Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Which Connor Goes To The Dentist And Hilarity Ensues

Connor had a fantastic day today!

He was still running a tiny touch of a fever when he woke up so we stayed home from school yet again, but by mid-morning it was completely gone and he went sans Tylenol the whole day!  He's gotten to that stage where he's tired of being cooped up, and so when I deemed him able to go to his dentist appointment this afternoon he was so excited that he applauded.  By the time we got up the elevator and rolled up to the receptionist's desk the child was so happy that he'd started joyfully shrieking at the top of his lungs.  His happiness was so contagious that half the kids in the waiting room started imitating him. 

The other patients' parents were thrilled.

I'd been dreading this appointment for weeks because this was to be Connor's first real tooth cleaning.  It was certainly not his first trip to the dentist-- he's had fluoride painted on his teeth every six months since he grew the chompers-- but he's never actually needed them cleaned before.  Connor's teeth are really small and wide set (they don't touch each other at all), he doesn't chew, and he's mostly g-tube fed, which cuts down on the amount of plaque that builds up on his teeth.  But though he opens up readily enough for a toothbrush at home he's really sensitive about what goes into his mouth, so I worried that this would be a traumatizing appointment. 

Boy was I ever wrong.

Apparently the tooth cleaning brush-- you know, the Little Round Whirry Brush (that's a technical term, there) not only makes a great noise in Connor Land, but also it tickles, which as a result made the whole process hilarious.  He charmed the pants off the dental tech; I'm pretty sure that uncontrollable giggles are not the response she generally gets from her four year old patients.  He held amazingly still and didn't mind her fingers in his mouth at all! 

And luckily his teeth didn't need a more thorough cleaning, as I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have found the Pokey Stick Thingy (also a technical term) to be nearly as funny.

So his teeth looked great!  Well actually they look small and wonky (and in the case of his front tooth with the weak enamel, orange) but they are amazingly clean: especially when you consider that we don't floss them at all.  The thought of trying to floss Connor's teeth makes me hyperventilate a little. That would be an endeavor that could only end in disaster and somebody bleeding.  Probably me.

The only bad moment in the whole appointment, in fact, was the part where Connor and I were lying back in the dental chair (the little guy is much more cooperative if he sits on my lap for appointments) and he proceeded to recreate the entire 1812 overture in tooting form.  Seriously-- I thought for a moment that a machine gun was going off in the room, and I swear Connor's bottom actually levitated off of my leg. 

For about five minutes. 

And then there we were, the four of us-- me, the tech, the dentist and the world's smallest rear jet-propelled aeronaut--stuck in an extremely tiny exam room that now smelled, shall we say, Not So Fresh.  The dentist had to open the door before we all suffocated, though it took a minute because he was laughing so hard he couldn't find the door handle. 

In the meantime I was desperately hoping that tooting was all that had occurred, because while I carry a change of clothes for Connor in the van I didn't have an extra pair of pants for me.  Luckily I escaped stain-free.

Otherwise the appointment went extremely well.  I think Connor's teeth look so great because he polishes them by himself all the time.  He used to just use his sleeve to do this, but recently he's become very enamored with his socks.  After his cleaning he decided to use both, and so he spent about twenty minutes or so very diligently chomping on one and then the other in turn. 

I haven't tried this method for cleaning teeth, partially because I don't have a palate sophisticated enough to appreciate the subtle nuances of a mouthful of dirty sock, and partially because even if I did there's no way I could get my foot up to my mouth anyway.  I'm about as flexible as North Korea.  How I produced a child who would fit in very well with Gumby's social circle is completely beyond me.

At any rate, I'm glad that the appointment went so well!  Next time I won't be nearly as worried about his reaction to the dentist's office.  As long as they don't use the Pokey Stick Thingy, that is. 



Julia O'C said...

Jess, I really, REALLY needed to laugh today and boy, did you ever deliver! Thank you.

Julia said...

Hilarious!!! I needed that, Gita!

xraevision said...

Amazing that Connor is so cooperative for dental appointments! X was very good during his first full cleaning. He wore cool sunglasses, watched cartoons on the ceiling TV and took home a sticker, a toy and a toothbrush. However, his second visit was the opposite. He wouldn't open his mouth! Unfortunately, he has a wee cavity (from reflux) that needs filling at a pediatric dental specialist. I will wish for an experience as excellent as yours. I would even welcome a toot fest, as I think we will need some comic relief! Such a great story and well told!

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

I could not stop laughing while reading this post. Thanks for sharing!

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