Updated on November 12, 2015
A Trip to the Dentist
Does anyone actually like going to the dentist? I mean, I don’t mind going to the dentist, but it certainly wouldn’t make my list of favourite things to do. The Heir, on the other hand, might actually like going to the dentist. Seriously. What’s not to like? They’ve got a play area filled with toys, the hygienists wear fun scrubs covered in cartoon characters, there are posters of all The Heir’s favourite superheroes on the walls, and they have a statue of a storm trooper in the exam room. Everything a preschooler needs to feel right at home. Besides, the dentist just takes a quick look and then we are on our way… Except this time that’s not at all how it went down. SURPRISE!! The Heir was in for his very first cleaning at the dentist. Oh boy.
The Canadian Dental Association recommends that children see the dentist by one year of age or within 6 months of their first tooth erupting, whichever comes first. The Heir was 8 months old when he got his first tooth, and although I called to book his first dentist appointment right around his first birthday, he didn’t get in to see the dentist until he was about 14 months old. Oops! That’s likely because I opted to find him a paediatric dentist as opposed to taking him to my dentist. The wait time was a bit longer, but I figured a dentist that specialized in kids’ teeth might be a little more fun for him. At every appointment he’d had before, it was just a basic examination by the dentist. In the early days that was a “pillow exam” where I held him on my lap and laid his head on a pillow. Once he was 2 years old he got to sit up in the big purple dentist chair by himself. But this time… This time it was different.
Unbeknownst to me, once the child is 3 years old they like to “try” to do a full cleaning. You know, one with the high pitched squealing toothbrush, the suction straw, and the water/air sprayer. The dental hygienist told me that she would give it a go and see how many teeth she could polish up without The Heir having a melt down. After a brief negotiation with the hygienist, he agreed to wear the super cool orange sunglasses and she got started. First, she showed him all the tools she was going to use, even letting him feel them on his hand. Once he was okay with all the tools, she proceeded with the cleaning. To my surprise, she was able to polish ALL his teeth without so much as a word of objection from The Heir. She even managed to floss his teeth. Awesome! The dentist came in to do his usual tooth count and check up, and then it was done!
Of course, no trip to the dentist would be complete without a PRIZE! (Maybe I’d like my dentist better if she gave prizes… hmm.) After checking out all his options, The Heir chose a toothbrush, a little blue car, and two stickers. The hygienist sent us home with a whole bunch of floss sticks too.
Has your child had their first cleaning at the dentist yet? How did it go?