Today we decided to spoil the kids and take them to the dentist. It was much like any other Christmas family outing: it was expensive, the children got bored waiting for the main event, and my boy ended up being taken to the car to ‘think about his behaviour’.
My daughter’s typical Prader-Willi tendency to obsess over something and talk about it repetitively has been in overdrive lately. She’s been uttering her daily mantras of “Are my teeth going down?” and “I don’t grind my teeth, do I?” over and over like a buddhist rapper on speed. (For the record, she used to grind her milk teeth when she was little but stopped when she was about six, and has a lovely, non-worn down set of gnashers).
So in a sneaky pre-planned move, I made sure I was seen first today, in order to give my dentist the low-down on what she should and shouldn’t say to my girl.
With my new co-conspirator fully signed up, and my examination over, we called in my daughter for her appointment. And like a seasoned luvvie, my dentist hit her mark and looked her patient straight in the eye. “Well, you’ve been cleaning your teeth really well, they are absolutely fine, there is no evidence of any grinding, and they are not worn down at all!” she told her. “In fact, it wouldn’t matter if you DID grind them, which you DON’T, but if you DID, I would just make you wear a mouthguard at night, which is exactly the same as the retainers you wear anyway,” she added, in an excellent fleshing-out of her role.
I smiled, hoping this expert advice would be useful to me in my attempts to stop my girl’s dental-based perserveration. And we left, after wrestling our boy out of the waiting room, where he’d climbed over the chairs, pinched his sister, and been responsible for mid-to-severe levels of noise nuisance whilst we tried to pay.
Obviously, I didn’t tell my girl that I’d spoken to the dentist behind her back. And there was something else I kept to myself. Which was that the dentist had noted evidence that I was clenching my jaw and possibly...and it pains me to say this...grinding my teeth.
This will never be mentioned in front of her. NEVER, do you understand? Jesus, I’d never hear the last of it. Imagine if after all these years my daughter finally stopped saying: “Do I grind my teeth?” only to change it to: “Do you grind yours?”
Video is The Cure - Grinding Halt