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Anthony’s Story: How We Helped Our Son’s Dentist Anxiety
Anthony is 9. He hasn’t always had doctor and dentist anxiety until about 3 years ago. He has a very crowded mouth and overbite. One day he came to me saying his tooth hurt and I saw his gums looked angry so I drove him into the Dentist. He hopped up on the table and come to find out the tooth is literally breaking apart and needs to come out due to overcrowding pushing on and destroying the tooth. They sent us home with an Antibiotic and told us to come back in the morning for tooth extraction.
That next morning his cheek was so swollen and that tooth was angry. They gave him novocaine and felt he needed a bit more. Well, let’s just say that tooth had gotten so angry we realized after a blood curling scream that the Novocaine couldn’t make its way past the infection. The tooth was out but he felt that. That was the day he lost trust in Doctors and Dentists and the anxiety over “what if pain” started.
The next month was his flu shot. They announced it was coming like all others in the past he would cringe about only this time he lost it. 3 nurses later, a kick to the Dr’s chest in the struggle and screams that could clear a building we stabbed him and he was vaccinated. Wow! At one point they asked if we should just reschedule but I really felt giving in would not make the ‘next time’ any better. He does not have low pain tolerance, he just has anxiety about the anticipation of pain. Two totally different anxieties. How do We Help Our Son’s Dentist Anxiety?
Over the past year I took a break on Dentist and Doctors and hoped this year would bring an older, changed Anthony. Wrong! This year we started Ortho. He made it through a cleaning, we moved and the Dentist we go to is his Aunt’s office so due to possible embarrassment by his cousins he sucked it up. The referral to the Ortho and the appointment to put on his expander was a whole different story. The 20 minute appointment took 1 hour and 15 minutes. Why?
He refused to lay down. He needed to know the exact plan, touch the device, see the tools they will use, give him a blueprint for this visit, etc. 3 techs later one gal finally did great with him and began asking him questions-like taking the control of asking questions away from him. He began to trust her and it took careful talk but he was finally laying on the chair, hands away from his mouth allowing her to put it in ONLY because he needed her to be precise about her every move. I regretted one thing that day…not charging our Touchpoints!
How Touchpoints reversed his behavior
In NYC this summer I met with the Touchpoints crew and was sent a pair of Touchpoints to try. This was my piece of heaven coming to the rescue. I knew right away this could help Anthony with his dentist anxiety as well as at the Doctors office. Only what I soon realized is it did so much more.
Touchpoints are best explained in the video below:
For Anthony’s follow up visit we had to turn his expander and then after watching them turn we were instructed to do so at home nightly for 21 nights. He was a champ. With Touchpoints charged I sat in the car a moment to get him into the right mindset. He had Touchpoints in his pocket and we practiced some self-talk. I also had a toy prize for him he got to see IF he could make it through. There was no pain involved with this follow up but his anxieties started anyways the night before. The office was almost in tiptoe mode with him yet played it well. I could sense they had that same bit of anxiety I was also having about ‘what if he..”.
He asked if he could ask 1 question-“what will this feel like?” The Orthodontit who came to him first tickled his nose and said “like that”. Then the cutest thing happened…he said “OK!” and lay down. Only his ‘OK’ was a high-pitched squeal, hence his nerves totally showing in his attempt to be cool. He allowed her to show me the turn and expressed he felt it a little but “it feels fine”. We turn it every night without struggle at home. Thank you, Touchpoints!
The funny thing! Anthony recently came to me an said, “Mom, Can I have my Touchpoints to help me fall asleep faster?” Why not! The next morning he told me…”all I could focus on was the Touchpoints, Mom and I fell asleep so much faster”. Honestly my thought was , “really?!” Could it be mind over matter? Every night since if he is still awake after so much time he asks for them. It isn’t every night but when he needs them he knows it and he really is asleep in no time! Now for the stressful video game play he expresses! Touchpoints, can you calm him down with his game play frustrations? There is no doubt these will battle that aggression too!
If this story resonates with you, I cannot stress the benefit of Touchpoints enough! From anxieties to sleep and anger it is definitely on for our parenting tool belt that can d wonders for anyone at any age.