We have been unable to brush off the yellow plaque that had accumulated on Matthew’s teeth along his gum lines for a while now, and finally decided that a visit to the dentist was imperative.
After some research online, I finally settled on GPA Dental, as it has a clinic not far from our home.
Since the Man and I have had such harrowing experiences with dentists throughout our growing up years (oh, the primary school dental nurses) that caused us to be scarred for life, we didn’t really know how to prepare Matthew for his first visit to the dentist. We kept telling him that everything will be fine (while shuddering inwardly and pushing away our own ghosts).
When the Saturday came, I had the honour to bring Matthew alone, since we felt it was best to have 1-on-1 attention rather than drag the whole family around.
The decor of the clinic was warm and inviting; there was a considerably large kids’ area, with colourful floor tiles, low-rise brightly-coloured bookshelves, and many well maintained books. And that was where Matthew planted himself after registering and waiting for our allocated time.
We were early, but in no time at all, the friendly dental surgeon came out and introduced himself as EJ to Matthew. After that, Matthew followed Dr Hwang into the clinic, onto the dental chair with a booster seat, and a screen that was showing Carz.
Matthew supplying a smile while being rather nervous about the whole experience, though he never said a single word.
There were tell-tale signs that Matthew was anxious and uncomfortable; the occasional straightening and stiffening of the legs, and the repeated closure of his mouth against the water sprays and drilling sounds.
Dr Hwang was wonderfully patient with Matthew though, explaining the next piece of equipment he was going to use while bringing the equipment to Matthew’s finger or hand to let him feel it, thereby allaying some of the uncertainties for the young kid. Dr Hwang was also animated with his voice, and kept encouraging Matthew to ‘open his mouth wide like an alligator’. Too bad Matthew has a really small mouth that can never open wide.
See what I mean about Matthew having a really small mouth? I was half afraid the sides of his mouth would tear when the smallest available mouth tray was stuffed into his mouth. This was Matthew having a flouride treatment to strength his teeth.
The clinic manager was also very nice to have taken, and printed a photo of Matthew ‘in action’ to keep as souvenir; Matthew was also awarded a certificate for having successfully gone through his first dental visit, personally signed off by Dr Hwang. Wonderful touches!
Unfortunately, we delayed too long to bring Matthew to a dentist, and he has 2 cavities in his front teeth after proper cleaning revealed them. So we have to bring him back a week later to get the cavities filled up.
Here’s Matthew back at the clinic 1 week later, on 13 October 2012, to get his cavities filled up. Dr Hwang was having a cold, with Matthew being his last patient, and both dentist and patient being visibly tired, the experience was not as wonderful as the first. Matthew refused to keep his mouth wide open, and on 1 or 2 occasions while waiting for the nurse to replenish supplies was evening biting onto Dr Hwang’s finger. Poor guys!
Finishing touches. Applying the curing light to set the fillings. Matthew’s smile is complete.
Now, we await to see when his nicely repaired front teeth will start to wobble and fall off!
In the mean time though,
I LOVE ice cream, do you too?