Despite the fact that Annie has been dentist-obsessed since last year, I hadn’t taken her to see one…ever. I kept meaning to make her an appointment, but I was pregnant, and then James was born, and yadda yadda yadda, she was suddenly four-and-a-half and hadn’t seen a dentist. I finally realized it a couple of weeks ago when I was on my way to see my own dentist for my 400th round of post-hyperemesis work. I made Annie and James an appointment to see a local pediatric dentist when I returned home from seeing my own.
I’ve always been very careful to never talk about my dental problems or anxieties in front of the kids, but Annie still started to get nervous as the day came closer. I read her books about going to the dentist but what really helped was searching the internet for pictures of kids at the dentist. They all looked happy and, as Annie pointed out, “safe.” I wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but was glad she was comforted by the safety of the children in the pictures!
The amazing staff at the dental office put Annie at ease right away…well, them, and the toys that were everywhere. I’m pretty sure Annie and James thought we were in a toy store. Annie is old enough to get x-rays, so she was taken to do that and was thrilled to get “a picture of the inside of my face!”
After that, she was taken back to the exam chair. The hygenist was awesome with her, telling Annie exactly what she was doing every step of the way.
At the end of her cleaning, the staff made a big deal about it being Annie’s first visit, and took her picture with their big toothy croc.
She would have been happy at just that, but then she got to pick out a toothbrush, toothpaste, a toothbrush cover…she said it was like Halloween.
After Annie was done, it was time for James. He’d been waiting long enough.
I didn’t know how the dentist would work with a baby, but they had a system…make the parent hold the baby! Ah, yes.
James…didn’t love it. But luckily at his age, it’s a short visit and really just consisted of the dentist counting his teeth…of which he has a lot! Almost all of his baby teeth are in, with the exception of his molars. No wonder he’s been so crazy lately.
When James’ exam was done, Annie was more than happy to help James, “trick-or-treat” through the toothbrushes and other dental goodies.
It was a great experience for all of us. I’m so thankful for the nice staff, because Annie can’t wait to go back. She’s all about brushing and flossing and even reminds me to brush and floss for James, too. We’ll see if this rekindles Annie’s fascination with all things dental!