Pen Elaine recently had to have major dental work. She is missing a lot of enamel, and we have been watching one of her molars slowly wear away…truly. So, it was no surprise when the dentist told us that she needed 8 caps – one on each molar, to save them from causing major pain and disappearing before she gets her 12-year replacement molars. (Her dentist is my childhood dentist, so I trusted his judgment, too!) Anyhow, putting 8 caps on a three-year-old means putting them under general anesthesia for the 1.5 hour procedure…which sounded scary to me. However, we prayed for peace and asked our friends to pray for a smooth procedure and God’s protection for our sweet little girl.
That was how we prepared ourselves, but I knew I needed to prepare Pen Elaine somehow. She was not scared about the dentist; we go to this amazing kids’ dentist that was fun and relaxing for her first checkup. We played dentist at home and read the Bernstein Bears’ book about going to the dentist, and she actually had a super time and was excited to go back.
However, I knew this next appointment would be completely different, with a very weird experience of going under and coming out of anesthesia. Well, it was God’s gift of grace that we were reading in one of Pen’s favorite books – Richard Scarry’s Favorite Storybook Ever – and one of the short stories, that I’ve read about a hundred times but had not thought of its application, is about a little bunny getting her tonsils out. The little bunny is taken to the hospital and put to sleep to get her tonsils out! When she wakes up, her tonsils are gone…and then she gets to eat ice cream! Could I have thought of a better way to sell Pen Elaine on the fun of “going to sleep” to get caps put on her teeth? We were able to talk about the upcoming dental procedure in a safe, non-scary way. She would be going to sleep like the little bunny and actually had some fun things to look forward to – meaning that we better have pink ice cream waiting at home when she woke up!
Praise the Lord – the procedure went as quickly and smoothly as possible. Pen woke up quickly, ready to eat lunch and have pink ice cream…mouth full of “bling.”