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I Took My Daughter to the Dentist and Here’s What Happened

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We’ve all heard the stories of desperate parents preparing for the inevitable meltdown when they walk into the dentist office with their little bundle of joy. Or stories of the little bundle biting the dentist as soon as they get anywhere near their little chompers. It can end up being a legitimate nightmare of tears and screaming — both from the children and the bitten dental professionals.

My youngest daughter just started showing her first teeth, which is when it’s recommended to take your child to the dentist for the first time. My oldest has

SelfishMother.com
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seen our local pediatric dentist since she was about 18 months old — yes, I realize I was a little behind on getting her to the dentist. No reason to harp on that now. Here’s what happened at their very first dental appointments.
Babycakes at 18 months
My oldest daughter had 16 of her baby teeth by the time I got her to the dentist for the first time.

Yes, I felt like shit about it. I don’t need you to beat me up too.

Thankfully, the staff at the dentist office were understanding and didn’t give me a hard time about it. I was fully prepared

SelfishMother.com
3
to get the dressing down of a lifetime, but that didn’t happen.

I had been brushing her teeth to the best my of my ability. But trying to get a squirmy 18-month-old toddler to do anything they don’t want is like walking cats on leashes made of cooked spaghetti.

Her first appointment was surprisingly painless. She didn’t have any cavities, so the staff just cleaned her teeth and scheduled me an appointment for the following year for another cleaning. This was when things got interesting.

Appointment two, at two and a half years old, was that

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meltdown nightmare in spades. She screamed, tried to run out of the office, and even bit one of the nurses so hard that she tore a hole right through her glove.

What went wrong? Was it something I did or was it just the terrible two’s?
Squish at 5 months
Desperate to avoid the mistakes I made with my first child, I had Squish scheduled for her first appointment as soon as her first teeth poked through. Sure, I may have been a little overzealous, but if I could keep my littlest one from biting the nurses, it’d be worth it.

This ended up a bit

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different. Dental chairs aren’t made for infants, so we ended up skipping a lot of the steps we did with my oldest — including the tour of the facility. This time they had me sit in the chair with her in my lap while they did their exam and cleaned her little teeth.

It was quick and painless, and she didn’t even cry while the dentist poked around in her mouth, for which I was grateful.

I brought Hubs and my oldest daughter with us so she could see what was going on as well, in an effort to dispell some of the fear she’d seemed to have

SelfishMother.com
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associated with the dentist. Seeing her little sister go through the same thing without crying or screaming might have had an impact — I’ll know more in a couple of months when we come in for her annual appointment.

Now, I have another year, give or take a few weeks, to wait before her next appointment to see if this super-early first appointment made any difference, but for now, she has healthy teeth.
Lessons Learned
Kids get scared easily, and it might not always make sense to the adults around them. They try their best to understand all the

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strange new things they encounter. The best advice I can offer is patience. If you have someone who can wrangle your kids, let them come with you to a cleaning appointment so they can see what goes on before they have to get into the chair. I did this with my youngest, but if I could go back and change things, I’d happily offer myself up as a guinea pig, so my oldest daughter didn’t feel like she needed to bite a nurse who was simply trying to clean her teeth.
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- 6 May 19

We’ve all heard the stories of desperate parents preparing for the inevitable meltdown when they walk into the dentist office with their little bundle of joy. Or stories of the little bundle biting the dentist as soon as they get anywhere near their little chompers. It can end up being a legitimate nightmare of tears and screaming — both from the children and the bitten dental professionals.

My youngest daughter just started showing her first teeth, which is when it’s recommended to take your child to the dentist for the first time. My oldest has seen our local pediatric dentist since she was about 18 months old — yes, I realize I was a little behind on getting her to the dentist. No reason to harp on that now. Here’s what happened at their very first dental appointments.

Babycakes at 18 months

My oldest daughter had 16 of her baby teeth by the time I got her to the dentist for the first time.

Yes, I felt like shit about it. I don’t need you to beat me up too.

Thankfully, the staff at the dentist office were understanding and didn’t give me a hard time about it. I was fully prepared to get the dressing down of a lifetime, but that didn’t happen.

I had been brushing her teeth to the best my of my ability. But trying to get a squirmy 18-month-old toddler to do anything they don’t want is like walking cats on leashes made of cooked spaghetti.

Her first appointment was surprisingly painless. She didn’t have any cavities, so the staff just cleaned her teeth and scheduled me an appointment for the following year for another cleaning. This was when things got interesting.

Appointment two, at two and a half years old, was that meltdown nightmare in spades. She screamed, tried to run out of the office, and even bit one of the nurses so hard that she tore a hole right through her glove.

What went wrong? Was it something I did or was it just the terrible two’s?

Squish at 5 months

Desperate to avoid the mistakes I made with my first child, I had Squish scheduled for her first appointment as soon as her first teeth poked through. Sure, I may have been a little overzealous, but if I could keep my littlest one from biting the nurses, it’d be worth it.

This ended up a bit different. Dental chairs aren’t made for infants, so we ended up skipping a lot of the steps we did with my oldest — including the tour of the facility. This time they had me sit in the chair with her in my lap while they did their exam and cleaned her little teeth.

It was quick and painless, and she didn’t even cry while the dentist poked around in her mouth, for which I was grateful.

I brought Hubs and my oldest daughter with us so she could see what was going on as well, in an effort to dispell some of the fear she’d seemed to have associated with the dentist. Seeing her little sister go through the same thing without crying or screaming might have had an impact — I’ll know more in a couple of months when we come in for her annual appointment.

Now, I have another year, give or take a few weeks, to wait before her next appointment to see if this super-early first appointment made any difference, but for now, she has healthy teeth.

Lessons Learned

Kids get scared easily, and it might not always make sense to the adults around them. They try their best to understand all the strange new things they encounter. The best advice I can offer is patience. If you have someone who can wrangle your kids, let them come with you to a cleaning appointment so they can see what goes on before they have to get into the chair. I did this with my youngest, but if I could go back and change things, I’d happily offer myself up as a guinea pig, so my oldest daughter didn’t feel like she needed to bite a nurse who was simply trying to clean her teeth.

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