2008-07-07

Don't fear the flosser

For months I have prepped Bekah for today: her first dentist visit. Apparently no amount of prepping could prepare either of us for what transpired.

I had told Bekah that she would need to open wide. I had told Bekah that she would sit in a special chair that would go up and down (slowly, I reassured her) and lie back. I had told Bekah that there would be a lady who cleaned her teeth with a special toothbrush. If only it were that easy.

First of all, she didn't want to sit in the chair. So I sat in the chair and had her sit in my lap while the hygienist made it go up and down. I asked her if she could then sit in it alone. "Yes," she replied. "No!" she immediately replied after that. But I got her to sit in it.

Then came the X-rays. She didn't want the vest on. She didn't want to keep the film in her mouth. She didn't want to hold still. She REALLY didn't want me to leave the room long enough for the hygenist to push the button. So in the end, I put an extra vest on me and held Bekah's face in my hands while the X-ray was taken. Oh, yes ... and I promised her she'd get no balloon from the hygienist if she moved a muscle.

Next, the cleaning. She gladly chose raspberry toothpaste, but then she didn't want to lie back in the chair. She didn't want to open her mouth. She didn't want the hygienist to stick that crazy thing in her mouth. She DID like "Mr. Thirsty," the straw that sucks out the excess water. It wasn't until the hygienist relinquished the toothbrush to me and let me try it out on Bekah's teeth that she'd let the expert take over.

Flouride. She liked the sound of the "duck-billed tray," as the assistant called it, but when Bekah got a look at it, it was a no-go. But I think this assistant had had her share of hog-tying tykes before, because when Bekah refused, she quickly changed tactics. Instead of the tray, Bekah had the flouride applied with a Q-tip.

Finally, the dentist himself. Bekah didn't want to sit in that chair for a second longer. And she certainly didn't want to show her pearly whites to this strange man. In the end, she reluntantly opened just wide enough for the mirror while I cheered her on.

All the fears dissipated, however, when she was told she was done and could have a new toothbrush (Pooh! Red!) and a balloon (Floating! Pink!).

Good thing there were no cavities (although who could tell when all they got were fleeting glimpses?); hopefully Seth and I can quell Bekah's dentist-related fears in time for her next visit in January 2009.