The Scary Dentist in the eyes of a Four Year Old

I don’t think anyone likes to go to the dentist especially in a foreign country where the dentist most likely won’t speak English and the patient is only four years old.  My little man Ethan has a pretty good cavity here…The first trip to the dentist goes like this….While waiting to see the dentist Ethan sees this “scary” video playing on the large wide-screen T.V. while I’m filling out paperwork so he’s already freaked out before seeing the dentist.

Then he sees these “scary” posters on the wall of the dentist’s room and now thinks the dentist is going to put a screw in his tooth where the cavity is. 

Next the chinese dentist makes an appearance with a mask over her face so all you can see are her eyes and that’s “scary” to Ethan too.  It takes me the next 15 minutes to calm Ethan down enough to just have her look into his mouth.  She doesn’t speak any English so someone comes into the room to tell me that Ethan will need to take some medicine for the next 3 days and then if he’s brave enough to come back she will fix the cavity.  I ask what medicine they are suggesting as Ethan tells me he will never be brave enough to come back to the dentist.  The assistant then comes back in the room with a piece of paper scribbled “penicillin” and when I ask advice for preventing more cavities she shows me this….

I know I will never get Ethan back into that dentist office so I continue shopping around for another dentist.  I call the Western Doctor and ask about the penicillin and take Ethan in to show him his tooth and he says Ethan doesn’t need penicillin “surprise, surprise” and calls some dentists for me to find out the best way to proceed with a tramatized four year old who needs a cavity filled.  He was told everything from covering up the cavity with a chemical that will harden until his baby tooth comes out to flying to Beijing to have a Pediatric Dentist work on it.  In the end he gives me a list of local Dentists that will work with foreigners.

I find out from my neighbor there is a new dentist at the Global Doctor who she thinks is great so I call and make an appointment for Ethan right away.  This dentist and the staff all speak English so we are off to a good start.  It takes me another 15 minutes to calm Ethan down so I can show her his tooth.  He’s threatning me that he wants to live with another family and he’s never going to talk to me again because I’m the only one who is making him go to the “mean” dentist but somehow I hold him down long enough for the dentist to clean his tooth and fill the cavity and it’s finally over.

He’s much happier now and has decided he loves me again.

A week later I find another cavity in his mouth and I can’t believe my luck that I get to do this all over again.  The joys of Motherhood.

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2 Comments on “The Scary Dentist in the eyes of a Four Year Old”

  1. Poor little guy…I would have been traumatized too! Those teeth pictures would have put me over the edge.

    So sorry you have to do it again. 😦

  2. Robin says:

    ugh!!!!!! no more sugar for that guy! 🙂 I am so sorry for you both. Way to much stress.


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