Mother of the Year confession time: it took me until Luke was 3 years and about 350 days old to take him to the dentist for the first time. At least earlier on, it was just about being busy. Then, once he was diagnosed with autism, I really drug my feet. I figured if we had complete and total meltdowns at the doctor's office, how in the world could we possibly get his teeth cleaned?
Well, between his approaching fourth birthday and my more intense-than-usual mommy guilt, I decided to use the summer to really get on this. I researched area dentists, and an office in Southlake was strongly recommended for all kids, but especially those with ASDs: Dr. Sandra Armstrong. I called to make the appointment. I talked to someone at length - admittedly, choked up - about how I suspected he'd be anxious. They said they'd have him do what every patient does: come back with me, meet everyone, but then, I'd go back in the lobby to wait while they did the x-rays, cleaning, and exam. Riiiiiight, I thought. Y'all just go on thinking you won't need me back there to hold him down, console him, etc. Sure.
So, the morning of his appointment, I was super nervous... but decided to be tough and act like things were no big deal. After all, if I'm cool, calm, and collected, he'll be, too, right?
Here Luke is before the appointment:
We arrived REALLY early, but he played with my phone while we waited. At last, he and I were called back. We met Gammy, the nurse who, they said on the phone "just has a way with the kids and gets them calm after Mommy leaves." Luke was fussy as he went with Gammy... who I feared was about to get judo-chopped and/or karate kicked like crazy. If she was, though, they never told me.
The next ten minutes of waiting in the lobby took FOREVER... I was a nervous wreck! I was listening for murderous screams, fits, etc.
They called me back, and get this: they took his x-rays, examined his teeth, cleaned them, AND did a fluoride treatment. FOR REAL!!! Luke sat with a nurse* and played with a new slinky while the dentist talked me through everything. (MIRACLE OF MIRACLES: NO CAVITIES. Woo hoo!)
*I looked carefully: there was no evidence of massive fit throwing and/or bruises from restraints or anything. Miracle workers, I tell you! Absolutely miraculous!
See look - he really went! Here's proof!
And we were on our way to school no more than thirty minutes later.
I can't say enough of how in awe I am of Dr. Armstrong's office! I strongly recommend them, and hopefully we'll have as event-free of a visit when we're back in February!
Way to go, Luke! You were such a big boy, and Mommy is so proud of you!