Thursday, March 22

Beautiful Smiles

I have a serious phobia of dentists.

Until November of last year, I couldn't even set foot in a dentist's office without Ativan. Even for a consultation. Anything further than a look-see required complete sedation.

I also have HORRIBLE teeth.

Apparently, when I was a kid, I was repeatedly put on some sort of antibiotic that caused terrible discolouration on my baby and adult teeth. (I recently found out this medication also makes my bones practically unbreakable. Superhuman FTW!!! Although I was also told that if I ever DO break a bone, it probably won't heal properly at all. Unhealable FTL.)

On top of this, my parents missed the good dental hygiene train. I don't remember being supervised during brushings (I'm sure I as at one point but it didn't last long) so my 'brushings' consisted of wetting the toothbrush and smearing toothpaste on my tongue. Cleanings and checkups didn't really happen. I went a few times when I was younger but between the ages of 9 or 10 and 20, I didn't see a dentist AT ALL.

The worst part is that EVERY dental visit was traumatic for me. I don't have one single good, or even decent, memory of the dentist.

Quite the opposite actually.

In my head, it's something out of a horror movie.

Alone with strangers in a small, cramped, cold room. My mouth uncomfortably being pried open by metal apparatus'. Being poked and stabbed and drilled. And then being yelled at and told to shut up and stop crying. (The yelling only happened once that I remember but it certainly set a tone.)

All of my childhood dental visits were somewhere in this realm.

In fact most of my adult visits have also been somewhere in this realm.

When I was 20ish, I decided to nut up, find a dentist and get my teeth as fixed as my meagre pocketbook would allow.

I thought I found a great dentist.

But then statements started showing double billing to my insurance. And I was on my 4th appointment and they were still working on ONE tooth. When I started asking questions, the dentist essentially fired me.

I went to another dentist.

Things were very good with them. They referred me to a surgeon who was also very good.

Then the dentist moved to California and the surgeon didn't offer direct billing to our insurance. The surgeon charged A LOT for sedation. Like A LOT.

And then I just kept putting it off and putting it off and putting it off.

Until I ended up with an abscess.

I think (and hope and pray) I have finally found a good dentist. He's very different than any dentist I've seen before - I feel like he's actually being honest with me.

He's the first dentist I've seen who's told me my teeth are in terrible shape.

(Uh, yeah they are!)

And he has a plan - a GOOD plan - to help me.

He's also willing to sedate me for every. single. visit.

Even a cleaning.

He doesn't WANT to sedate me and he hopes to make me comfortable enough that I can have work done with nothing but local numbing but he recognizes how anxious I am and isn't brushing it off like so many others have in the past. He wants to work with me and build trust.

I'm trying very hard to get past my phobia and trust him.

The biggest catalysts for this are Kadyn and Graysen.

Before Monday, Kadyn had never been to the dentist.

Terrible.

And completely inexcusable.

But I was so scared of him having bad experiences that I would rather him not go at all.

Clearly not a good mindset.

Especially since he started developing brown spots on his molars.

But then I was conflicted.

I was positive he had a mouthful of cavities. Which makes me a horrible mother.

But I didn't want him to be traumatized by drills and needles and bad dentists. So I did nothing.

Even more horrible.

I finally had enough.

Kadyn is almost 5, has never been to the dentist and has brown spots.

Graysen is due for a quick check up.

I DO NOT want them to be where I am when they are my age.

I DO NOT want them to be where I was at age 7, 10, 13, 15....and so on.

I HAVE GOT TO STOP THIS.

I felt comfortable enough with my dentist that I took Kadyn to see him.

He isn't really set up for small children so he referred us to a paediatric dentist.

We made appointments for both boys.

And for WEEKS leading up to the appointment, my stomach was in knots.

I didn't want my babies to have a bad experience at the dentist and I was positive Kadyn had a mouthful of cavities.

Sunday, the night before the appointment, Ryan read a Google review saying one of the dentists was a con artist, a child abuser and a fraud.

Just friggen great.

We decided to keep the appointment anyway. We could always get a second opinion and I was almost positive we were scheduled with a different dentist.

To the dentist we went.

And Kadyn couldn't have been happier to go!

Pretty sure the 'super cool chairs' with head phones and the giant TV screens on the ceiling contributed to his happiness.

We had a little bit of troubles getting x-rays but other than that, Kadyn was amazing!!

They rated his cooperation as "Excellent + +"

TWO plusses!! TWO!!!

I am SO proud of him!

And the best part?

Just one teeny, tiny little cavity.

The brown spots on his molars *could* turn into cavities so the dentist recommended we get Kadyn in for a good cleaning and have a sealant put on so they don't turn into cavities. The one little cavity will be quickly filled during the same appointment.

And?

The dentist said Kadyn's teeth look great and look like we are doing a great job brushing and rinsing. He doesn't think the cavity or the brown spots are from lack of care at all.

Um, BEAMING MAMA RIGHT HURR!!!

I might have jumped and clapped with excitement right there in the dentist's office.

Yeah, I definitely did.

This is a MAJOR win for me!

And he said the same for Graysen's teeth - they look great and we are doing a great job taking care of them.

Then he told us he saw a baby the same age as Graysen earlier in the day whose teeth are so bad he's going to need serious surgery to fix them.

My heart broke.

I could not imagine my baby needing serious dental surgery at 18 months.

That story just furthered my resolve to fight the good fight with both boys to take good care of their teeth.

My parents never fought that fight. And look where I am now.

And, after a lifetime of terrible experiences with dentists, I've had almost a solid 6 months of good experiences.

It might be silly for me to be this happy about a successful trip to the dentist but it's a HUGE deal for me. And (hopefully) it means my boys never have to go through what I did.

It also means I might one day have a beautiful smile.

And that is priceless.

Oh, one last take away from this? I will DEFINITELY be encouraging the boys to become dentists when they grow up. Mama wants to retire somewhere HOT!!

No comments:

Post a Comment