By Kodey Toney
My Shiny Teeth
Going to the dentist can be terrifying for anyone. The uncertainty and possibility of pain lurking in the shadows of every exams room is enough to make the biggest man cringe with fear. For a child on the spectrum, or with sensory issues this is turned up a notch or two.
This week Konner and I made the trek to the dentist to have a cavity taken care of on Wednesday. This wasn't as bad as most would think. In fact at times it was funny.
Before I get into the story of our visit I want to explain a few things. Konner did very well going this time. He didn't get too anxious, although there was a little fear, as you will see, but it's because we have worked with him over the years. One of the biggest problems with most visits is that uncertainty that I talked about before. So, one of the best things to do is to talk to your child. Walk them through the process the best you can, and let them know step-by-step what will happen.
I began this step with Konner on the car ride there. This is because we forgot to tell him the night before, which is not a good idea, but as I said he's been going for a while and already has a good idea of what is going to happen.
So we arrive and as we come in the door I notice Thomas the Train on the television in the waiting room; score! He was happy about that and it put him at ease a little. When we are called back he was asked to lay down. I sensed a little apprehension, so I helped him, but he knocked the hose that fits over your nose for the gas onto the floor. That was okay, but the assistant had to clean it off, so when they put it over his face he caught a huge smell of cleanser and he didn't like that at all. In fact the whole time he was on the table he was upset about the powerful smell.
He began to look around and asked, "Are there any little jack hammers?" The nurse answered no and then asked, "Where did you hear that from?" He of course answered some cartoon on Facebook. He was reassured that there where no jack hammers.
He then began to give a play-by-play of Thomas playing on the ceiling. The assistant told him he would have to stop talking and close his mouth so he could breathe in the gas and relax. He then complied and continued his story with his mouth closed.
He decided to try to talk the entire time the dentist worked on his tooth.
In all he did very well though, and was ready to head back to school afterward.
A little preparation will help. Is it fool proof, no. It has taken some time over the years, and lots of preparation.