Friday, July 10, 2009

Dental Check-Up (or as they might call it in HYPNOBIRTHING: Tooth Therapy)

The following post is by Justin:

I took Reuben to the pediatric dentist at the Columbia Dental School on 168th street. As Brecken said in earlier posts, boy is that place the nicest most efficient medical facility in New York for those with public health care. Little to no wait time. An actual dentist (or qualified student) calls you back and you spend all the time with them.

Now, during Reuben's first year we made the big mistake of allowing him to go to sleep with a bottle of milk. His top four incisors have suffered decay as a result. We have repented, haven't given him a bottle to go to sleep with in two years, and he loves to brush his teeth, morning and night, but nonetheless, the decay is still there. There is probably a gospel application of some kind in that, then again maybe not--you may wax philosophical on how it may or may not apply if you so desire. Well--I had grown tired of at every check up, either medical or dental, the health care professional talking about the tooth decay as though it had just happened and that we were currently doing whatever damaging thing it was to make it worse. So, this time Reuben sat down in the chair and I said, is the deal...and it was refreshing to have the dentist simply propose a solution rather then tell me what I was doing wrong.

Reuben did very well during the appointment--he lay quietly and let the dentist poke, prod, scrape, suction, and polish until the job was done. Reuben didn't like the bright light in his eyes, and the dentist adjusted it. The only 3-year-old behavior demonstrated was every time the dentist pulled an instrument out of Reuben's mouth he would sit up, thinking he was done--but that stopped as soon as the dentist allowed him to hold his own suction thingy and Reuben was content to lay back on the pillow. He was so impressed that it was not only like a bed--but a shoe bed! Meaning, he could wear his shoes while laying down on it.

So--no trauma, Reuben thought it was fun, but the berry-blast kiddie toothpaste was yucky--no arguments there. He LOVES his new Dora and Transformers stickers--he stuck them all over his shirt during the bus ride home. And he is soooo sad he can't brush his teeth with his new Dora toothbrush because the fluoride treatment is still soaking in. Reuben started playing with a little set of watercolor paints he got as a party favor a while ago, so since the dentist essentially applied the fluoride with what looked like a mini paintbrush, we just keep telling him that the dentist painted his teeth and he can't ruin the beautiful paint job until morning. The bad news is we have to go back come September (next available appointment) and excavate those decaying teeth to make sure the damage hasn't gone too deep.

Parenting equals living and learning, now we know what NOT to do with Simeon--no sleeping with bottles. Yeah, yeah, isn't that obvious? Well some nights...let me tell ya...the precious sleep calling clouds all judgement. The lesson I have learned about what TO do. Talk about the dentist as though it is a fun place and nothing to be scared of. I have been reading the HYPNOBIRTHING book lately and instilling positive thinking has become a part of my daily thought pattern--apply welcoming, comforting words to things that the world paints in a scary light. I did this with Reuben--talking to him about how fun it was going to be, what the dentist was going to do, and when Reuben looked unsure in the chair I would just remind him about what we talked about in a way that he understood. And yes, that bit of parenting equalled SUCCESS!


The Jones :) said...

Good job Justin!! And Reuben for doing so good!! I dread the time we have to take Klous...but he too has the yucky decay...oh the joys of being a "BAD PARENT" huh!?!?! Live and learn I suppose, and I agree with the sleep calling too!! Thanks for the input and good advice to talk positively about it...hopefully it'll help and excite him too!! Yay for you're GREAT parents!!!
Love and miss you LOTS

Sandy M. said...

Sounds very well done, Justin :)! I agree with you about the importance of helping our children view the world about us in a positive way. I always think about this whenever we have a thunder storm. My mother loved them, and taught us to love them too. Our children love them. We would always gather on the back veranda to enjoy the wildness of the high winds and thunder and lightning... I think it works for most things. We can paint our attitudes over the world about us.

Tammy Lorna said...

Hey Justin :)
Sounds like a very successful trip to the dentist :)
Hope everything else is going swimingly for all of you!
xo Tammy
PS. Do you think the 'new' sprite in the 'new' packaging is as bad for our teeth as the old sprite? Hmmm.