Today’s dentist appointment visit reminded me how far we’ve come along. My daughter’s first dental visit went relatively smoothly, with a little support from me, the dental hygienist was able to clean and polish her teeth at that very first visit. My son, on the other hand, the dentist couldn’t even take a peek in his mouth to simply count his teeth. They were both three years-old at their very first dentist appointment.
When I first wrote this blog, I had mentioned that the first dental visit usually happens at the age of three as this is the time frame that had been recommended to me by our family physician. After reading into this one a little more, I quickly uncovered that the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), among others, recommend a much earlier visit, closer to the age of one or when the first tooth erupts. The CDA’s logo related to children’s first dentist’s visit is “First tooth, First Visit.” Another article from Today’s Parent highlights a story of a parent’s experience with their 3-year old child’s first dental visit. The appointment went well, the child cooperated, but the outcome wasn’t very good: seven cavities! Yikes, maybe I shouldn’t have waited until the age of three! Lucky for my kids, they didn’t have any cavities. Also I’m not so sure how much more succesful I would have been with my son if I brought him at a younger age than three. That being said, I wouldn’t want to dispute what every dental association is suggesting parents should do to keep their children’s teeth healthy.
What’s made a significant difference for both my children was the child friendly setting at our dentist’s office. They have a treasure chest offering kids little toys once they are done with their appointment, and a jar with sugar-free all natural lollipops. The staff is also well accustomed to children wandering their office with plenty of books for them to look through in the waiting room.
In my daughter’s case, she felt more comfortable lying on top of me on the dental chair while her teeth were being cleaned and checked. The same didn’t work for my son the first time around, but by the second time, he lasted a whole ten minutes. Today’s appointment, (third one for my son sixth one for my daughter), was stellar for both of them: teeth cleaned, counted, and polished.
It made the treasures and the Crayola type toothbrushes all the more rewarding for them!