One Day at a Time. How ’bout Today?


MOM! My mother’s birthday is Feb 16 (next week!), so to celebrate – and because she happens to enjoy my blog posts, I aim to post a blog every day from now through her birthday. So get ready :)

Good news? I have PLENTY of material, since I haven’t posted since 2018! And so, I’m starting backwards to get all caught up.

Today started out simple enough. We had scheduled a dentist appointment for both girls 6 months ago, which was to be Ella’s first ever! Both were excited, and Zoe, who has been to the dentist a few times already, is a tremendous patient.

After a brief and uneventful cleaning for them both, Zoe’s hygienist said the dentist was going to take a look at her x-rays from last time, at a “spot” they were watching. So thorough, I thought, but she’d had no pain or anything so that’s as far as I got.

Turns out just this past week a friend’s daughter tried to go to the dentist to take care of 6 (yes, six) cavities and was just too scared to even take care of a few of them. Understandable. They’re trying again, but I thought “wow, that’s a lot of cavities” and of course was sure that my Zoe, who brushes her teeth pretty consistently (and proudly) twice a day was safe.

And so, after x-rays on both sides to “re-check” those tiny “spots”, I was shocked to hear that she had two CLEAR cavities between her upper teeth and two more “spots” on the teeth right beside them! What the what?! Worse still, the spots had grown shockingly fast, so they wanted to fill them quickly.

Our dentist office is a husband and wife duo (both dentists who work side-by-side, wow!), and the wife instantly started looking at options for times, none which were going to be convenient. Then the husband said, “Or I can actually do them right now? My next appointment cancelled.”

As a parent you never know if your choice is the right one, but you sure are confronted with plenty of them to learn from – and most of them don’t offer a lot of lead time to weigh your options. The following thoughts raced through my head:

  1. If we act NOW, she won’t have time to think about it or ask her friends at school.
  2. These are “baby teeth” (which will fall out anyway), do they really need to be fixed immediately or is that what every dentist says?
  3. The wife has a kinder bedside manner. Should we wait and book with her?
  4. Every option she just gave is at 11 am, which means time out of school for Zoe AND we have to arrange work schedules to take her.
  5. OMG, how much is 4 (is it FOUR or 2 plus 2 “spots”?!) fillings going to COST?!

All concerns aside, I went back to #1. I could only imagine her classmates telling her how “fun” filling a cavity was going to be – or worse, her asking us and having to explain it… And so, after a quick gut check with Bart, the FILLING began!

Not to spoil the surprise, but Zoe was AMAZING. My opinion of the not-quite-as-awesome bedside manner of the husband dentist changed almost immediately, as he kindly (and in code!) explained to Zoe what was going to happen (below from the dentist’s perspective):

  • First, I put some gel on your teeth, then I have to squirt some liquid in there that will put your teeth to sleep. [CODE FOR: you’re about to get a shot]
  • I’m going to shake your cheek then count to 7 [CODE FOR: that’s to distract you from the shot part]
  • Then I’ll put this blue raincoat in there [CODE FOR: wildly uncomfortable latex dental dam] to keep anything from getting in your mouth while I work.
  • I’ll need to clean out the spot where the cavity is [CODE FOR: we’re going to drill a bigger hole] then I’ll put some Play-Doh like stuff in the hole [CODE FOR: the filling] and we’ll wait a few minutes and be done!

The most INCREDIBLE part to watch was the hygienist and dentist passing that huge syringe BEHIND HER HEAD. She never even saw it. I must take some credit here, since as I watched them, I suggested she close her eyes and relax (which seriously, was not needed – they were terrific). Then I braced for the pain / shock of that shot. NADA.

I will also take credit for taking pictures, so she could SEE later what it looked like to have a “raincoat” on, what a cavity was, and what the filling tool looked like. I even took a video of her trying to talk through that raincoat, numbed up and wondering what she sounded like.

I am in awe of our daughter. She never even flinched. She smiled, was curious, was playful and simply amazing.

And so, you can thank us BOTH for these:


And THIS is what a cavity looks like -check out the brown spot:


And if you want to know what a numbed-up, dental-dammed, amazing 8-year-old sounds like, check out this video:


Sorry, Mom, that the first of your GIFT POSTS is about a cavity, but I think you’re probably feeling PRETTY PROUD of your granddaughter right about now. She clearly takes after her grandmother.

3 thoughts on “One Day at a Time. How ’bout Today?

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