Sam’s first dental visit didn’t go terribly smoothly and we ended up just using it as an introductory ease in office visit and deciding to come back and try again in six months time. Six months was marked today and the difference in Sam’s attitude was astounding.
First of all I didn’t even have to convince or persuade him to visit the dentist. A week or so before Christmas he came striding up to me as I was making dinner in the kitchen and announced that he “had something to tell me. My teeth need to see a dentist tomorrow to make sure they are clean and not dirty.” Once I had reassured myself that he wasn’t saying that because his teeth were uncomfortable, I had a hard job persuading him that he had an appointment already booked for the 7th January and we should really wait until the dentist was expecting him.
Eventually the big day came and with Bill watching Bea for me, Sam and I ventured to the dentist. Sam was excellent. No fuss whatsoever. I woke him up and reminded him why we were in a hurry to get up and ready this morning, and he got excited, looked at me with wide eyes, said “oh good!” and asked if the dentist would give him a new toothbrush?!
He was a little cool as we were taken back into the large room where they have a set of padded tables laid out and there were a couple of other small children already lying down being examined but that faded when a handful of new toothbrushes were proffered and he was prompted to choose one. Sam did not hesitate or require second prompting, he grabbed the nearest one to green, it was more of a yellowy lime, and then floundered over the sink for a moment with his prize until I stepped in to help him get those toothypegs brushed. He was ever so good and stood there like an angel letting me roam the brush all around inside his mouth. The watching staff were very impressed and commented that we were doing a great job. HA! If only Sam would actually let me do that at home! I kept mum on that one though.
Sam then had some purple plaque disclosing liquid applied to his teeth with a cotton bud. I held my breath on this one, but he only complained later that “Mummy, I don’t like purple, I like green.” I also held my breath to see how badly we were doing on the teeth brushing front, but honestly, the stuff made his tongue and lips purple but his teeth looked pretty good to my eyes. The lady who checked his teeth later commented that we do need to pay more attention to brushing the back teeth, but she was quite impressed otherwise and the stain was showing minimal plaque. Phew.
Sam got to choose a pair of sunglasses to wear and then I retreated to the back of the room so as not to be a distraction, and to to give the staff space to do their job. Sam and Bagpuss made instant friends with the lady and she talked him gently through everything she was going to do and showed him all the tools. I think Bagpuss got his teeth checked and cleaned too.
Teeth prepped it was time for the actual dentist to step in and take a look. Dr Jamison was great with my little guy. Afterwards Sam told me that “the dentist man was very, very nice. I liked him.”
He had a good poke around in Sam’s mouth, counted all his teeth and checked them over. Another wave of relief hit when Sam was declared cavity free and given a Spiderman sticker for being a “GREAT PATIENT!”. Hoorah! No problems for Sam. Daddy is officer in charge of teeth duty so big props to Bill on that one. Of course, while the dentist was talking to me I was nodding and trying to keep my own mouth as clenched shut as possible, embarrassed because while he was complimenting us on Sam’s dental hygiene, uhm I think my teeth are appalling and I could really use a visit to the dentist too! Wish my dental visits were as fun as Sam’s!
Exam over, Sam got to have a little photo session with the dentist. A print out was generated and given to us to take home for the fridge. Sam really enjoyed himself, and I was ever so proud of him.