Thursday, May 1, 2008

time to check the choppers

There was a day when Heather was afraid of the doctor and the dentist. She just screamed and tried to climb me any time either of those men came near her. It was piercing and just a little embarrassing. She had to have a chest x-ray once to determine whether or not she had pneumonia because the doctor couldn't listen to her chest because she wouldn't stop hollering. She hollered through the whole x-ray too.

Then, one day, when she was maybe about two and a half, the fear was gone. Totally. Out of the blue. Now, she loves to go to the dentist. As in she gets excited when I tell her she has an appointment soon. At the visit last week she even told me that I didn't have to hold her hand this time. Oh sure, that was until she was actually in the chair and asked me to hold her hand. 

And on this dentist visit ~ no cavitites.

Stephanie, on the other hand, has never really been fearful of the doctor. He used to smile and tell me she was such a nice way to end the day (since we always had the last appointment). 

With her, there was a time when she had a fear of bearded men. It took a little sleuthing to figure it out, but it was sadly true. During her first dentist visit we were so proud of her for laying on the little chair and being still and cooperative while the assistant talked to her for a little bit. I saw the dentist before she or Greg did and my heart started beating faster. I knew the calm was over as the fully-bearded man walked in and sat in the chair next to her and started to talk to her. Sure enough the wails ensued. 

Now, I know that when someone decides to go into children's dentistry they are surely aware that most of their clientele will be in tears. Even still, no mom wants to have her child in such distress. No mom wants to stand there and smile at everyone while her child breaks sound barriers. 

The fear of facial hair only lasted a little while and she made peace with the dentist. I did notice that eventually his facial hair disappeared as well. 

These days Stephanie's visits to the dentist bring mixed feelings. While she doesn't mind the cleanings and loves to talk to the ladies, some of the appliance work is painful for her. In those painful moments I hold her hand, talk to her softly, try to help her deep breathe, and cringe all at the same time. 

This visit ~ no cavities. She escaped the dreaded impressions this time because he wants to wait until June to fit her for an occlusal guard that is the next step in the saga of her tiny mouth.

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