Wednesday, February 13, 2008

First Major Dentist Visit

Okay, not the first visit for Melissa. There was that time when she was one year old and bumped her mouth on the wooden horse. She ended up losing a good chunk of her gum and we were worried about her tooth. (Did I write about this?) Anyways, everything was fine, and the gum grew back.

Melissa had a small defect on one of her teeth. The enamel didn't come in on one spot on her front tooth. It was first apparent around 6 months when her tooth erupted. We just kept and eye on it for the first 2 years and diligently kept it clean. After that we started taking her to the dentist for fluoride treatments every 3 months to prevent cavity growth. This was a two second procedure where the dentist put a dot of fluoride on the tooth. Melissa's pediatric dentist didn't want to sedate her to work on that tooth until she was a least 30 pounds. (Which was fine by me because the thought of heavy duty anesthesia on one so little made me very nervous!) Their office also had a policy of no restraining kids because they wanted children to have positive first impressions of the dentist. It worked, because Melissa absolutely loves going to the dentist. They make COOL balloon animals there!

In mid January she cooperated very well for the fluoride treatment, but was still only 28 pounds (fully dressed). I asked if they would be willing to try just nitrous oxide with her to see if it would work. The dentist said they would be willing to give it a shot, so we set up an appointment a month later.

On Monday I took her into the dentist. She was quite pleased to sit in the big chair. She got a pair of sunglasses to wear (they were pink!) and settled in to watch the The Little Mermaid on the ceiling. Dentists offices are so much cooler than when I was a kid! The dental assistant talked Melissa through every step of the way.

"Now I'm going to put on a funny nose that smells like oranges! See? Can you smell the oranges?" Melissa nodded.

"Next I'm going to put some water on your tooth. It kind of tickles! I'll put some on your hand first. Can you feel that? Then we use a little vacuum to suck up all the water!"

The dentist also described each step in simple terms as he did it. Melissa sat there cool as a clam with her mouth wide open. They praised her as they went along, and the whole thing only took about 7 minutes from drilling to filling.

Afterwards the dentist commented on how unusual it was for someone her age to cooperate so well. He was very impressed. I was quite pleased too. You never know with two year olds. Sometimes she is so pleasant and easy, and other times everything is NO NO NO! I was also very relieved to avoid the anesthesia route!

We have really been lucky with dentists with both of our kids.

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