Chloe and I had dentist appointments; she was excited. She likes to go to the dentist. This is her second real visit. She looks forward to dressing up for the occasion, a new toothbrush, a prize from the treasure room and a lunch out with mom. Mommy looks forward to a little date with Chloe too. John will go for a visit to Nanny Granny’s this time but come summer, it will be time to take him for his first “trial visit” when he turns three.
Playing in the waiting room then coloring in the prize room while waiting for me to finish my appointment. What a big girl! I absolutely love our dental office and the amazing staff there!!
Preparing Your Tot for a Successful Dentist Visit
- Trial Visit – I took Chloe to my dentist appointment when she turned three. She sat and read some books while I had my cleaning. She watched and chatted away. After my appointment, they had her sit up in the chair, the dentist came in and talked to her, then they counted her teeth. They praised her for being such a good patient and that was that. This little trial visit served two purposes; the first being that I knew she could sit in a chair and open her mouth when asked so she was ready for her first appointment and secondly, it helped as a little introduction for Chloe but with no pressure. I booked her in for her own appointment shortly after that.
- Talk It Up – How our tots view the events in their little lives is often primarily shaped by our perceptions and the vibes they pick up from us. As parents, our influence is so great that simply by talking about it in a positive, happy way, we can often create excitement and anticipation about an upcoming event.
- Make It Special – There are lots of ways to make it special for our little ones. Chloe was 3 at her first very own visit. We laid out a special (tutu) outfit the night before and planned to go for lunch, just the two of us, right after the appointment.
- Inform Her – Fear of the unknown affects all of us, not just tots. Walk her through what she can expect. Talk about how you will arrive at the dentist, you’ll read books while you wait for your turn, the hygienist will come when it is her turn, she’ll hop up in a big chair etc. Help her to know exactly everything that will go on.
- Research It – this actually goes hand in had with the above point of informing her. Books are amazing, informative and my little ones love them. Heading to the library to check out a book about dentists or a picture book that talks about visiting the dentist. It will help to to really “see” and alleviate any dears or nervousness. I love Usborne books and they actually have a book about going to the dentist. We actually found their collection of first experiences at a thrift store a while back. A wonderful book.
- Reward Her – Many dentists give a little goodie bag with a new toothbrush in it after the appointment. That is exciting for little ones, especially if they get to pick their favorite color or character. Our dentist also has a prize room, which obviously is a huge delight to little ones. If your dentist doesn’t have a prize room, why not tuck a little something in your purse or pocket for her afterwards?
She happily goes in for her cleaning by herself but I snuck in for a picture!
How old were your tots when they first went to the dentist? What was their reaction?