Pinky’s First Trip to the Dentist
I have to say that I am very proud of Pinky! She was such a brave little girl when we went to the dentist for the first time last week. When we first brought the idea up to her she was not a happy camper. The more we talked about it and read books about it, the more she became comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist. Similar to how she became interested in using to potty!
Thanks to Elmo and the Big Bad Wolf for helping us prep Pinky for the ride. I was a little nervous myself, about what the verdict would be — how many cavities was she going to have? I felt like we’ve been following all the dental rules but not having the best results. I learned that there were some preventative measures that I was overlooking, for example…
- Diluting her juice
- Brushing her teeth immediately after anything sweet or chewy is consumed, including her gummy vitamins
- Upgrading her to fluoride tooth paste
- Increase her fluoride intake by drinking water that has the right amount of fluoride in it
These are all the things Dr. J told me to start doing, yesterday, to help prevent the cavities from coming through. He also suggested I stop night feeding, yes, she is still breastfeeding!
My biggest concerns were her two front teeth. One had a chip in it, the other had discoloration. I knew the chip was from a fall, but I thought the discoloration meant that it was rotting. Thankfully, it is not rotting, but discoloration usually means that the tooth went through some trauma. So at least I had peace of mind knowing that it was from the same injury.
I learned so much on this visit. I had no idea that the permanent teeth were sitting on top of baby teeth! I must not have been paying much attention during my personal dental visits, but I usually had it pretty easy, until my first cavity at the age of 10 or 12 years old. My Pinky has one cavity that Dr. J is sure will have to be treated, and about 4 others that are forming, but he is hopeful we can save them, if I follow his instruction.
Anyway, staying positive and talking about how proud I am of Pinky…
I was impressed by my daughter’s willingness to follow instruction as well as the staff’s patience during her constipation. You see, she was in the middle of going poopy when they called us in. This is the same reason we missed her initial appointment the week before. Everyone was patient and made sure she was as comfortable as can be.
The Dental Assistant talked me through some basic dental hygiene practices while helping Pinky feel comfortable about the space. She let her explore, color and even brush a dinosaur’s teeth! When it was time for Pinky to get her xrays done and sit in “the chair” she was ready to go!
Scripps Pediatric Dental has all the right tools to make Pinky comfortable. They let her pick out the kind of toothbrush the dental assistant would use to polish her teeth – she chose the cheetah design. They quickly picked up on the fact that she was a Disney fan, she was only wearing her Minnie Mouse shirt, and wanted to Goofy coloring book! Pinky watched a Goofy movie from a screen that was build into the ceiling. She laid back on the chair with her headphones, which also helped drown out the sometimes scary noises.
At the end of her visit, she received a bag full of goodie to take home. Including two tooth brushes, one that lights up and one character brush that she picked out herself – Winnie the Pooh (not a coincidence, if you remember why she was uncomfortable to go into her appointment at first)! She also got princess gloss and her first tube of fluoride tooth paste! Oh, and of course a sticker!
I explained to her what Dr. J suggested…the next day she was already telling Grandma and Auntie, no candy! It’s amazing what our children retain, the things they will accept, especially when we don’t think they are listening.
I think kids do a great job when you prepare them and give the ownership. Even at a young age, they enjoy knowing what their options are and naturally, they love to explore. The office you choose also makes a difference. We chose to go to a pediatric dentist because we figured they would know how to handle a child. It’s their job, and they know it’s a lot more than just caring for their teeth. There are a lot of emotions that are involved, and a child’s first dental visit can make, or break their views for life. I’m so glad we decided to go to Scripps Pediatric, not just because it’s close to Java Mama and Trader Joes, but because I can tell they really care for their patients.
We are so proud of Pinky for surviving her first visit to the dentist. Yay!! Now, let’s prevent those teeth from rotting!!