Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Little Thing

I have the kind of child with whom going to the dentist is just another fun, new experience.  (And she has clean teeth, too.)


  1. Any advice on how to bring that experience about? Our daughter is scheduled for her first visit in a few weeks...

  2. Heike, I think it depends on the child. Sammy likes to know WHY right now, so I explained all about cavities (holes in her teeth) and why we need our teeth, and I told her what the dentist would do. I also told her that it would feel funny and she'd have to sit still, but that there would be fun parts and probably a balloon. She delighted in telling everyone about the whole process both before and after the appointment. She was also more excited about her new toothbrush than she was about the balloon!

    I didn't go overboard on the prep. I think I only told her about it the day before. It helped that this was a 100% pediatric practice and they had TVs on the ceiling playing cartoons! Also, Sammy had gone to another dentist 6 months ago for her first, "get to know you" visit, where all they did was show her the tools and look in her mouth, so she had some idea of what to expect. One other thing I did was to inform the hygienist that Sammy likes to do things on her own, by herself, so that she wouldn't try to physically move Sammy around on the chair or pick her up, as many adults seem to do without even considering that the child is an independent being (which drives me nuts).

    When they scraped her teeth, she said "ow" a couple of times but didn't whine or try to get away, which was amazing. One thing I've thought of after the fact is that I could have prepped her by telling her that it would be a bit like brushing her hair - she'd have to stay still and it might hurt a bit, but only for a second.