Well friends, that magical time in our lives just recently rolled around. I made the bi-annual trek to the dentist’s office with the twins. To say that the twinnies hate the dentist would be the grossest understatement of the century. I thought we had a chance at a pleasant visit this time. The girls were so enamored with the office fish tank and the buckets of toys. To them this was like Dental Disneyland! They are two though and unfortunately had no clue that the brightly colored games, toys and Disney wall decals were nothing but smoke and mirrors.
Beyond the heavy wooden doors lay their little toddler torture chamber…the Dental Chair.
When the big girls were bitty we didn’t even KNOW the dentist was something that we were supposed to be doing! We thought that we were supposed to start bringing them in when they were around age five or so. No one told us otherwise. We brushed their baby pearlie whites daily and all seemed well in the universe. Then our new dentist tooth-shamed us. He said it was IMPERATIVE that we begin toddler teeth cleaning as soon as possible with the twins.
Damn. I thought to myself as I looked over at my sweet little genetic mutations. There is a ZERO percent chance that trips to the dentist office were going to be anything but bi-annual torture. I just knew it.
The girls did not disappoint.
Dental House of Horrors
At two years old they have been in the dental chair twice now and both times you would have thought that mommy was strapping them into an electric chair. At 20 pounds soaking wet these girls develop superhuman strength at the sight of the dental chair. I could barely even keep a hold of them as the hygienist picked, brushed and flossed their toddler teeth. Legs were flailing, arms were flying, tears were flowing, and I was sweating my ASS off. I was struggling so hard to keep hold of the squalling baby beasts that I nearly slipped right off of the swivel chair.
Are Toddler Dentist Visits Truly Necessary?
The whole process probably takes 5-10 minutes and is pain-free. Really, they are not having anything done to their mouths that we do not do at home. Fear and uncertainty gets the best of them though and they really do go bat-shit crazy at the Dentist’s office. I left this last appointment thinking to myself, What the hell am I even doing? Is this really and truly necessary? I appreciate that dental care is important and good oral habits should really start very early on, but is the trauma that the twins are enduring twice a year doing more harm or good? Can’t we pair it down to once a year? Isn’t there baby Xanax or something that they might be able to give them?!? They are not even out of diapers yet for crying out loud!
The big girls don’t bat an eye when we go to the dentist and they never have. They had no fear of going because we did not start taking them until they were old enough to understand what was happening to them. They were old enough to have some sense of rationalization regarding situations like trips to the dentist. The twins, on the other hand, have no CLUE what is happening to them. They only know that they are being pinned down by strangers under bright lights, while having metal instruments shoved into their mouths.
Ummmmm – that sounds terrifying.
Will My Twins Need Therapy?
I cannot help wondering whether or not these trips to the dentist have scarred them early on and created anxiety that didn’t really ever need to be there in the first place. In my grand attempt to be a BETTER parent and hop on the dental hygiene wagon early on I might have created more problems for the girls emotionally.
Parenting is really a lose-lose game sometimes. No matter how hard you try and get things right, the universe is bound to prove you wrong.
Sorry twinnies. Mommy really DID have your best interests at heart. I promise I will fork up the money for the therapy that you will now require in your young adult years.
Kristin is a regular writer at Suburban Misfit Mom and has been featured on BonBonBreak, Sammiches and PsychMeds, and The Erma Bombeck humorwriters.org site. She is also the satirical, ranty mastermind behind the blog Four Princesses and The Cheese.
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