I took her to the dentist last Saturday and we were advised to extract both lower central incisors to make way for the permanent ones. Yiu Yiu was extremely nervous about it and she kept saying that she didn’t want to pull out her teeth, that she wanted to let them fall off on their own. The dentist and I reasoned with her that the teeth needed to be extracted so that her permanent teeth will have space to grow – otherwise she would end up with uneven teeth, so she reluctantly agreed.
The dentist explained the procedure to her and informed her she’ll be injecting some medicine into her gums and we assured her that it would not cause too much pain – just like an ant bite. However, when the needle was inserted into her gum, she cried out really loud. It must have hurt a lot, so not merely an ant bite :-(
She was still crying after the injection so the dentist tried to calm her down and asked her to choose a gift from her treasure box. We needed to wait a couple of minutes anyway, for the anaesthetic to work before jabbing in twice more. The pain must have subsided by then as she was back to her usual chirpy self. When it was time for the second and third jab, the dentist assured her that her gum had gone to sleep and she would not feel any pain and the two jabs went in smoothly. She didn’t like the taste of the anaesthetic in her mouth though, complaining that it was salty and had to keep rinsing her mouth.
She asked what the dentist would do next, and when told that it was time to extract her teeth, she got really terrified – kept saying that she didn’t want to do it, and even said that she’d prefer that I pull her teeth out with a string, coz I related to her how her kindy friend got his loose tooth pulled out. It took some time to calm her down, and I was also getting anxious as I was worried that the numbness would wear off. I think what did the trick was that we told her if she didn’t pull them out then, we would have to make another trip and she had to go through another round of painful injection!
Very reluctantly she leaned back against the chair. We asked her to close her eyes but she insisted on seeing the tool that the dentist was holding. I guess she needed to anticipate what exactly would happen next so the dentist obliged and showed her the flat spatula-like tool that she would use to loosen her teeth, and she cringed slightly during the procedure. She was on the verge of crying again when shown the dental forcep that would be used to extract the teeth and we reassured her that she would not feel any pain. She groaned a bit during the extraction, and after that, commented that it was painful but I’m guessing she just felt the tugging action rather than real pain.
The anaesthetic injection, and extraction
Look at her solemn and pitiful face. Can you spot the teary eye as well?
The dentist placed the teeth in a bag for her, and asked her to put them under her pillow for the tooth fairy. I chipped in and said, “The tooth fairy with exchange the teeth with a gift for you.” She threw me an incredulous look and said, “But I thought you said there’s no such thing as fairies in this world.” Ooppss!
(She watches this movie and asked me before if fairies were real and I told her NO)
So that’s how my firstborn lost her first milk teeth. The experience must have been quite distressing for her! I hope it didn't scare her off too much to the extent she develops a phobia of visiting dentists in the future, coz she has always been a good patient. Read about her previous encounters here, here and here.