He walked into the practice with anxiety, not knowing what’s to come. I explained that it will be a painless procedure, the soft gel will put his gums to sleep and he won’t feel a thing…
We waited, for 45 minutes since she was going to “fit us in”, especially with my little man clenching his fist in pain as the time ticked by. The night before we hardly slept a wink…
Finally they called his name “Kai?”, up he jumped, a hint of fear in his uncertain steps. He greeted the dentist with a weary smile and moved to sit on her chair, hands clenched over the armrests.
I explained that he has nothing to fear. I walk up to the dentist and sneakily whisper “he is terrified of needles, I told him that he won’t feel a thing once you put the gel on his gums”.
I walk back to Kai, my hands resting on his skinny legs. I can see the fear hidden beneath his brave demeanour as the dentist explains the procedure, knowing that he probably can’t understand a word she’s saying with the mask over her mouth. I look at Kai and repeat what was .
The dentist looks at me apologetically after stealing a glance at the funky hearing aid molds in his ears. She removes her mask and continues to talk to Kai “now close your eyes and no peeking” as she skillfully inserts the long needle into his gums…
“You can open your eyes Kai” she says as her assistant vacuums up the spit in his mouth two minutes later.
He looks at me with surprise “am I finish, where is my tooth?” Looking at him with an encouraging smile, I explain that we need to wait a bit before his tooth can be extracted. Disappointed, tears start to fill his eyes, “mommy when am I getting the needle prick?” With a big smile I say “all done, see I told you, you won’t feel a thing”
Again the dentist steps closer, “you will feel some pulling and that is when I’m extracting your tooth, now close your eyes again Kai, and remember, no peeking”
A few minutes later, and his massive tooth is placed next to the medical equipment used for the extraction!
Relieved that it’s all over, he asks to see the needle and if he can take his tooth home. The dentist happily obliges.
He left the dentist feeling a but under the weather, toothbrush in hand while biting down on some cotton wool. His very first visit to the dentist; done and dusted!
Not knowing what to expect, I assumed that it would be smooth sailing from here on.
BIG MISTAKE! The drugs wore off and my son started howling the minute the numbness wore off. The pain, the gaping hole “I wish I didn’t have this big hole in my mouth” and the blood. Too much for him to deal with.
An hour after we arrived home I had to get stronger pain killers from the pharmacy, Nurofen, the pharmacist advises.
Still the crying didn’t stop. He insisted that I read Diary of a Wimpy kid to him even though I couldn’t hear myself think through his loud cries. I finally gave up on the reading!
Ready to throw in the towel and lock myself in the bathroom, I decide to give it one more try. The mouth after all is a highly sensitive part of the body and he is a very sensory child…
I lay down next to him, wrapped under a light duvet, cuddling him very tightly while playing “djembe drums” on his back. Loud deep pressure whacks, the kind usually reserved for someone who is choking on something!
It works, phew! His crying becomes softer, my beat still rhythmic, the sound echoing in my ears and vibrating through his body. After what feels like a very long time I stop to give my arm a rest. “No mommy, don’t stop!”
Another 10 minutes of “djembe drumming” and he is sound asleep, face wet with tears.
Now I relax ’cause when he wakes up I’m going to need all my energy to take care of his needs.