I remember asking E’s doctor a while ago when I should be bringing him to the dentist. Her answer was a bit funny, and something like this: “If you ask a dentist, they’ll tell you to bring them by 6 months. If you ask a doctor, they’ll say anywhere between 2 and 3 is fine.”
Considering E didn’t get his first tooth until 14 months, I wasn’t going to bring him on the early side so the dentist could… I don’t even know what they would do. Also considering I HATE the dentist and it gives me major anxiety and heart palpitations, I wasn’t rushing the first visit.
But E did turn 2 recently, and seems to have most of his teeth now, so I figured it was about time. I probably could have put it off another six months, but I was making a bunch of phone calls one day and decided to throw this one in the mix. I was sure that E would cry and cling to me and not let them anywhere near his mouth.
Boy was I wrong.
We did do some preparations ahead of time, which I think helped. We’d been giving him toothbrushes as almost toys to take with him in the car or his crib. So he was already excited about them and used to having them in his mouth. My cousin who has knowledge about this stuff, also suggested he bring his own sunglasses to the appointment. Going one step further, we brought his glasses and his own toothbrush. Both of which definitely helped.
We got there early and E got to hang out a bit and get the feel of the place. He climbed up and down in the chairs in the waiting room, played with a few trucks, and even watched a few seconds of TV. When we were called back he decided sitting in the chair by himself was too scary, but he was okay to sit on my lap in the chair. At which point I tried to keep my breathing steady so he wouldn’t pick up on how nervous just sitting in a dentist chair makes me.
I must have done okay, though, since he was totally relaxed and opened his mouth for them. They counted his teeth, brushed and scraped them, and even put a fluoride treatment on them. And he was happy and agreeable the whole time!
I was so shocked and happy, I decided to take him out for donuts after - that’s how these things work right? I figured it was better than donuts before the dentist…