They also let them spray the water sometimes (how come I don’t get to do that?) And did you know they now have cookie dough flavored everything? Sounds revolting and wrong to me, but whatever! (My kids chose grape.)
I’m determined that my kids will have a much better experience in the dentist’s chair than I did. There are a lot of things going for them now, too, like fluoride in the water we drink and way cool toothbrushes that they love to use. A lot of things have changed in the dental world since I was a kid. There’s no more sink to spit in, just a tube to suction the water out, you wear sunglasses now to dim the bright overhead light, and little Elmo movies on the dentist’s computer teaching the boys about eating good food for your teeth (not to mention those creepy teethed stuffed animals!) And it’s working — my boys’ teeth look great and Diego will often ask me if whatever he’s eating is good for his teeth (something I never would have thought to ask at his age.)
One of the worst things about being in the military is having to find a new dentist every time we move…made even worse when you’ve found one you really like and trust (though who selfishly is unwilling to uproot his entire life and practice and move with you…yes, I asked!) Be picky about your dentist–make sure your kids like him/her, make sure you like him/her, make sure he/she likes your kids– and get your kids to the dentist for frequent checkups!