I am officially no longer negligent with regard to my child's dental care. We went yesterday, Elise was a reluctant star, and all is right with the world.
Those bottom front big-kid teeth are pushing right up through, and I expect that the Tooth Fairy is going to be very busy very soon. The surprise of the day was that her top front teeth are on the way in as well. If she still has her baby teeth up there by Halloween I will be surprised. Wow!
In spite of the fact that Elise is a better tooth grower than I was, her jaw is small and the good doctor (who wears a hat with Bugs Bunny on it, given his name and all) quietly mentioned early orthodontia. As some of my faithful readers are aware, Elise still sucks her thumb in times of stress and when she's falling asleep. Dr. Rabitz gave her a very serious talk about stopping. As in, "I want you to go home and tonight, do not suck your thumb. Not even a little bit. And if you can do that, you can have TWO prizes the next time you come here." Ever the negotiator, Elise said she could probably do that for one night for a prize, but that's about it. The good doctor clarified his position by saying, "No-do not suck your thumb again at all."
From there, Elise got very quiet and a bit squirrely. She does this when she's upset and doesn't know what to do about it. We talked about the thumb issue when we got out to the parking lot, and reached the understanding that "no more, not ever" sounded pretty scary but that she will try her very best to see just how little thumb-sucking she can do. According to her teachers, she talked about thumb sucking quite a lot at school and attempted to do her rest time without it. As of this writing, I've heard her stir in her bed some but it hasn't been followed by the usual slurping sounds. Hooray! I hope it sticks.
Other bonuses from the day were that Elise got her very own new toothbrush to bring home (Spongebob Squarepants), a prize (a miniature butterfly shaped slinky), her picture on the "no cavities" wall, and her name in a drawing for a new bike (open to anyone who has a cavity-free checkup.)
The staff did a great job of explaining everything they were going to do before they did it, and it was amazing to watch the play of emotions across Elise's face. When we came to the parts that scared her most, I thought she was going to cut and run, or at the very least shriek like a mortally wounded banshee. But she didn't. In all of the worry about the thumb-sucking, we didn't really get a chance to celebrate the fact that she lived through something that has terrified her since she first heard the word "dentist." What a brave kid. We are so proud of her!
Finally, you will all be pleased to note that Dr. Rabitz informed me that our precious bodily fluids have remained unsullied since our move to San Jose. That's right, we're part of that lucky 30% of California WITHOUT FLUORIDE IN THE WATER. So now we don't have to wait for it to rain so that we can have drinking water, and we can stop giving Elise that grain alcohol at bedtime. (We saw Dr. Strangelove on TV Monday night.) Good grief. On the plus side, we are now the proud posessors of a year's supply of fluoride tablets.
Feel free to offer congratulations to our big kid in the comments. :) And stay tuned for news on this very, very wiggly tooth!