Tag Archives: dentist

Open Wide

15 Feb

Last time Small Boy was at the dentist there was concern raised about the way his teeth were fitting into his mouth i.e. at all the wrong angles. Knowing our family history, they recalled SB for a check up. He seemed fine about it at the time.

Last night I reminded him he was having a check-up today. This morning I reminded him.

An hour before the appointment time I gave him a five minute warning for brushing his teeth.

And then I tried to brush them. Oh. Dear. Lord. I was even happy for him to do them (he usually does pretty well) but he backed away from me, and the loaded toothbrush went flying. Nothing I could say or do would convince him to open his mouth.

Defeated, I put the brush away and thought, oh well, it won’t be the first time a dentist has been faced with a mouth that has remnants of bagel and hot chocolate in it; it could be worse. OK, take two – we’ll go as we are.

Or not! For some reason SB had decided that he was going to “have teeth ripped out of me” and that he would be in terrible pain. As a total dental wimp myself I could sympathise but we were running short of time, and I knew that it was a check up and no more. But SB was at the point where the terror was about to spill over into a meltdown, and then I knew it would mean a cancelled appointment. He was curled into a ball, rocking and sobbing, and not able to hear what I was saying. The fear had taken over.

So, I did what any parent who has a hidden store of presents would do. I offered him a new Skylander toy if he would get into the car and go into the dentist. Oh yes, I’m smart enough to know that I had to mention that second part. He’s more than sassy enough to call me out on it if I hadn’t and demand the gift as reward for getting into the car. I can hear him now, “you didn’t say anything about getting out of the car Mum.”

Thankfully, the Skylander word was enough to get him to look up. I pressed home my advantage and repeated my offer. He got up, I shoved a tissue at his snotty nose and we high-tailed it out of the house like our backsides were on fire.

Once in the car and moving, the doors lock automatically. If I’ve got that far, I can generally relax a bit.

The dentist is new since SB’s last appointment, and he was AMAZING. I’d managed to scribble a few notes on a scrap of paper and the receptionist took it straight to him. He then came out to speak quietly to me, and said if the surgery was too frightening he would look at SB’s teeth right there in the waiting room. Is it OK to fall a little in love with your dentist at this point? Anyway, SB was OK with going into the surgery, although he still looked haunted. They turned off the lights as he has bad light sensitivity, gave him the big specs to wear, and then the dentist took over, checking all his teeth and explaining as he went along, without ever being condescending. SB began to relax a little, and at the end the dentist patiently suffered a long spiel about Pokemon, which he bore with a smile.

SB will be referred to the orthodontist at the hospital as it’s very likely that he will need some teeth out, and train track braces (uh oh). All his notes including all the information about his autism and how it affects him will also be sent. He reassured SB that he is not allowed to be in pain at any time and that whatever treatment he has in the future they will all ensure to keep him pain free.

This dentist is never allowed to leave our practice!

We headed back home via the local town for a small bag of shopping. It was lunch time and I decided both children deserved a wee treat, so I gave them both chips for lunch.

And yes, the second we were in the door, I found the Skylander. It was worth every penny to keep him calm. Hopefully he won’t need one every visit, but if that is what it takes to have healthy teeth, then so be it.




Stumble, Stanley and the Difficult Day

25 May

This is Stumble:


I had a feeling M was in an anxious mood when she insisted Stumble was accompanying her to school on Friday. The anxiety was due to the impending visit to the dentist later that morning. Obviously I had given M and her brother as much information as I could, but as I’ve never had “fissure sealants” and had only heard of them a few weeks before when the appointment had been made, my information was fairly scanty. All I could promise her is that it wouldn’t hurt – I did at least know that.So Stumble went to school. Luckily school are used to soft toys of all sorts going in for the day so I knew it wouldn’t be an issue.

The dentist is a new one to our practice and extremely young and good-looking. The teen girls think he’s gorgeous – personally I don’t think he looks old enough to be out of school but the entire practice seems to think he’s God’s gift to dentistry so I’m not going to argue. Yet.

I did double-check with the receptionist that Mr Dentist (as I shall call him) had remembered about M being autistic and she assured me he had. Good I thought – he will realise that she will be highly anxious. Er, no. First thing he did was try and over-rule my insistence on coming into the room with her – his argument being that children misbehave with their parents present. I won. M’s anxiety goes off the scale if presented with an unfamiliar situation and I’m not there. Anyway, Mr Dentist is evidently unused to having his authority challenged so he took the very mature route of totally blanking me from then on in. He even went as far as to turn his back on me.

However, back to M. She climbed into the chair and clutched Stumble tightly. The dental assistant was lovely and tried to engage some conversation about Stumble, which elicited one word replies. 

The whole procedure doesn’t take very long. Each of the four back teeth gets “filled in” and then sealed; the idea is to help prevent decay by smoothing out the deep grooves in said teeth. The teeth are done one at a time, and there is a chance to rinse out the mouth after each part of the procedure.

However, Mr Dentist has clearly not had any sort of autism training, as he said “I’m just going to pop this Hoover in your mouth now”. Of course, as soon as he’d said it, it was too late for me to say anything, so I just watched as Stumble nearly got squeezed into two separate pieces, followed a few moments later by M nearly dropping him (presumably in sheer relief) as the Hoover in her mind didn’t appear, and the small sucky machine (as I think of it) cleaned up in her mouth.

When all four teeth were done, M leapt out of the chair and out the door like lightning. I checked she had headed back to B in the waiting area and had a very brief word with Mr Dentist about how he needs to listen to parents like me and if she had a meltdown later in the day it wouldn’t impact on him but it most certainly would on her, and on me. 

I was too angry to list everything he did wrong, but I am going to take some advice from the NAS and make sure the practice is brought sharply up to date with some autism training.

Now where does Stumble come into all this? She turned out to be very useful. I headed back home  with the children to feed them some lunch before taking them back to school for the afternoon session. When I dropped them back off I mentioned to M’s 1 to 1 that the dentist was possibly quite fresh in her mind as she seemed troubled but wouldn’t speak about it.

Then I collected M just over an hour later and headed straight for town with E, M’s oldest sister, as E was heading back to uni for a few days before finishing for the summer. M was already upset about this departure as she adores E and is never fully settled when E is away (believe me this has made for a particularly challenging nine months!). We got halfway and pulled over at a supermarket for E to race in and choose some snacks for the train journey. At this point the dam burst. 

I had heard M chatting away to Stumble in the back seat but as it’s usual for her to natter away non stop a lot of the time I hadn’t given it undue consideration. But she started to sob, huge tears pouring down her cheeks. I pulled her into the front seats and asked what was wrong. “I can’t, I just can’t go any further. Make it stop, make it stop” Those are words guaranteed to wrench at anyone’s heart but what could I do? We had a fairly tight deadline to catch E’s train, and obviously I couldn’t just turn the car around. E came back and tried with me to get M to tell us something that we could use but she kept howling. In the end E rummaged in her backpack and came up with:


This is Stanley Bear – named after the Uncle who gave him to E over 18 years ago. He is very, very special to her. He has been the confidant for all her woes, and probably all her joys too, and he sits quietly on the shelf in her uni bedroom as he is basically a bit frail for everyday cuddles, and after all she is almost 19. She doesn’t lend him out or loan him, and he doesn’t travel unless he is safely at the bottom of her bag. Hand luggage only.

She gave him to M! There and then, in the car, as a promise that she will be back on Wednesday. I raised an eyebrow at her to say “are you sure?” but I knew she was. My girl has a heart as big as a planet.

We managed the remainder of the journey with M curled up as much as a car seat will allow, wrapped in pink cat and small bear. I even persuaded her to leave Stanley bear locked in the car as we sprinted through the station to wave E off (SB doesn’t venture out as I’ve said). 

So, back to Stumble. I moved M’s car seat into the front for the journey home for a wee treat (slow down safely nerds – we don’t have airbags so there is no hidden danger of getting badly hurt in a bump) and Stumble started to tell me all about the dentist. M was translating obviously, I’m not delusional. Well no more than usual. Apparently Stumble didn’t like the lights at the dentists (no surprise there) and she did like the pink water for rinsing. But Stumble was “very frightened” when Mr Dentist said he was putting a Hoover in her mouth, she thought all her teeth were going to be sucked out. Stumble thought the dentist was a “very silly man” for frightening her like that, and not telling the truth, and wasn’t frightened the next and subsequent times he said it as it wasn’t a Hoover. I asked what Stumble thought of the taste and it wasn’t very nice but he (dentist) had said it wouldn’t last very long. (Which is better than he said to B when he said specifically two days!!) 

So, bless Stumble for being able to tell me what M couldn’t, And bless Stanley Bear for being there to remind M her sister will be back in a couple of days. And clever clever M for finding a way to tell me why she is hurting.

She still won’t talk about the dentist. But I think for now we can move on. Before her next check up in 6 months I shall ensure that someone has spoken to Mr Dentist very clearly about what he should and should not say to a person with autism. And we will move on.

Healthy on a Bootstrap

for every body, every mind and every budget - jack monroe

Cat Sebastian

LGBTQ Historical Romance

Tal Bauer Writes

Random musings from a Highland mother

Love Bytes

LGBTQ Book Reviews

UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet

Read it, Write it, Love it

girlwithautismblog's Blog

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Brad Vance Author

bradvanceauthor@gmail.com / www.facebook.com/BradVance.10

Pyjamas and Prosecco

Mum, Wife, Master Juggler..

It Must Be Mum

A Site for Resources and Reflections That May Help Those Navigating Aspects of the World of 'Special Education Needs'

Lane Hayes

Leaning Into Forever

Glass Walls

My FTM Journey

Shoestring Cottage - Frugal Living

shoestringjane@outlook.com. Find me on Twitter and Instagram: @shoestringjane


The random musings of a soldier, father, and husband

Mary's Ménages Reviews & Promos

♂♀♂ Another way to Review Erotic Ménage Romances...

The New Normal

An extreme autism experience

Aspects of Aspergers

perspectives from the spectrum

The House of Elyot

Just another WordPress.com site