I took Sheridan to the dentist today. Not one of my more favorite places to go or things to do with her. Remember last time I took her? She said the "F" word. And it's not as if I didn't have a bevy of other things to take care of before school ends on Friday and the girls are off on winter break for the next three weeks.
Why did I have to rush Sheridan to the dentist today you ask? Because her thumb sucking finally got the best of her and she has seriously inflamed and infected gums.
She's been complaining about her gums for the last week, hymning and hawing that it hurt when we brushed her teeth, ate any dinner, or had to make her bed... though that's her usual demeanor these days so we didn't think anything of it. That is, until I took another close look at her gums yesterday and wondered if maybe there was food stuck somewhere. I attempted to floss her teeth, but when she threw the Oscar Award winning temper tantrum I decided to call in the professionals and let them do what they do best. Scare little children.
Our appointment with the pediatric dentist today went rather well, and more importantly, rather quick. He took one look at her gums and asked me if she sucks her thumb. Well duh? Did you not notice the thumb in her mouth when she walked in... or the wet, shriveled, indent mark in her left thumb that will forever be there because goodness knows she doesn't take that thumb out of her mouth except to eat, talk, or hit her sister. He then told me that we also need to make sure she doesn't put other stuff in her mouth too ~ a feat that I've been working on for the past 3 years that in theory would be a fabulous idea, however in reality it's entirely unrealistic.
In the 10 minutes or so we were there, he diagnosed her infected gums, gave us 2 different medicines, and then proceeded to instruct me on the next procedure we're going to do - install the anti thumb sucking device... on January 13th. As 3 separate pediatric dentists, 3 pediatricians, and an ER physician have told me, we need to get her to stop sucking her thumb by the time she turns 4. While we love her little snaggle, half-chipped front tooth, extremely buck teethed smile, we'd prefer to NOT have her teeth resemble the Donkey's in the movie Shrek. If we continue to let her suck her thumb, she's well on her way!
On January 13th, we'll be going back to the dentist for her to get impressions made and to install the rings on the back two teeth. Two days later we'll go back and have the dentist insert the thin wire, and smooth, polished, silver tine device that she'll wear for the next 3-6 months, depending on how stubborn she is... He told me she'll be cranky, lose her appetite, and talk funny for the first week or so. In essence we shouldn't observe much of a difference in her attitude.... By day-10 she should stop putting her thumb in her mouth. Around 3 months we can make the decision as to our next steps. And then we wait...
The cost of all of the procedures? The office visits, impressions, the device, and all materials used on both January 13th and 15th... come up to a whopping total of 4500 Rupees - or approximately $90. Total.
Yeah baby! Let's hear it for Medical Tourism.