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A dentist visit to be proud of

I should have written this before bedtime. The 45 minutes of crying kind of killed the excitement but I'll try to bring it back. :)

I've been looking forward to Raya's next dental cleaning with equal parts anticipation & dread. Her teeth have always been surprisingly perfect, even when she was vomiting bile every day. Brushing has always been really difficult for us to pull off because of her history of oral aversions & the fear of having me put anything in her mouth (thank you, NG tube...). With all the other "battles" we've had to fight with her since she started growing teeth, brushing teeth was not the highest priority on the list. We were much more concerned (and rightfully so) with getting her to be okay with having food in her mouth and nobody involved with her care had any desire to screw that up by having us force her toothbrush into her mouth. Within the past month, she's gotten MUCH more accepting of having me help her brush her teeth. Before that, the best we could do was for her to sit on the counter and brush her own teeth while I brushed mine so she could mimic what I was doing. I thought she did a pretty darn good job for a 2 or 3 year old. Then it got to where I could get her to let me have a turn brushing her teeth after she had brushed them. Now we're to the point where we either do that, or else I can just brush them myself. It's tricky because parts of her mouth are pretty sensitive still. (that was a long way of saying that her teeth have not been brushed as much as they should) In spite of the lack of brushing, her teeth were still looking awesome.

On top of the lack of brushing, she has not been able to breathe through her nose at all for at least 3 weeks, probably more, so she's mouth breathing. On top of that, she's no longer eating anything by mouth, which helps to keep the teeth clean. Even before when she wasn't eating much of anything, she was eating ice and that helped clean her teeth when she wouldn't let us brush them at all but now she won't really even eat ice. On top of THAT, her reflux has been worse in the last couple of months than it's been since she was a baby. Add all that together and you get a 3 year old with horribly cruddy looking, stained teeth. There was no decay at all (thank goodness) but TONS of staining. I was actually embarrassed going into the appointment because I should be able to keep her teeth from getting like that. Thankfully, the people we worked with today were MUCH nicer to me about it than the hygienist that cleaned her teeth at her first appointment.

Raya was the last one to get her teeth cleaned. She watched Kaida get hers done and by the time Kaida was finished, Raya was excited to get a turn. (this is where it pays to have more than one kid!) I went over the changes in her medical history with the hygienist really quickly and Raya climbed up onto the table. She got to wear some snazzy sunglasses to help with the bright light in her eyes. She HATES bright light. She always tells me, "It's too hot!" so the sunglasses were a great idea. Plus it was adorable. This was the first time (in 3 or 4 appointments) where they actually used the spinning brush thingy to clean her teeth. The other times she's gone, they've just brushed her teeth with a toothbrush. She had psyched herself up for it by telling me at least a dozen times today, "I'm a BIG girl! I'm TOUGH!" so she was ready for it.
She did AMAZING. She handled it even better than I expected. The hygienist was amazing too and VERY accommodating of Raya's needs, like using wet gauze to wipe the polish off of her tongue & teeth rather than spraying water in her mouth. She started with the front teeth and worked toward the back so that she could at least get as much staining as possible off of the front ones. Raya did so great though. The hygienist got all the way to her back teeth (she doesn't have all her molars yet) with the brush and on top of that, she was able to use the scraping hook thingy (dental words aren't my forte') to clean more off of the bottom front teeth. That was about all Raya could take before she was done, but she didn't freak out or gag or puke or cry at all. I'm always proud of her when she handles difficult appointments so well, but this was seriously amazing. I never expected to be so proud of a kid just for getting their teeth cleaned but she really worked hard to be okay with everything that the hygienist was doing in her mouth. I think her first feeding therapist would have peed her pants if she'd seen how good Raya did.

The dentist took a good look at her teeth too and said that if they start to get bad again, we could try doing more frequent cleanings to see if that helps. He did a fluoride treatment, which she also handled very well, and then she was ready to get down. The kids all got to put tokens in the prize machines and then we had to go pick up a prescription from the pharmacy and then go to Walmart to pick up some probiotics for her. By the time we got there (3 miles down the road), Raya had unrolled her entire thing of dental floss from the bag they gave her at the dentist's office. It never lasts until we get home. Unrolling dental floss is one of her great joys in life.

I parked the shopping cart & was debating between Florastor and Culturelle, and Raya yelled excitedly, "TUMS! PINK ONES!" (because she will only eat pink ones now) She was GIDDY over the shelves and shelves of Tums.
Funny, cute, and sad all at the same time. She loves her Tums! (but only pink. not sure what I'm going to do with all the purple ones.)

She had been going nonstop all day today and by the time we got home, she was beyond tired. She said she wanted to have chocolate formula for dinner but then never came to the table so she missed out on that. She wanted a shower but we didn't have time for that so she was unhappy about that. She got upset when I put her in bed because she wanted to sleep in Ashtyn's room. For the next 45 minutes, she cried, screamed at me, and repeated over and over again that she wanted to sleep in Ashtyn's room. She was tethered to the IV pole and plugged into the wall, but she managed to unplug the charger from the feeding pump. Sometimes I even have a hard time getting it unplugged so I was impressed (and scared) by her beastly strength. For part of that time, she was falling asleep sitting up and then she'd jerk awake and start crying about sleeping in Ashtyn's room again. I finally just put her on the couch in the living room and she was asleep within a couple of minutes.
Then she started talking in her sleep later, fell off the couch, cried for a minute or two, and went back to sleep. Hopefully she'll sleep well tonight because I NEED her to go to school tomorrow. I kept her home today because she was up until 10:30 last night and was feeling yucky this morning. I'm SO ready for her to stop being sick and get back on a good sleeping schedule again. Last night she laid on the couch sorting out the cards from the Angry Birds game over and over again before she finally fell asleep with the cards in her hand. I love pictures of her sleeping. :)


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