Walking into the dental office at 11:15 a.m. for an 11:15 appointment was a mistake. The dental service we are using allows you to fill out all the paperwork on the computer ahead of time, which is what I thought I did. At the time I thought, isn't this what the registrars are for? But in this day and age of do-it-yourself everything, I guessed it was just another casualty.
Because of this I was put in a sour mood right off the bat when a team of no less than four receptionists told me I'd filled out the forms wrong, and could I please go over to the self-service computer and redo them. Okay, sure. But what a waste of my time. Also, I already gave you this information on the phone, and I filled it out online, so I'm sorry if seeing you chilling while I do all this for a third time left me a bit peevish.
Anyway, I did my best not to take it out on them. I've been a registrar (admittedly when registrars still had to do some work), and I know how much it sucks. It really does.
They brought us to the back office immediately and tried to put the girls in separate rooms, telling me I could go in between. That went over like a lead balloon, with Lilly immediately dissolving into tears and clinging to Dulce for dear life. It's scary at the dentist. She didn't want to go it alone. I understood. I thought we'd all be together and they'd go one after the other.
After the mini-tantrum, they led us into a room with two chairs and sat the girls down side by side. Why didn't they do that in the first place?
The visit went well. I learned they'll need braces at age 12, but what kid doesn't these days?
Here are some things I found out that may be of help to someone out there:
1) Yes, you're supposed to teach your children to brush their teeth, but you're not supposed to actually let them do it. That makes sense. I taught the kids how to do it, and then, when I was satisfied with their attempts, I let them do it by themselves. End of story. Apparently I'm supposed to follow up after them. I should have known that, but I didn't. Maybe you didn't either. (The dentist said get in there and scrub like you're cleaning a toilet bowl. I may have used different words, to be honest.)
2) You're supposed to be flossing their teeth. At three. I will try. I cannot promise anything, but this just seems like it's got disaster written all over it.
3) No sippy cups for anything but water. This was a revelation. This spells the end of sippies for us. Because my kids only use sippy cups when what they are drinking will stain or mess up my couches and furniture. Why would I bother giving them water in sippy cups? Sippy cups are for juice and the occasional chocolate milk. So, now they're basically useless.
4) It doesn't matter if they suck their thumbs. The dentist recommends going full-throttle with getting them to quit it at 5 and a half. So, at least I can cross that off my list.
5) Kids are supposed to get x-rays. At three. Of their baby teeth. Really? I said no. We are apparently expected to go every six months, so I'll do some research and get them next time if they really help. I have a fear that ties back to my own childhood. I remember my mother railing against x-rays, afraid of what, I'll never know, but I'm now afraid of it too.
6) Just because you have dental insurance doesn't mean you aren't paying for all of it. $348 out of my bank account later and we were allowed to leave. Apparently my insurance will send me a partial refund. I'm just thrilled.
But at least the girls did great and thought it was fun!
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