Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dentist Appointment Disaster

He recovered from the trauma pretty quickly.
We took Sprout to the dentist today, intending to do the basic checkup & brushing. It didn't go well. He started to get worried as soon as we went in the door to the back from the waiting room. Possibly remembering the last time he went in to see the dentist a year ago, when he'd fallen on his mouth & we were worried it would affect his front teeth. Luckily, there was no permanent damage to his teeth, but I'm afraid visiting the dentist for the first time when his mouth was in pain set him up to be wary of dentists.

He started to cry when we asked him to sit on the big chair by himself & wouldn't lie back even on me. The dentist tried to see in his mouth but wasn't really able to get a good look at all because Sprout got so upset. We went in to watch Papa's checkup & cleaning next. Sprout sat on my lap & watched raptly as the dentist & hygienist checked, X-rayed & cleaned Papa's teeth. He was quite relaxed after seeing it all. I am kicking myself for not scheduling Oliver to go first, then Sprout.

I know some kids might get more anxious seeing all the scaling, polishing, the bright lights, paper masks & strange sounding machines before their appointment. But for Sprout, I think it's better if he can spend some time getting used to where he is & seeing what's going to happen, he'd be better off. When we try again in six months, I'll be sure to do it in reverse.

Have you ever had a terrible experience bringing your toddler to the dentist? Got any tips that might help next time?

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  1. FWIW, we have started out by taking Em just to see a hygienist at a clinic where she's also had vaccines and well baby checkups. So it wasn't so unfamiliar and scary, and more like a regular doctor's office. It also helps, I think, that the hygienist LOVES little kids and she is really good at connecting with them, rather than chatting with me!

    1. The dental clinic we went to is part of the medical clinic that we go to, it's just upstairs. Sprout doesn't mind being in the waiting room & doesn't have any fears of the doctors or nurses we've seen there. Just the dentist & hygienists. The hygienist & dentist weren't particularly bad with him, but they didn't really do anything special to get him used to the whole idea. Maybe next time I'll ask when I make the appointment if there's someone who's particularly good with little kids...

  2. We didn't take Megan until she was 3.5 years old and that was a simple "count the teeth, ride in the chair, get a toy and toothbrush" appointment. A year later we took her again and I was surprised that the hygienist did the full meal deal - polish, fluoride, brushing. No scaling of course:) We will probably not take Emily until she's at least three because I think we might have disaster trying any earlier, and we have no real dental concerns (yet)!!

  3. Wee Guy, or my little shadow as he was then, came with me to all my dental appointments so he got to watch first-hand and was even invited to take a closer look at times. I'm sure this, and choosing a really good paediatric dental group, have helped.
    Start them young!

  4. I'm taking my son into our dentist in Oakville this coming week. I sure hope that he recovers as quickly as your son did. Thanks for sharing!


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