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Surviving (barely) the first dentist visit

Posted February 10, 2010 10:13 p.m. EST

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.