Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sure, But He's The Cutest Flat-Faced Kid

Little Man had his first dentist appointment on Saturday. This was the cause of much stress for me and I had much vodka, tequila and rum to make sure I could deal with the situation properly. Which of course means that since I'm a responsible parent and never drive drunk, I had to let Little Man drive again, which allowed him to improve his parallel parking skills and deal with his toddler road rage.

I'd chosen a pediatric dentist, because I figured that my toddler and his stranger aversion would have a better shot at not being traumatized for life if it was somewhere with bright colors that is used to having patients wail.

I think I may have posted before that Little Man has a spot on one of his molars that the pediatrician was concerned might be a cavity, plus I read online that you should take your toddler to the dentist as soon as they have more than half of their teeth in. Since Little Man is probably working on getting his adult teeth in at this point, he was highly overdue. Or so the Web claims.

At the dentist's, the appointment started with the hygienist pulling out a large stuffed dragon puppet, who had humongous dentures in his mouth. The hygienist explained to Little Man that Pete the Dragon needed to have his teeth brushed. Little Man nodded gravely, thinking that the fact he could smell Pete's tobacco and human flesh laced breath from across the room, Pete was indeed in serious need of a brushing. Some Listerine might be good too.

And so Little Man brushed Pete the stuffed Dragon's teeth, very well I might add.

Eventually we decided that Pete's enamel had been completely scrubbed off by the super force of Little Man's biceps, and proceeded to the actual exam.

Because Little Man is so young, the dentist didn't want me putting him in the dental chair. Instead, he had me sit kneee to knee with him, straddle Little Man on my lap with him facing me, and then lay his head in the dentist's lap, so that Little Man felt like I was the one holding him the entire appointment.

And then it happened. The dentist spread Little Man's lips apart, and we saw that his top teeth were resting behind his bottom teeth. Try to do it right now, I can wait.

See how hard that is? Yeah, you're not really supposed to be able to do that. If you do, like Little Man does, it means you have a crossbite. Which means that should anyone expose their neck to you, you can totally make some plastic surgeon rich.

The dentist asked me if I'd ever noticed this before. And I felt so stupid, because I hadn't. I was concerned the dentist would think that I was bringing in some random child from the street instead of my own, so I began to rattle all the things that I did know about Little Man. Like the fact that he hates being barefoot in shoes. And that he has a huge crush on Simon Cowell. And that he thinks Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani kick ass.

But the dentist was really obsessive about teeth for some reason. And then he said the following words "see how he's flat faced?"

He's WHAT??? I have to say, I have stared at that child for thousands of hours during the past 20 months. Never, not once, have I ever thought, huh, he looks a little flat faced.

Then the dentist told me that if the cross bite didn't fix itself by the time Little Man was five, he'd need to have, sob, head gear.

My heart stopped. HEADGEAR????

I begged with him. I told him how Little Man had probably inherited my dork gene. And that upping his dorkiness factor by 1,000 percent was just cruel.

The pediatrician reassured me that Little Man would only have to wear the headgear when he gets home from school and sleep with it. Which sounds really comfortable and should convince him that he has been adopted, and his real father is Hannibal Lechter.

Hopefully, if we catch him in a good growth spurt, Little Man will only need to wear it two months to train his top jaw to move in front of the bottom one. Otherwise, it might be up to nine months, which isn't the end of the world.

But Little Man, oblivious to his pending doom was thrilled, because he got to pick a prize out of the gift box and also received a balloon.

Me? I got a bill and got to watch the dentist pick out his next BMW.




Emma in Canada said...

I can do that with my teeth, but it's not normally how I walk around or anything. And I never would have said that Little Man had a flat face.

Anonymous said...

OMG..I hate dentists. They are so rude and act like they are from heaven itself. guh. I love your blog, you're very funny!

Julie said...

Poor Little Man! At least he's only have to wear it at night. He'll still be a stud in preschool - don't worry!

Our dentist said Abby would loose her teeth very late - what does he know - she's got a loose one right now and right on schedule!

Anonymous said...

I took Morgan to a pediatric dentist when she was 13 months old. Had to lay her the same way so the dentist could get a peek in there. TORTURE for my daughter---sheer hell!!

Anyway...that little boy does NOT look flat faced. Seriously??!! What the hell??!! If he does need the headgear, it's good he won't need it all the time. Here's to hoping the issue corrects itself!!


jesse said...

I don't think I've ever heard the term "flat-faced". Anyway I hope his teeth fix themselves. I'll admit I had a headgear in Jr. High-it sucked, but I only had to wear it at night

Beccy said...

Even if his face is flat faced, it's gorgeous!

random_mommy said...

That dentist is just mad he couldn't get into real doctor school. He has made the Buddha very angry. You don't want to make the Buddha angry.

Rachel said...

I don't think he's flat faced!! Also, since he's still growing and so is his mouth, it may end up correcting itself without "upping his dorkiness factor"!!

Funny post though!

villagegirl said...

Hi. I'm delurking. :) I just needed to comment. I had the same thing with my oldest who is now 3 1/2. He had a crossbite as well and it literally corrected itself over night. I was stressed thinking that we'd have gigantic ortho bills and just like that his bite is fine. I have worked in several dental offices (and yes, most dentists are idiots - either them or their meddling wives) and I truly wouldn't worry about it. Kids just keep on changing monthly for a long time.
I enjoy your blog - I'm a Canadian too, so that means we're best friends right? :)