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First visit to the dentist

I've been discussing and contemplating when to take the little guy to the dentist for the first time. I saw fit to get my own dental needs taken care of so that I could be a good example (I've been burned, and poked, and broken SO many times by so many different dentists... you better believe that this was challenging for me). In any case... he has all his first set of teeth minus those extra molars in now. I'm trying to teach him the importance of dental health and so we brush his teeth every night. Wait... let me rephrase. I have to hold him down and pin back his arms so I can attempt to get the goo out of his teeth with a toothbrush. I would say that this could be traumatic for him but as soon as it's over, he's fine. He is very eager at that point to take his fluoride drops (yum??). At some point it will be time to add the little guy to our dental plan and have a dentist look at his teeth. If I were him.... it would scare the diaper off of me. How am I going to take him to the dentist and not have him hate it more than anything? Am I just projecting my own fears onto him or is it a legitimate thing that children probably don't want some stranger with rubber hands digging in their mouth? What about choosing the right dentist... couldn't this make all the difference in the world??? How did you go about the first dentist visit? Do you have any good recommendations for a children's dentist (especially for toddlers)?


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Well, I think the fears are founded. It is a scary thing for little people to face the rubber-handed, masked man with goggles and machinery to put in your mouth. We have Kaiser, so we go to the dental clinic on NE Grand and their staff is great. The nurse/assistant does a great job easing fears. She showed our then 3-yr old all her tools, gadgets, doo-dads, and gave us toothbrushes, stickers, and toothpaste... all before Dentist Sam came out. It was good to be proactive about the bribing.

When Dentist Sam came, he was totally understanding. He wanted to create a relationship with our girl, not just invade her personal space by intruding into her mouth. He, again, showed us tools, gadgets, and let her touch things like the tip of his pointer, the mouth mirror, etc. We got a flowery bib, which helps distract. And, he had no expectations. He would be happy if she's just open up for about a second. In the end, he ended up just counting her teeth with the little counter, and that already made her totally nervous. I'm sure he spied on the little teeth while he was in there.

Next time, he said, we'll try to clean one or two of those pearly whites. I say, sometime when they're 3 is a good time to go. My aunt, a dentist who's known for her pediatric work, concurs. Three years old.

I knew there was a good reason why the things fall out: cuz the powers that be probably knew that we wouldn't be able to amply take care of our teeth 'til we were about 5-6-7 years old.

It is recommended that you take your child to the dentist after there first birhday. Find a good pediatric dentist. It helps getting your kid use to the idea of going to the dentist, but more important it is for parent education. It also helps to make sure the jaw is developing proper.

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