As you may remember, Claire turned 3-yrs old on November 30th. Well, because she’s automatically covered on our dental insurance policy, and because 3-yrs old is the magical age when both our pediatrician and dentist agreed should be the time to start going to the dentist, I set up an appointment for her with my hygienist and dentist.
Neither my hubby nor I have ever had any cavities (knock brush on wood), so the dentist isn’t a place we fear. Still, a lot of people are afraid of the dentist, and I want Claire to be comfortable going. I figured this is the perfect way to get that ball rolling. It’s never too early to think about good dental hygiene.
I made the mistake of telling Claire about the appointment way in advance, and if the question of the day (…any day. Pick a day.) wasn’t “Is today Monday!? Can I go to school today!?” it was “Can I go to the Dentist!?” Finally, the 18th of December rolled around, and we got to go to the Dentist.
She was beside herself with excitement. I told her about the cool chair that moves up and down and lays back. I told her about the bright lights. I told her how the hygienist would wear a scary mask and weird glasses. I told her how it was okay to be nervous, but that there wasn’t anything to be afraid of. Momma and Daddy actually like going to the Dentist, and so will you!
And she did!
You would have thought Christmas came early. She loved Kate, my hygienist. She was a little weirded-out by the chair, but she got used to it. She wore her pink sunglasses so that the lights weren’t too bright. She even got the hang of how to hold the water in her mouth and then let Mr. Thirsty (the name they gave that sucker-dealie**) suck it out of her mouth.
Even the squirter-dealie** didn’t upset her. “Momma! Kate put a little water-fountain in my mouth!” **I’m pretty sure those are the technical names for those instruments.
I was so impressed!
I mean, we’d scheduled what that office refers to as “A Happy Visit,” and they said they count it as a success if they get the little kid to sit in the chair without crying. It’s considered a good day if they can count her teeth. If they’re lucky, they actually try to clean them.
Claire had such a great time and was so into the whole thing that Kate was able to do a full exam and clean all 20 of her teeth. You see, Claire had been told she could pick out her very own Princess Toothbrush when the exam was done. She sat in that chair like a little baby bird, her mouth wide open.
Claire also got to meet my dentist, Dr. J. She was a bit anxious around him at first, but that’s to be expected. He told her he wanted to look at her teeth, and she said, “That’s okay. Kate already did!” It was all my hygienist could do to not laugh out loud.
It didn’t take Claire long to warm up to the dentist, and he got a good look too.
He told her she had all her baby teeth, and she told him that she didn’t! “They’re not baby teeth. They’re big teeth!”
Thankfully, everything looks great. Claire loves brushing her teeth, so that’s not an issue. The only concern I’d had was about the thumb-sucking. Dr. J confirmed what Dr. B, the pediatrician, had said. Now is the perfect age to get that to stop. If she doesn’t, more of the bone will be moved than what is already happening.
She really took what they both said to heart, and I’ll have to write more about that later, because it’s really quite comical and amazing. So, stay tuned!
After Dr. J looked at her baby big teeth, and the exam was over, he led us to the front of the office to the Treasure Chest. That’s where Claire got to pick out whichever toy she wanted. That’s funny, I’ve been going to that office for what, nine years (!?), and I’ve never gotten to pick out a toy! I feel gypped!
I’ve already scheduled Claire’s six-month cleaning, but I’m not telling her that yet. June is way too far away for me to handle the “Can I go to the Dentist today!?” question.
So, in honor of Claire’s First Dentist Visit, here are some photos of her brushing her teeth. These were actually taken before her first visit, so that’s why you don’t see her New Princess Toothbrush. They were taken the day she turned 3-yrs old! And, ironically, her birthday was one month ago today! So, I’ve thrown in a picture of her that I took today, too.
Click to enlarge.