For Bud, success at the dentist is measured in increments, and by that standard today's visit was an outstanding achievement! We first began his Adventures in Dentistry last year. I chose a pediatric dentist carefully, I prepared them with as much information about Bud as I could, and I spent a long time preparing him for what to expect. He spent the first visit in tearful hysterics, but through the mania the dentist got a brief look in his mouth (= success.) Immediately after we left the dentist, Bud was all smiles and was proud to be a dental patient. The stuffed Zoboomafoo waiting in the car also helped etch a positive memory next to the word "dentist" in his mind.
At his visit six months later, he had high anxiety but no tears. He sat on my lap in the dentist's chair and let the hygenist and the dentist count his teeth (= success.) Another triumph, and a lot more pride.
Today, a year older and a year braver, Bud climbed up into the dentist chair all by himself and even delighted in riding it waaaaay up in the air and back down again. No anxiety, no objections. He let the hygenist count his teeth AND - wait for it! - he let her polish one whole tooth with the noisy spinning brush! Major, major victory for our team!
With progress like this, someday we may even floss!