On Monday last week my two and four-year old went to the dentist for a regular check up on their pearly whites. It was my two-year old’s first time going and I wasn’t sure how he would act having a stranger in his mouth. The Pediatric dentist office we go to is pretty cute. It has a child size door the kids can enter the office through. The kids love this door!
We also love the giant teeth seats you can see in the picture above. I think the staff does a great job here at making the kids feel comfortable. One of the things I knew that the kid’s dentist would address was the use of my two year old’s pacifier. I knew that if asked, we would be asked to get rid of it. I was sort of dreading it because this has been a source of comfort for my son since I stopped nursing him at about a year of age.
While my four-year old had his first exam “without me” as a big boy, I played with Braidy were JJ could see me if he was unsure of anything the hygienist was doing.
They gave the kids stickers and toys to play with and I watched from afar as JJ got his exam all by himself.
They praised him for being a good brusher and told him he was doing a great job on his teeth and to keep it up. He got through his exam with flying colors and a good grade on his “tooth check up report card”. Only thing noted on his chart was that we needed to brush his tongue more. We’ve never really done that.
Then while someone stayed with JJ, it was Braidy’s turn to have his exam. They took us to a private room for his exam while some dental students watched the procedure. Since Braidy is two and this was his first visit, they had me sit on a bench with Braidy’s legs wrapped around my waist and Braidy’s head laying in the dentists lap while he examined his teeth. The dentist taught me a new way to brush Braidy’s teeth when he’s being difficult and it allows me to get all his teeth. The best way I learned, was to actually do it the way the dentist was doing right then, with Braidy’s head on my lap facing away from me, putting a finger between his cheek and teeth and pulling it open to get all of the teeth and gums. Braidy often fights me during teeth brushing and since we’ve been doing it lying down, Braidy has more patience with it and I can do a better job at brushing them.
Alas, before the exam was over, the dentist brought up what I was dreading. He said, I can see due to the gap in Braidy’s two front teeth and his bite that he has an oral fixation of some kind, does he still use a pacifier or bottle?” I couldn’t get out of it. I said yes, but only while he’s asleep, thinking that would some how give me brownie points. It didn’t. The dentist said now is the time to give it up if you don’t want to worry about an orthodontist. He clued me in on things like the “pacifier fairy” cousin to the tooth fairy 😉 and we waited til a Friday night and decided to have our first go without a pacifier at bed time.
I was mentally preparing for the battle. I quickly remembered the two weeks of torture when we moved Braidy from sleeping with us in bed to the crib at night and when I gave up nursing in the middle of the night. It was hell! Two weeks of midnight screaming and crying!
…but we got through it and I knew we would get through it with the pacifier, but figured it would be another grueling run…mentally. When Braidy has his “paci”, we lay him down in his crib and he goes to sleep instantly on his own. But the first night without a pacifier, completely surprised both my husband and I. While Braidy stood up and begged for it for about ten minutes, he was easily distracted with his big brother trying to make him laugh. On the baby monitor for about 30 minutes we listened to the laughter of both kids as the fell asleep.
(Isn’t that an awesome belly laugh?)
I couldn’t believe what we were hearing. Instead of crying and begging for it, the boys were making farting sounds and laughing until they finally fell asleep. I was so amused and happy he wasn’t crying that I just let them be the “boys” that they are. However, I was certain that the night would be long. That he’d wake up looking for “paci”.
He asked for it at the following day’s nap time, and I said “its lost, I’m sorry”.
He threw a little tantrum but was appeased with a sippy cup of water in his crib instead.
So far we have been without “paci” since last Thursday and it’s been the easiest transition ever! I never thought it would go this well. I had pictured days and days of crying and fussiness. But it really hasn’t been a big deal at all for the little guy and I couldn’t be happier that giving up “paci” wasn’t a traumatizing experience.
Did your little one use a pacifier and what happened when you finally gave it up? Was it an easy experience or hard?
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