Today was Jack’s dentist appointment to have his baby tooth extracted. Or at least that’s what I think happened. It’s hard to tell, because no one at the dental office actually used the word “extraction.”

When I walked in, the receptionist confirmed what Jack was having done by saying, “The tooth fairy is coming tonight then?” Everyone else at the practice seemed to call extractions “wiggles,” as in, “We’re just doing the one wiggle today?”

I might have gone with, “We’re just ripping out the one tooth today?” but I guess that’s why I don’t work at a pediatric dental office. It also might be why Jack started crying when I told him what was happening this morning.

Oh, I kid.

Jack did really well. The hygienist gave him gas, which was delivered via a bright pink plastic nose that sat atop his real nose. This only became a problem when they gave him fancy glasses in which he could watch the movie he’d picked out and there were so many things on his face that whenever the hygienist tried to do something to his mouth, she jiggled his glasses, resulting in his crying out, “I can’t see the movie!”

I was pleased that he seemed more concerned about the movie viewing than any discomfort. That said, it wasn’t easy peasy for him. It was hard for him to tolerate the things they wanted to put in his mouth and he sure didn’t care for the numbing needle. (I didn’t either; it was HUGE.)

It also took him some time to adjust to the gas, although once he did, he was doing aaaaall right. He got all floppy like and at one point he got the hygienist’s attention to say, “Do you feel your bones vibrating?”

Evidently he was on the good stuff.

The extraction itself was quick, involved lasers, and wasn’t the worst thing that’s ever happened to Jack.

Even though the appointment obviously wasn’t his favorite hour of his life, he did a great job and he was totally unfazed afterward. He seems to have recognized that this appointment was something that had to be done and that sucked but that he could get through, which, incidentally, is exactly the same way I look at dental appointments.

I ended up keeping him home from school all day so that he could sit on the couch and staunch the bleeding of his gum. He very happily complied.

Jack lying on a couch, head on a pillow, under a blanket, holding a washcloth up to his mouthWe came home and I let him watch a movie—the very movie he’d chosen to watch at the dentist’s office. He made me start it over from the beginning, presumably so he could watch it without having to fight his nose gas for face position.

I’m so happy that’s over. I’m sure Jack is too. I had been nervous about it. Now I’ll have to find something else to be nervous about. As long as the tooth fairy remembers to come, this dental adventure will be all happily wrapped up.

5 thoughts on “Wiggles

  1. Sometimes we ask for the lead apron they use for x-rays be laid on him like a blanket when he is feeling anxious at the dentist. It works really well! I don’t mind the gas so much, but they let him keep the pink nose thing – it creeps me out!

    Glad all went well! :-)

  2. Jack is lucky to have such a nice dentist. As my mind naturally goes right to the dark place, I imagined what would happen if the movie was either Little Shop Horrors or Marathon Man (wasn’t that the one where a dentist tortured a guy?)

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