Wednesday, February 23, 2011

E.G. is Sentenced to the Gulag, I Mean Goes to The Dentist

The last time we took EG to the dentist it did not go well. (And by “we” I mean “me,” as in I take the kids to the dentist, and the doctor, and to everywhere because for some reason I’ve turned into The One Who Does the Driving. Fine.) He needed two teeth pulled: one for being stubborn and one for being bad.

A note about EG: he’s a thinker like his dad and horribilizer like his mother. This means that he psyches himself into dramatic apoplexies based on his imagination. Although he was shot up to high heaven with numbing agent, his screams and cries echoed through the dental office. I, personally, watched the dentist shot him up multiple times, there was NO WAY he was still feeling anything, but the suggestion of work and pain was enough to send him into a freak-out spiral. I held his hand while the dentist tried to convince him that he was OK and that this would take No Time At All. The teeth came out quickly but the fit continued. “BLOOD?” mumble-screamed EG, “There’s BLOOD?” Because in his world, there is nothing worse than something bleeding. Oh, my dear child, there are far worse things than bleeding, trust me, as one who has both given birth and seen the ravages of disease.

We had to go back to fix the cavities a week later.

(Side note: I’m still angry we don’t have fluoride in our water. I hate all you nut bags.)

I informed EG we were going to the dentist when he was already captive in the car. He started screaming and crying, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?”
“Do you know what used to happen to children who had teeth problems? Who had an abscess like you did last year? Who couldn’t get their teeth fixed?”
“THEY DIED. Now, because we love you, and don’t want you to die, we’re fixing your teeth.”

When we arrived he refused to get out of the car. I got him out of the car. He refused to leave the car’s side. He refused to get into the office. I got him in the door. He ran to the corner, kicked off his shoes, curled up in a chair, laced his arms through the chair arms, and declared his intention to fight the dying of the light. The other man in the waiting room was amused.
“Next time,” I said to the receptionist, “I want a prescription for Valium--for both of us.”
“Do you want us to give him nitrous oxide?”
“How much extra is it?”
“It’s $42.”
“WHAT? That’s IT? YES, DO IT.”

I gave EG the requisite threats and he walked back with the dental assistant, crying and screaming the whole way. After about 15 minutes they brought him back out.
“There’s nothing we can do, he’s not cooperating, here’s a referral to a pediatric endodontist.”

I took him outside where he continued to his Reactor 5 Meltdown. “ANOTHER DOCTOR?” He screamed.
“I don’t know what to tell you, “ I said as we drove away, “You have to get this done and if it’s not at this dentist, it will be at another.”
“I want to go back.”
“Are you sure? I don’t know if they can even take you anymore.”
“I want to try again.”
“Fine, but you can’t give them any grief. You have to listen to them and do what they say.”
“OK, but I want you to hold my hand when I get the shots.”

We drove back to the office and the dentist agreed to try again. EG was a little upset when I couldn’t hold his hand--I guess preggos aren’t allowed in the same room as the laughing gas--but the assistant held his hands the whole time. EG finally listened and breathed through his nose to catch all the magic effects of the nitrous; it made him chatty and a little mixed up.

Whatever, he got all his work done and left happy.

Now, I need some nitrous so I can get some “work” done.


dmarie said...

is it mean that this post made me happy? i get to know i'm not the only one with a child who acts like a loon in public.

Azúcar said...

It's true, dmarie, our children are all unique, special, precious snowflakes.

{natalie} said...

ethan requests the nitrous everytime. he's lucky we are related to our dentist so she obliges him most days.

craftyashley said...

My mom always gave us little pink flouride tablets because we didn't have flouride in our water either. Now we do, and the crazy people are scaring me about the whole flouride thing.

Amy said...

Oh the drama. We had a similar situation with our last round of immunizations. I almost resorted to saying, "Fine! I hope you get polio and pertussis! Serves you right."

Alison Moore Smith said...

Just letting you know that you've been nominated as Best LDS Female Solo Blogger of 2010.


The redhead said...

Kismet. I blogged about dentistry today too.

I'm giving my kids fluoride drops in hopes that they can escape the Cavity Monster that plagues their mother. Ugh. Fluoridated water would be so much easier...and cheaper.

sara said...

When I was 6 and on my way to get stitches for the second time in as many months, I also screamed "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME" and had to be pinned down by multiple nurses to get the novacaine.

Thanks for the entertaining story; I love reading your blog.

Chillygator said...

I STILL have to get nitrous every time I go to the dentist (which is often because apparently the little pink fluoride pills are really bad for you when you eat the entire bottle in one sitting -- disclaimer: as a small child) because if I don't, I get so nervous that the novacaine has NO effect on me. I can empathize with your son. A lot (o:

Anonymous said...


We took The Kid to the dentist for a filling a couple weeks ago. They gave him Versed. Now THAT was freaking hilarious. Ever see a drunk 4 year old? He was trying to touch the bushes that were on the other side of the window.

Of course it was funny/horrible at the time, but now it's just funny.

Also, remember this story for when he starts bringing dates home. Especially the part where he clings to the chair.

(Actually, I'm impressed. He wentback and faced his fears. You must be doing an awful lot right with this kid)

the emily said...

You have to bring your kids to my dentist in Kaysville. I'm telling you, it is WORTH THE DRIVE. He is completely amazing. We're moving to New Mexico in 3 weeks and I'm not going to bother finding a new dentist; we'll just make the drive when it's time for a cleaning. I'm serious--he is that good. And uses the gas for every cavity, no matter what, no extra charge. If you haven't seen a 3 year old on the gas you haven't lived. He is the best with kids; state of the art office and equipment; fancy pantsness for a cheap price.

(I am not being paid for this advertisement, promise)

rich said...

You're story reminded me of this:

Not because of similarity, but because of hilarity.

Anonymous said...

Cavities, in small children? My three girls are now in their twenties and early thirties and don't have any cavities yet. Do your children brush their teeth at all?

ck said...

Awesome. Have you heard about Anson and getting an abscess removed from his shoulder? Shudder.

And horribilizer? Just trademarked that.

See my people for a licensing agreement.

alishka babushka said...

I refuse to have anything beyond a cleaning done without nitrous. I just have to have it. I am not a fan of the dentist. Poor kid. I completely understand. :o)

Kalli Ko said...

Is anonymous for rills? Because one time when I was 9 or 10 I had like 20 cavities give or take a few, so, HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?

If the gas didn't make me hallucinate and have grandiose thoughts I might like it more. I'm dreading having to take the Nub to the dentist. I fear it will go very wrong.

Azúcar said...

Yes, Anonymous! Cavities! It's called: GENETICS!

While I am in possession of a rather nice set of diamond-quality teeth that didn't see a cavity until teen-dom, my one child has inherited his father's drywall-plaster molded "teeth." He brushes in the morning before school, with an ADA-approved toothpaste nonetheless, is brushed, and flossed by us, and fluoride rinses FAITHFULLY every night before bed, and yet, the drywall plaster has yet to hold up.

There is nothing quite as delightful as literally being able to see your child's teeth fall apart while you're flossing/brushing/rinsing. Makes you feel good, as a parent.

We're so proud.

Kris said...

If I ever go to another human being's personal blog, read it, and then leave an anonymous post about the dental hygeine of the author's children, you have my permission to kick me in the face.

Also, I am not a dentist or anything teeth-related (can you imagine the bad breath you'd smell?) but I am absolutely convinced that genetics is the biggest factor in dental health. My siblings and I come from no cavity parents, and we are basically no cavity people. My mom re-married a bad-toother, and my half-sisters are cavity people in the worst way. Same house, same parenting habits, same food. It sucks, but it is what it is.

And finally, boo to the no-flouride nuts.

Anonymous said...

Well, I hit a nerve. Settle down, Kris. I just can't imagine genetics having so much to do with teeth coming undone in early childhood. My bad, I stand corrected. It's just that as a long-time teacher with an up-close and personal view of children's teeth and lack of proper brushing I (wrongly) assumed that poor dental hygiene was to blame.

Nicole said...

Wow Anonymous you are a teacher?? I am hopeful you are not my children's teacher as it seems you are lacking some perspective and are quick to judge. I am sure that will hit a nerve for you as well. Although you stated that you "stand corrected" and "wrongly assumed" your tone is anything but apologetic.
Go Kris.

Fig said...

I went on a probably two-year teeth-brushing strike as a kid. Because I'm awesome, and gross. (And I was old enough to fool my parents, so it wasn't their fault.)

However, in 26 years I've never had a cavity, despite being possessed of a sweet tooth that would shock your mama. I grew up in a state with fluoridated water, is what.

Andrea R said...

You get extra bonus super points for using the plural of "apoplectic," which is one of my favorite words. Every time I think I couldn't love you more...

Dorothy said...

I LOVE that you threatened your child with death to get him to go to the dentist. I guess it wasn't a threat, just informing him of the consequences of his actions. But still, I love it.

Laura--The Balanced Housewife said...

Sounds like my little brother whenever he had to go to the doctor for vaccines. Once it took two nurses to hold him down. And he was five.

vanessa said...

oh goodness me that sounds horrible. I would like to opt out of ever having to do anything like that

Azúcar said...

See, Vanessa, I do not understand it. When I was his age I wanted to be tough. I didn't want to let them see me cry, flinch, or act like it hurt at all. This volume and intensity protest is completely foreign to me.

acte gratuit said...

Doug coulda talked him down! He's a miracle worker that way. But I'm glad you got it taken care of none-the-less. Also, our friend is a Ped Dentist in Riverton if you get desperate. His name is Eric Martin and he's pretty awesome.

Dear Utahns, YES flouride is a POISON!!! It's also very good for your teeth! And the best way for a large population to get it is through drinking water--the benefits far out weigh the "risks". Just ask my friend from Ukraine who has 4 crowns and has had multiple root canals.
Also: Heredity does play a part in tooth decay. So does the mother's diet while she is preggers, so do many many other things. So DON'T JUDGE!
(But also...don't give your kids suckers and do floss 'em.)

Much love,
A Pediatric Dentist's Wife in Japan

dmarie said...

okay, azucar...your comment about anonymous may have made me laugh more than the post itself. i think i love you. and yes...our kids are snowflakes...or something...

Marie said...

Amen! Down with anti-fluoridation nut jobs! My parents also forcefed us the little pink fluoride pills, thus saving us the dental pain they (both Utah babies themselves) have endured. I fared the best because I (being the kissup eldest child) always took the pills faithfully. I only brushed once a day until I was a teenager, and didn't floss faithfully until my mid-20s and I have great teeth, only three cavities, and one of them the dentist told me was unpreventable, due to a flaw in my tooth enamel. I feel really lucky, but trying to forcefeed a willful child fluoride pills every morning might prove more painful than just teaching him to love the nitrous :) Good luck!

Sarah Clark said...

Oh, goodness gracious. It's all about genetics. My mother has never had a cavity in her life despite only ever brushing her teeth on school days her entire childhood (so no brushing all summer, all weekends, every holiday). My habits were a bit better than that but not stellar, and I've also never had a cavity.

I'm with Kris. Somebody kick me if I ever feel the need to hide behind an "anonymous" label on someone else's blog.

wendysue said...

Wowzers. Leave it to Dentistry to strike a chord. Well, let me weigh-in here as a Hygienist.

Genetics--absolutely, there are all kinds of genetic factors at play in the development of teeth. In addition to that there is any medications Mom was on during pregnancy, and fevers, medications during those first 2 years of life. I remember one little 5 year old patient I had that came in every 2-3 months for a cleaning/checkup/xray films, prescription fluoride toothpaste, flossing, rinsing, etc.. . .and he still had a gazillion cavities. So yes, genetics are involved, but some people (not you, Carina) use that as an excuse to not care for their teeth, "oh, we just have bad teeth in our family."

Habits--absolutely, any doorknob knows that if you don't brush and floss, more than likely you'll end up with cavities. Add to that pop, sugar intake, poor health (diabetes, smoking, etc.) and it's worse.

Obviously you are doing everything you're supposed to, and that's when it's the most frustrating.

Ok, enough of that clinical talk.

Can I say that he sounds like about every other kid that comes in? Don't stress over it. Kids usually always do better if you don't go back to the operatory with them. I'd say it sounds like he ended up with a good experience. . .that nitrous helps a TON, and he'll remember that it ended up just fine. I bet you'll be surprised next time around.

Oh, and you anti-water fluoridation quacks. . .what is WRONG with you?? We have a free dental day at the dental college 2x a year to provide free services to some communities where the water isn't fluoridated. The differences between those kids and the ones we see in our area are staggering.

Azúcar said...

Wendy Sue, I was actually in the waiting room for the first episode. The way back to the work area is kind of twisty and long. I could hear him screaming from my seat in the waiting room. I walked back to find him locked in a battle with the dentist.

Happy Monday to them!

Anonymous said...

I find it a bit odd that they wouldn't let you in the room with the laughing gas because you are pregnant-- They are beginning to offer laughing gas as an alternative to an epidural during childbirth in some hospitals!

Dorothy said...

I am confused about one thing: if your kid rinses with fluoride faithfully every day, what difference does it make if there is no fluoride in the water?

Azúcar said...

Because rinsing is merely a topical application--it can help, but it's not optimal. Ingesting fluoride through water is absorbed by the interior of teeth, including growing adult teeth, making them stronger from inside out.

Azúcar said...

jamiesonbarkett-- I thought the same thing. Turns out there is some research that while I'm building the baby, exposure can lead to birth defects. Now, exposure that small for that short of the time probably does nothing, but I'm sure the dentist is thinking preventing malpractice.

3712lagunaplace said...

I love this story. I love that my kids aren't the only ones- and their dad is a dentist who works mostly with kids. I blame the lack of fluoridated water too. Come see us this summer when Devon is working across from the Creamery!