Friday, September 11, 2009

The Boo's New Smile

Not too long after the first teeth started sprouting in Benjamin's mouth last year, we noticed that the two front ones seemed a little... odd. Rather than smooth chiclets, they resembled curved crescents. When I pointed this out to Boo's pediatrician, she said that it might have something to do with his blood disorder and instructed me to take him to a pediatric dentist. After a cursory look inside his mouth, the dentist told me Benjamin's teeth were "normal," said there was no such correlation between Benjamin's blood condition and the state of his teeth, and sent us on our way. Within months, the chipping had become much more pronounced, and I decided it was time for a second opinion. Enter the wonderful Dr. Walden Yu, referred to us by a neighbor.
Dr. Yu examined the Boo's tiny mouth and informed us that his two front teeth weren't just chipped; they had cavities. Cavities!! He went on to confirm what our pediatrician had suspected all those months ago: that Benjamin's dental woes were, indeed, related to his spherocytosis. In a nutshell, kids who don't get enough oxygen often form imperfect enamel. After silently cursing Vince's genes, I scheduled an appointment to come back in two weeks and have the cavities filled.
Vince took the morning off of work to accompany us to the dentist. He was there not only for moral support, but also to help hold the Boo down so Dr. Yu could work on those two teeth. Luckily, there were DVD players installed above each chair to help distract his little patients. I selected "Beauty and the Beast" for Benjamin to watch and prayed that he wouldn't been too freaked out.

He was. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre could have been playing for all the good that DVD player did. I guess nothing can distract a toddler from the fact that he is being held against his will while someone is drilling inside of his mouth. As you can see in the video, Benjamin had gotten so worked up that he'd managed to kick off one shoe and one sock during the procedure. The other thing you can see is that Vince was smiling. I know that he hates musicals, so that leaves just one conclusion: I married a sadist.

Half an hour of drilling and filling later, Benjamin emerged plus two perfect front teeth and minus one pint of sweat. You can't tell from the picture, but there was a dinner plate-sized wet mark on the front of Vince's shirt where Benjamin's head had been restrained- er, resting comfortably during the procedure.

I have to admit that we were pretty shocked by the cosmetic change in Benjamin's smile. We'd grown to love his crooked little crescent-shaped teeth, and it was odd to see them replaced by perfect pearly whites. Then again, we do live in Los Angeles, home of Hollywood and Dr. 90210. So, as they say, when in Rome...
But I draw the line at Botox. No Botox for Benjamin - at least not until he's ten.

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