I didn't tell James that he had a dental check-up this afternoon. That's because lately every time we've driven by the office on our way to the grocery store, he's become distressed and repeated "We're not going to the dentist!!!"
I am not sure where this came from. He started off with semi-calm visits, and then last summer he got freaked out.
It could be the noise from the drills and suction devices, except that we've been watching a Mr. Bean episode with a visit to the dentist and he's laughed at them then.
I blame the seat. He did get very anxious when he was lowered back and down last time. He was very unhappy about that bright light in his face too, despite the technician putting a cartoon on the ceiling screen (the things these kids get at the dentist these days; so not what I had, let me tell you).
The dentist, as usual, was awesome, talking soothingly with him and getting him to climb up finally on the dreaded seat. She then proceeded to do his checkup with a minimum of invasive tools. I believe she used his new toothbrush, a mirror on a handle, and the room's regular lighting. I held James' hand while she gently scraped away a small area of plaque from his lower front teeth.
The good news is that his teeth look fine and he has no cavities!
I could feel him relaxing, and at the end I thought James would go for some fluoride treatment if I put some on my finger and then applied it to his teeth. This worked so well that the dentist then applied the foam fluoride treatment to his teeth with a toothbrush. Wow! This is great news and another big first -- James has never sat still and let us apply a fluoride treatment before.
This whole visit is a great example of why I love our dentist. James' loud noises and distress did not vex her. She was very calm and positive as she kept moving him forward through his visit. She was willing to try a different way to get him his checkup. And bonus: because so many clients are special needs children, I got the scoop on second grade teachers for next year!
Savouring a melon-y fresh victory in dental hygiene and maturity!