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Go Ask Mom

Surviving (barely) the first dentist visit

Posted February 10, 2010

Lynda Loveland

A child’s first dental visit can be a scary thing, full of fear and anxiety. So far though, I’m two for two. My four- and six-year-old were champs the first time around. They did everything they were asked. But I was destined not to complete the trifecta.

My youngest, Carys, turns three this month. So I scheduled her first checkup to coincide with my son’s appointment. The thought was he would offer some sibling support. Caiden was up first. He was great. He walked right into the exam room and hopped up into the chair. I was still in the waiting room trying to pry Carys’ fingers from the doorknob.

After finally getting her loose we went to the exam room to watch Caiden. He breezed right through his cleaning and x-rays.

Carys, meantime, stayed just outside the room, chanting, “I don’t want to go to the dentist.” Sometimes it was a bit loud, sometimes under her breath and sometimes in a staccato cadence. “I don’t WANT to GO to the DENTIST”. Everyone in the office knew what was going on.

When Caiden was finished he jumped off the chair and said, “OK cry baby, it’s your turn!” Gee, thanks for the help big brother.

Carys refused to get in the chair. She ran down the hall, sobbing that she didn’t want to do it. I heard snickers from every room that I passed. Her escape attempt failed and I got her back to the room.

But it wasn’t over.

She wouldn’t sit in the chair by herself, with Caiden or even with me. Tears were rolling down her cheeks as she protested loudly. I thought it was over at this point, but somehow I managed to get her on my lap to watch a video of two dogs getting a checkup.

That calmed her down enough to allow Paula to brush her teeth a little and paint on a fluoride treatment. She was sitting straight up, stiff as a board the whole time. By the time we left, the other patients were begging for the drill.

Look for Lynda, former WRAL-TV anchor and half of the Bill and Lynda morning show on Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM, here on Go Ask Mom every Thursday.



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  • 3boysandme Feb 18, 2010

    My 2 year old has his first visit (with big brother) on 4/6. I'm not looking forward to it. It's one of those "firsts" that we moms could do without.

  • luvcanes Feb 11, 2010

    I'm a 34 year old mother of two and I can honestly say...I hat e the dentist and totally understand how your daughter feels :)

  • jayers Feb 11, 2010

    My daughter had the best experience ever. I had two other kids with me so i couldn't go back, she told the assistant "my mommy can't come with me" and she walked to the back all by herself. She still loves going to the dentist, i have a hard time getting my kids to leave.

  • thefensk Feb 11, 2010

    I had a deep cleaning once which was quite unpleasant but there was a kid in the next room on his first visit. Listening to that experience totally took my mind off my own troubles so I totally understand your last sentence.

  • diveyrround Feb 11, 2010

    I love it Lynda! I took my 3 yr old to the pediatric dentist as well a few mos ago, and even though we read Dora Goes to the Dentist 100 times to prep her, she walked in fine, sat down, then all heck broke out from there. It took about 30 min of bribery to finally let Jasmine clean her teeth. It's always great when the "other mom's" just look. But our kids finally gave in and that's what counts! good job mom, love your blogs!