A repost from four years ago (March 2009).
Bubs has been to the dentist three times. The experiences were: okay, horrible, amazing. In that order.
The first time we went to a family dentist and Bubs had what they call a “Happy Visit.” The hygienist showed Bubs the chair and instruments but nothing was really done. On the second trip, the dentist actually looked into Bubs’ mouth and checked his teeth.
But when it was time for the hygienist to clean his teeth, Bubs froze. Plain refusal.
Trying to convince Bubs to cooperate, the hygienist told Bubs that if he goes to a kids’ dentist that Mommy wouldn’t be able to go back with him (not true in all pediatric dental offices). In her mind, she was dealing with a child who needed some firm discipline and she was going to set the situation straight!
If you have a sensory kiddos, you know that fear is not a way to motivate these youngsters.
She also informed me that “I had better get control of my child or I would have a huge mess on my hands when he got older.”
I am not making this up. Those were her words.
Just a month later, we learned that Bubs was dealing with Sensory Processing Disorder. No wonder he struggled greatly with the dentist office!
Knowing that we would not be returning to this family dentist (big surprise), I began my search for a child-friendly option. Some friends led us to a pediatric dentist.
Before our first visit, Bubs asked a friend what she thought about this dentist. She raved about her experiences (Thank you Jesus!). He also learned that the dentist office has TV’s to watch while your teeth are being cleaned. Because of all this, Bubs was pretty excited.
To prepare for our trip, we talked about what the dentist does and how it is like brushing our teeth at home. I explained to Bubs that at anytime during his appointment I would hold his hand if he wanted me to. We also read some books. Here are two options.
A huge wooden train table welcomed us to the pediatric dental office. The hygienist instructed Chad to go to the red table (red being his favorite color right now – PTL). He got to choose the flavor of toothpaste and the color of sunglasses to wear.
Then she asked him to lay down. I saw the panic creep up and I walked to him and grabbed his hand. Immediately he laid down and did exactly what the hygienist and later the dentist asked him to do. I couldn’t have been more proud! Both the hygienist and dentist were amazing with him. Calm and creative in what they told him.
This was one more reminder that therapy truly is helping him with the anxiety of new things. And, that God is into details. God lead us to a great dentist (whose son had the same cardiologists as Bubs – only God) and God giving Bubs a red table to lay on! Bubs also recognized from church one of the songs playing over the dentist’s speakers which totally calmed him.
Thank you God for caring about Bubs so much that you took care of even the little things.