Welcome back to my exciting Two-Part Dental Series…haha! 🙂 Here is Part 1 in case you missed it.
Since one of my goals with this blog is to make your life just a tad easier, I’m including a summary below of our three dental visits along with references to check out prior to the fun dental cleanings. I always find it’s helpful to hear what others have gone through. I hope this serves you well.
THE BIG FIRST DENTAL CLEANING (Daughters’ ages: three and two years old):
1. I called the dentist office about two weeks ahead of time. I asked them these questions:
-What will the experience be like for them?
-Will I be accompanying them?
-Do you have any suggestions on how I can prepare them for the visit?
2. Started talking to the girls in a positive manner about going to the dentist a few days prior to the visit
3. My pediatric dentist has a few pictures of what the office looks like on their website. I showed the girls how cool the office looks.
4. We played dentist together for three days prior to the visit. (THIS WAS HUGE for the first visit….highly recommend doing this!)
-I explained our dining room is the waiting room or lobby. When I call your name that means it’s your appointment time.
-I called my oldest’s name, greeted her like I was the technician, “Hi. How are you? You’ll be sitting right here today.”
-Led her to our Ikea Poang chair (or if you have a recliner or just laying flat on the couch…I tried to find a chair that somewhat resembled a dentist chair that is currently in my house).
-Showed her my dentist tools, which at the time, I had a little dental mirror and I actually used a cuticle filer to pretend it was a scalpel thingy.
-I asked her to open her mouth wide and told her “I’ll now be checking your teeth with my tools”. Basically, I just used the mirror and tapped her teeth a little and moved it around in her mouth all the while telling her that she was doing a great job keeping her mouth open! I should have brought some floss out and practiced that too, but as you can probably guess, I don’t do a good job of flossing, so the thought didn’t even occur to me.
-Said “The dentist is now going to come and look at your teeth.” Left the room and returned as the “dentist” and since our dentist is a man, I talked in a deeper voice and explained that they’ll have a man dentist (kinda like daddy).
-Checked her mouth with the tools again and said “Great. You’re all done.”
-Then I repeated the same process with the youngest. She had been waiting in the “lobby” the whole time.
-After the youngest was done, then I had them repeat the whole thing, except now the roles were reversed, and they each had a turn being the dentist for mommy. (They loved that)
DAY OF VISIT
-Talked positive about the upcoming visit (excited even)
-Since I had already called the dentist office, I knew they’d get a few prizes after they were done. I played this up to them.
-They brought their favorite stuffed animal or blanket with them.
-I let my oldest know that because she’s such a big girl and three years old, they said she can go by herself. She was a little hesitant, but she was up for the challenge.
-I let my youngest know that because she’s not three years old, I’d be with her for her cleaning.
SUMMARY OF FIRST VISIT
It went so good. All the preparation really paid off. (now, the next recaps are not so great)
2nd Dentist Cleaning (Daughters’ ages: four and three years old)
-I didn’t do as much prep work for this one. I told them about a week before the appointment that we’d be going soon, and they were so excited about going back.
-I reenacted the first visit prep work with my youngest, since she was now three and would be able to go back by herself.
SUMMARY OF SECOND VISIT
-Terrible. It was not as fun the second time a year later.
-My oldest was a lot more aware that she didn’t particularly like what they were doing in her mouth.
-My youngest would not go back by herself. Not for a second, and definitely knew this was not her normal day-to-day thing.
3rd DENTIST CLEANING (Daughters’ ages: five and four years old)
-Told them two weeks ahead about their upcoming appointment. Then reminded them at one week, three days, and then each day after that.
-In a panic, purchased Peppa Visits the Dentist book at the school book fair that day. Read book in the parking lot of dentist office. Ha!
-Reminded my youngest that she’s a big girl now and that she’ll be going to her cleaning by herself while Mommy waits in the lobby.
-Let my youngest bring one of her favorite stuffed animals and reminded her that George (Peppa’s little brother) was nervous about the dentist, but that it ended up ok. His dinosaur even got a check up! She liked that part.
SUMMARY OF THIRD VISIT
-Better than the second visit. (progress!)
-Really both kids were rock stars. There was even a dental emergency going on, so our wait was longer. Given the fact this cleaning was scheduled for late in the day and all the sitting around they did, I’m so proud!
Here are some resources for you to keep your internet searching to a minimal:
- Peppa Pig Dentist Trip book
- Peppa Pig Dentist video clip on Nick Jr. (note, this doesn’t go into George being scared…just happy Peppa)
- The Berenstein Bears Visit the Dentist book (a classic!)
- Dora goes to the Doctor/Dora goes to the Dentist book (wow, you get a TWO in one here 🙂
- The Fred Rogers Company website has a parent resource section
- You should check out your local library to see if there are any children books on this topic. It might save you some money!
Well, that’s it. I don’t think I have any other dental advice for you. 🙂 If you have any advice for me or for any other readers, please leave a comment. Have a great week!
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