So I have a teensy-weensy, tiny little crush on my daughter Lily’s dentist. He is professional, kind and so very patient with Lily. (And OK, he’s pretty easy on the eyes, too…think wavy, salt-and-pepper hair and stunning, blue-green eyes…not that I noticed.)
But that’s neither here nor there, since Lily embarrassed me so badly last Friday that I could probably never go back, at least not with her in tow. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was “dumped.” The good doctor did it so nicely that I didn’t even quite realize it until after the fact. But I’m pretty certain he never wants to see my youngest-born again, and I can’t say I blame him.
Here’s the deal…despite my tyrant-like efforts to keep the kids brushing and flossing, Lily has three cavities in her baby teeth. It may not seem like such a huge deal – they’re baby teeth after all, right? – but evidently, not treating them can lead to problems with the subsequent adult teeth as well. Add to this equation a six-year-old who is bound and determined to keep any dentist from working on her teeth, and you’ve got yourself a dilly of a pickle.
We actually transferred to ‘Dr. Sweet’ after getting an earful from our last dentist, who told us – seemingly without any input or option on our part – that we needed to put Lily under full anesthetic at the children’s hospital to deal with her dental work. Feeling that was a tad excessive for a preschooler, we found Dr. Sweet for a second opinion. He felt that the work could be done in his office, and valiantly made two attempts to work on Lily’s problem teeth.
At the first appointment, the hygienist suggested that I sit in the waiting room. Not having more than the odd muffled audio cue – and hearing only talking and the occasional laugh – I assumed everything was going swimmingly. So I was stunned when the dentist came out and told me that Lily spent the entire appointment biting his fingers, and nothing was accomplished. Ugh.
Crouching down to Lily’s level, the dentist then spent several minutes trying to talk to her; to discuss what she didn’t like about the appointment and how he could make her more comfortable. I did my best to facilitate this discussion, chiming in about how important it was for her to keep her teeth healthy so that her problems wouldn’t get worse and cause discomfort. The appointment was rescheduled, and I left feeling somewhat sheepish for wasting his professional time.
Back at home, multiple discussions occurred between Lily, her dad and myself regarding the importance of the make-up appointment. In fact, in an effort to raise the stakes, Ian (a.k.a. Daddy) put her prized toy on the line: a plush, beluga whale bought at SeaWorld, San Diego last summer. I think both Ian and I felt naively confident that we had the upper hand this time.
So back we went to Dr. Sweet for the make-up appointment, which was fittingly scheduled for the afternoon after Halloween. (Nothing like letting your kid feast on every type of candy one night, then dragging them to the dentist the next, right? No mixed messages here!)
After another hour of absolute patience on his part – and even me coming in from the waiting room to try to put the pressure on Lily – Dr. Sweet very gently, very subtly gave up on Lily. It all came pretty clear to me when he suggested that he could recommend other dentists for us to try; at least he said it with a sympathetic look in those lovely eyes of his.
Yours truly lost her cool today when Lily didn’t want to finish her chicken and salad, but was keen to pick out her after-dinner Halloween snack. Umm, I’m going to put a big, fat KIBOSH on that, kiddo. If the nicest dentist in suburban Barrhaven can’t sweeten Lily up, maybe we need to ditch the candy once and for all.