Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dental Disaster

Little did I know how much my son's last physical shook him up. It shook me up at the time, since he had to get two booster shots and a blood test. Apparently this is what happens when a child turns five. He cried and cried,understandably so, but when it was over, I felt he had conquered a major hurdle and would not be needing shots for quite some time now.

Yesterday, however, proved to be a different challenge. He was scheduled for his routine six month dental cleaning. We arrived in the office, and Seth quickly proclaimed he loves coming to the dentist. Sure....that was his opinion of the waiting room. They have a super cool indoor building the kids can climb into. He can't get enough of it.

We were quickly called in to see the dentist. The dental assistant asked what flavor toothpaste he'd like his teeth cleaned with. He happily requested watermelon. Then he canvased the room, looking for the toys usually strewn about to distract the kids. There were none to be found this time for some reason.

The dentist walked in and cheerfully engaged Seth in a discussion about pre-K, his summer plans, etc. It worked for a while when Seth was in the dental chair, until he took out "the hook." The "dreaded hook." Who knew!? Seth bolted from the chair, requested a kiss from mom, and refused to return to the chair. He started crying, explaining that he is afraid of "the hook."

I was stunned. This never happened before.

The hook tool is used by the dentist to lightly tap on/check Seth's teeth for cavities. The dentist, himself, proclaimed Seth's teeth looked fine, but this was standard procedure. It's used on adults too to scrape off tarter, etc.

I took Seth out into the hall and tried to calmly have a talk with him. My persuasion didn't work. I ultimately threatened punishment back home. No tv. No ice cream....if he didn't cooperate. He didn't care.

The dentist even suggested I sit in the chair and try to hold Seth on my lap. But, being that I recently hurt my back, I was in no position to lift or restrain Seth as he moved about and take the chance of getting further injured.

So, the doctor said we should just come back another time...and next time, his dad will take him.

I felt kinda mortified. I didn't see this coming. The dentist was very kind and reassured me that it often happens when kids turn 5. They are more aware of medical procedures and after getting so many shots, etc., they become cautious about doctor, dental visits.

I can understand that, but at the same time, certain things in life are necessary.

I'm scheduled to get my dreaded mammo/breast sonogram tomorrow. And, as much as I hate and fear it since I have "complex" breasts, it's not something I would ever skip. Do you get anxious about your mammos?

I tried to explain that to Seth, but given that he was agreeable to skipping ice cream, you can imagine that what I had to say likely when in one ear and out the other.

Have you had this experience with your child?

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Blogger adena said...

Yes, I had a similar experience with my 8-1/2 year old recently. Somehow he has acquired a real fear of the dentist - I think it makes him feel out of control, having someone do things in his mouth (which I fully understand). I wrote about it on my blog

Good luck!

6:29 AM  
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