Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Give Me Your Tips for Taking Kids to the Dentist

I have taken P. to the dentist exactly twice. Once when she was 18 months old because we wanted to get her in early to check for "preemie teeth" and then today.

tips for taking kids to the dentist

Usually the mister takes her. I thought he could give it a go after that 18 month appointment where she sat on my lap and wouldn't let them clean her tiny teeth with anything other than a regular toothbrush. So he did, and of course she was suddenly bold and brave, excited to get a polish. And then later, x-rays when she fell on her face and smashed her front teeth so hard they were nudged out of position.

In fact when the mister takes her, a visit to Dr. Lisa's is so much fun that she gets crabby any time we're going to an appointment that's not with the dentist.

Except, that is, when I take her. Let me clarify: Today's appointment was just a checkup. Nothing new, nothing she hasn't excitedly done every three months for the last year because of her tendency to fall directly on those two front teeth. But the hygienist was surprised enough by her sudden timidity to remark that she seemed more anxious than usual and even asked if she'd had shots or a blood draw recently.

Before you even think it, I should say that I'm not scared of the dentist. I love a good cleaning - heck, fill a cavity if you need to since it means an hour of something a lot like alone time. Dentist appointment? Bring it on.

So I just don't get it. What is it about me that makes the dentist suddenly so much scarier? Am I projecting some sort of anxiety inducing psychic energy? Did I say something weird? (I totally didn't, by the way.) Is it just a mom versus dad thing that I've never heard of before? Why can't a visit to the dentist be fun when I'm around?

What's wrong with meeeeee?


  1. My daughter doesn't want to go to the dentist with me, which is fine with me! She's totally ok with me taking her to both well and sick visits, and she's had flu shots and vaccines and hearing test and everything else they do with me. I'm always afraid she'll puke on the dentist or something.

  2. My girls are often more adventurous and outgoing when they are alone with their dad, so it doesn't surprise me that P reacted so differently today. Has she ever been to one of your appointments with you? I've been to the dentist once or more a month for the last year, because of my braces. My girls almost always go with me, so by the time they got their first cleaning, they had already been there a few times. They love going with me and for their appointments. Obviously you don't go as often as I do, but it might help for her to see you in the chair.

  3. My daughter loves the dentist but not the doctor. And I didn't understand it. yes, the doctor gives shots but the dentist uses all the scary tools. I think I finally figured it out. She associates the dentist with praise and reward. Everyone is always commenting on how pretty her teeth are and what a great job she does brushing and flossing (I do the same at home). Plus they give the best toys and balloons. On the other side, the doctor is where we go when she is sick or something is wrong. Even well visits end with shots. I can see why she gets anxious about the doctor but loves going to the dentist. Since dad doesn't go on appointments, I don't know if she'd be brave with him

  4. I didn't bring my boys till they were about 3 1/2 - that is when our pediatrician recommended they start going. The dentist hasn't really been an issue for either one of them, but I would totally bribe them if need be.

  5. Hahh! Maybe she just likes going with her dad :)

  6. I definitely feel like mine are way more like that with me than with my hubby! Guess it is just the nature of being with mom...I would definitely either return this chore to daddy or see if they will take her back alone next time.-The Dose Girls

  7. Dads seem to have this effect on them. That super hero protective effect. Hey, if Dad is always up for it, don't put yourself through the stress. lol.

  8. I dunno what to tell you, we schedule our yearly cleaning as a family appointment. Ev adores the appointments and always has, but he didn't start going until he was 2. Del was okay with it last time so I'm assuming she'll be fine this time - usually she wants to do everything he does so that helps.

  9. I wish my kids enjoyed going to the dentist, my wife and I have always had a difficulty taking them. My brother although knows of a dentist in Lethbridge who specializes in working with youth. So we are going to try him out, wish us luck.


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