Well, I don't think I'll make mommy of the year but I'm trying to regain some ground. My daughter's first dental cleaning was today. She's nearly 3 1/2. I know bad mommy. But in my defense, I took her in while she was 2 and the dentist told me they didn't start seeing them until 3. Silly me for listening to her instead of doing my research. Luckily we switched to another pediatric dentist due to insurance switch (a blessing in disguise).
So I set up the appointment for the next day. I was heading to a fun play date that a friend of mine organized to fight child hunger, and stashed the cookies to save as a bribing tool when we got to the dentist's office.
I decided to use a pediatric dentist because I know that the dentist has had special training in the best methods of making a child calm without freaking them out so that it sounds like a scene from Horton Hears a Who and they are screaming in the background. Which that movie happens to JaMonkey's favorite right now.
She was actually excited about going. I made it something fun to do for our Mommy and Me afternoon out. Plus I told her there would be a cookie at the end if she was a good girl and actually let the dentist into her mouth.
After an hour of fighting with my insurance company and my husband's HR department I ended up having to pay out of pocket. But we were there, this was HAPPENING TODAY! We went to the back and she climbed into the chair and was ready! Don't mind the bruises all over her legs. I promise we don't beat our child's shins but she is a klutz with low iron like her Mommy.
When the dentist came in and started to move her chair back and then it was all over. The meltdown started and I had to put my camera down and help calm her down. I think the chair gave her the really that she was going to fall off the other side and that's when the panic set in.
While I was sitting with her in the chair we showed her that he wanted to count her teeth, so I started counting out loud and it actually worked to calm her down. We didn't get a full cleaning done but we got a good fluoride brush and he got more acquainted with her so that we could do more the next time we visit.
She got her brave kid sticker and her toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to take home. I wish they still did that with adults. We just get the dentist orders you to floss your teeth. So I was very proud of her for doing much better than I thought she would do. I freak out too when that chair goes that far back and I feel like I'm going to fall headfirst onto the floor.
These are the things that I did to help make JaMonkey's first visit to the Dentist a calm (somewhat) one.
- I started talking about it a few days beforehand. Making it sound like the coolest thing ever!
- I talked to her about the things that the dentist would do like “Tickling your teeth” or “Saying Ahhhhh”
- Showed her pictures of the waiting room, dentist chair, and a child with their mouth open.
- Promised her a special prize if she was good
- During the visit, I made it a game. Counting teeth and watching movies on the ceiling
How was your child's first visit to the dentist? Did you write about it? I'd love to read your story. Leave me a comment with the link so I can check it out!
I am a Showcase blogger for Colgate through the ever so awesome Collective Bias. All opinions are my own and not provided by Colgate.