Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Visit to the Dentist: Death to Sugar Bugs

Today was Audrey's first trip back to the dentist since she had her first cavities filled 6 months ago.
It was just a check-up and cleaning, so much less stressful than the last appointment.  We're feeling like we've got it down to a science now, with the following being must-haves in order for us to have success:

1)  An aquarium in the waiting room
2)  Baby Mozart to watch during the appointment
3)  Chocolate toothpaste

Things that the dental hygienist/dentist think are helpful but are not:

1)  Wearing sunglasses.  They bug her more than the light in her eyes.  And they make for a different visual experience vis-a-vis Baby Mozart, which we cannot abide.
2)  Explaining every move that they make, and using cutesy euphemisms as in:  "We've got to get in there with the floss and get all the Sugar Bugs out", or calling the scary-as-hell suction thingy "Mr. Thirsty".  
3)  The rewards at the end, which include nothing that she cares about: stickers, a princess toothbrush, and picking a prize out of a bin filled with crap that doesn't play music or light up.



It's a wrap.  Now mama needs to go home and take care of Mrs. Thirsty.

33 comments:

  1. Hopefully, Audrey wasn't too traumatized by the experience!

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  2. I remember when Griffin would be presented with the prize bin or a sticker for doing a good job at something like the dentist. Not only did the prizes not interest him at all, the sticker sometimes threw him into instantaneous melt down. It was as though someone tossed acid at him. Keep the stickers and the prizes and the explanations and the sun glasses. Get the job done fast. Is that too much to ask of a dentist, barber, lab tech, etc.?

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  3. Wow - she did great. My oldest is totally freaked at the dentist. And what is with the shades? We have those at our dentist,too. I don't remember shades when I was a kid. Anything called "Mr. Thirsty" freaks me out.

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  4. The dentist equates horror to me when the thought of bringing my son enters my mind. He has to be restrained... papoose. the last time he went, a cavity was filled, and I thought IJ did very well to only see the dentist continue to shake his head in displeasure, and to be told that IJ moved far too much. What? Really? I thought he was very still considering all things. Sure he would move his head a little there and a little here. Anyway, we have not been back and I am really not certain what to do about taking him to the dentist.

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  5. lol Well the good news is she looks like a rock star in her stunna shades :)

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  6. I just forwarded this post to my boss, the pediatric dentist ;)

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  7. @Big Daddy: I agree...get it done quick. The over-explaining kills me every time. She's completely overstimulated, not listening, not comprehending, not caring what they are saying. Frankly, I'm the same way. When I was in labor the anesthesiologist went into a play-by-play when he was poking at my spine to start the epidural and suffice to say his ears are still ringing.

    @ibeeeg: you really need a new dentist. Experience with autistic kids is a must.

    @lambaround: uh oh. I feel like I just got caught talking behind his back.

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  8. Oh I hate all that cutesy crap. Less talking, more torturing my kid please, get it over quick!

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  9. I hear ya Mrs. Thirsty! Where's our reward Dr. Dentist? It's no picnic for us ya know? I've had to put my kid in one of those papooses and the word "papoose" sounds a lot more soothing and maternal than it feels when your forcing your kid into one.
    It would be a bit less difficult if at the end I could choose one trinket from say..... maybe a treasure chest filled with Godiva squares, and assorted "Oceans Eleven" character toothbrushes.

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  10. We had a Baby Mozart addiction here too back in the day. Actually she cycled through several BE videos. Eventually they had to go "live with another family so they could enjoy them." She bought that.

    Current obsession here is Scooby Doo. I am So Over Scoob. And Charlotte knows how to search on the cable box and record shows on the DVR. Some days I hit show list to see new Scooby movies recorded.

    As for the dentist, I am with you - keep it simple. I asked our dentist to not talk too much and just be swift and so far so good. It only took 4 trips before she'd actually get her teeth cleaned. ;)

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  11. I totally agree about the shades and the "sugar bugs" euphemisms. BUGS? In my MOUTH? Oh thanks, hygienist. You just gave me about six months' worth of obsessive conversations with my child. Just do what you're getting paid for, compliment my child on her holding-still abilities, and let us get the hell out of there.

    My dentist gives out little hourglass tooth-brushing timers as post-visit prizes. Just what Miss Obsessive needed. She was not only timing her own tooth-brushing, but everyone else's, and then holding forth on the need to brush as long as the hourglass runs. That thing "broke" within a week.

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  12. Aaaah Lynn - such are the pics our kids are going to Kill us for in a few years (my next post includes one of A mid petite mal seizure!)! yeah, that reward box gets me every time. My son is the weirdest autistic ever because he loves to be medically handled. So having Mr. thirsty swashing around in there its own reward!

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  13. I had an abusive dentist growing up, and finally emancipated myself from him, and found myself a new dentist when I was 14, so I do not hesitate to speak up at the dentist. If my kids were nervous, they sat in my lap on the chair when they were little. I asked the hygenists to stop with the sugar bug talk, and got them to take a break when I could see my kid had had enough for a minute. I had spoken ahead of time with my very kind dentist about my past experience, so he is very patient. I explained things to my kids as the hygenist and dentist worked, as I am more familiar with what they can understand, and what will upset them.

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  14. BB goes to the NHS "Community Dentist", who is the lucky lady who gets sent all the patients who need 'specialist' care - dental phobics, people with learning disabilities, challenging behaviour etc. She takes the "If it's not going to kill him I'm not going to treat it" approach, which works just fine for us, because I think an encounter with Mr Thirsty might mean I'd never get him in a dentist's chair again!

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  15. @Aimee: Yes! A treasure chest for us! I'll bet they have some good drugs lying around.

    @goodfountain: Scooby Doo is looking so good to me right now.

    @Neverthetwain: Ooh we got one of those timers as a gift and I've never tried it...thanks for the warning.

    @AMR: I look forward to that pic....?

    @Lisa: I swear there should be therapists dedicated to helping people get over bad dental experiences. thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment!

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  16. Yes Lynne, a new dentist is in order but the problem is who, and will my insurance cover the person... a mess. They have talked about using general anesthesia on him for fillings and whatnot. I really do not want to go that route for a few reasons and mainly because the anesthesia is an out of pocket expense. So for now, he has two cavities (so they say) that are on baby teeth so I am ignoring them. Maybe not wise, but it is what it is...for now.

    @bbsmum - a dentist who knows how to work with challenging behavior? Wow. That is a dentist that i would love to find for my boy.

    I wish there was some sort of organization that had a list of dentists in the area that works well with children such as ours. At least, a list could be something to go off of...insurance checking and whatnot.

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  17. Where do you get chocolate toothpaste?????

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  18. @ibeeeg: check out www.oneplaceforspecialneeds.com

    Search on dentist and then type in your zip code and you should get some results. They are all based on reviews from special needs parents.

    @Hello?: I've never seen it out on the open market, but our dentist offers it...along with bubble gum, strawberry, banana, and cheddar cheese. JK about the last one.

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  19. Hello? I was thinking the same thing!!

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  20. Sugar bugs?? Our dentist says the same shit!! She also "names" the teeth, gives them disney princess names. "Now we're cleaning Cinderella, and Snow white, and Jasmine." I'm always like, shut the F up and clean them already!!

    Bird's dentist has a kid who is 11 with the ol' ASD, too. So, at least she gets it a bit. But, come on, Sugar bugs??

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  21. I never realized how universal the "Sugar Bugs" thing was. There must be a class in dental school that teaches that stuff.

    On the other hand, I thought everyone had the chocolate toothpaste option. What kind of sadistic dentists do you all go to?

    I guess it is kind of a mixed message though...disparaging the Sugar Bugs but then cleaning their teeth with chocolate toothpaste. If Audrey was paying attention at all, she might be confused.

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  22. Sugar bugs seem really scary to me! Georgia has yet to go for her first appointment (is that slacker mom of me?) and I'm petrified of the almost assured tantrum that's going to happen. Let's face it, any time you're going to stick your fingers in a toddler's mouth - they're probably going to get bitten. Good job on Audrey getting through it - she looks not too worse for wear from it. Hope Mrs. Thirsty got to have a drink!

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  23. Good news is you're free from the dentist for 6 months! I also think Audrey rocked those sunglasses!!!

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  24. What a champ. Fortunately our dentist has a TV and our boys will do anything to watch TV, even get their teeth cleaned :)

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  25. Damn, no one ever gave ME any cool sunglasses!
    She is SO lucky!
    I SO hate Mr. Thirsty, he makes me gag.
    I don't get to watch ANYTHING. I have look up the dentists nose if he doesn't have a mask on at that moment. EWWW, GROSS!
    Can you tell I love going to the dentist?

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  26. I have serious issues with the dentist..as do my kids..they take care of the "cute sayings" and crappy prizes by throwing up on them-works for me. :)

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  27. I had written up this whole long comment about my second epidural, a anesthesiologist in training, them talking about how many inches further to stick the needle in, my husband puking, and me finally yelling at them to stop..you get the point, but my "smart"phone erased it before I could hit submit. Medical professionals should never explain what they are doing, unless you are knocked out.

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  28. I just talked to my dental hygienist yesterday about the necessity of Boo starting dental visits in the near future. She blathered a lot about sugar bugs (which I understood) and Mr. Thirsty (which I so didn't at the time but now do thanks to your post). I think the dental school they learn that at must be international.

    She also talked about how kids with autism have problems with the lights and sounds and like to have stuff explained to them which reassured me due to A)she didn't bat an eye at the concept of my child having autsm nor offer me any unwanted sympathy, and B) she's apparently seen and worked on at least one autistic kid before and knew about the sensory issues, though I was not reassured by C) she just lumped everyone on the spectrum into the same behaviour set, and D) she apparently didn't grasp that Boo is only two and with his communication delay is going to get diddly squat out of any explanations she comes up with. Still, it was better than the reaction I was half expecting of "Oh! I'm so sorry. How difficult for you. Um. I don't know if this is the place for you."

    Reading these comments was great in starting to prepare me for issues we're going to have. Thanks everyone. I'll be better prepared when it's our turn. That is if Boo isn't wailing and hiding under a chair due to the mere presence of Mr. Thirsty.

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  29. I was so scared to take my lil girl to her first dentist appt. last month. But it all worked out. Thanks for all the pointers in this post! Stopping by from your SU group.

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  30. The shades would annoy me and I'm an adult.

    Sugar bugs sounds way gross. My daughter would have a total meltdown if someone said that they were in her mouth. Stop needlessly babying children.

    I can't even comment on Mr. Thirsty. That is a level of insane that I'm not able to approach tonight.

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