The Journey to the Dentist
We loaded the car at 11am this morning with my 4-year old and 1-year old (who was already taking a nap when we buckled him in his baby seat.)
This was me and my hubby’s first experience taking my older son, Nigel to the dentist, Dr. Bryan Shanahan. We were careful to book a morning appointment. Beyond that, we did not know what to expect. My baby napping was a good sign; I didn’t have to sit in the back with him, I could give some of my attention to Nigel through the car ride.
Prepare Properly Before Going to the Dentist
I have had my fair share of advice from other parents; how I should have introduced my kid to the dentist way before he started teething.
I ignored them.
I want Nigel to understand a few aspects before going into the dentist’s office. Topics such as, what happens at the appointment, and most importantly, to get familiar with the doctor’s face. At 6 months, he wouldn’t even remember the face. We even played out what might happen at the dentist’s chair so our child knows what he is in for.
Luke, my husband, and I have accepted that there is no other way to learn about being a mom and dad until we go through it. Like I always say, you do you. Here are a couple of things that helped me prepare my child for his very first trip to the dentist.
Luke read somewhere that you shouldn’t use words like needles or pain in front of the kids when they are about to go to the dentist. Even if it is to say, “it doesn’t hurt at all.”
I brought his favourite toy on the trip, ‘Mr. Rawr’ a stuffed tiger, and let him play with it in the back seat. If it brings him comfort and makes him feel brave, why not?
This visit was about examining his teeth and checking if they are developing right. Once we got there the dentist recommended that he get his teeth cleaned and polished. Oh yes, the mother of the year that I am, I do allow my kids to have a moderate amount of sugar, which means dad has a separate quota of snacks he thinks I don’t know about. Luke and I stayed in the room with Nigel in case he felt overwhelmed.
Turns out, there is such a thing as baby bottle tooth decay. Thankfully, Nigel did not have that. The dentist suspected that it was probably the juice that we were giving him for the fruit that he refused to eat. But here is what I didn’t know. It’s really important that kids ingest whole fruits because the fiber helps to clean teeth.
That’s just my experience going to the dentist. Hopefully your experience goes well too!