23 answers

First Dentist Appt

I'm taking my 2 year old to the dentist for the first time on Wednesday. I'm a nervous wreck! She HATES the doctor and I can't imagine the dentist will be any easier. We are going to a pediatric dentist that comes highly recommended, but I'm still a wreck! I have no idea what to expect. Do they actually do a full cleaning? What happens if she starts freaking out and and screaming and crying? I'm allowed to be in the room with her, but I'm 35 weeks pregnant, so there's only so much I can do. I've heard horror stories about dentists strapping children down to a board with restraints to keep them still. I see this in my nightmares on a nightly basis. Can anyone help to set my mind at ease?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone! We went today and it wasn't nearly as terrible as I thought it would be. He didn't clean her teeth this time since they didn't need it. We chatted a little about switching to a flouride toothpaste and things like that. We go back in 6 months and he's going to try to do a cleaning then.

Featured Answers

Hi S.,
I took my daughter to the dentist for the first time back in the winter. She is a peds dentist as well. I think going to a peds dentist is the best thing because my daughter was very comfortable with her. They didn't clean her teeth that appointment. She sat her in the chair and put the bib on her and asked my daughter if she could see her teeth. I don't know how the doctor did it but my daughter actually thougth it was fun. Before going to the Doctor I told my daughter where we were going and that the doctor would look at her teeth. I told her she would have to hold her mouth open and she couldn't bite the doctor. Just let her know what is going on so that she can feel more comfortable about her appointment. Good luck.

I take my daughter to my dentist; her first visits were with me and watched me get my teeth cleaned. Since sweets and soda weren't an issue the dentist didn't have me have my daughter in for a cleaning until she was 3. I sit on a stool in the corner and "coach" (less now since she's a pro at going to the dentist), the hygnenist has her wear sunglasses to help with the bright light that they use to see. Practice going to the dentist and perhaps read some books about going to the dentist (there are also ones about visiting the doctor).

More Answers

hi S.,

I work with dentists on a daily basis. First, it would have been a great idea to bring your child to the dentist while you or your husband goes, so she can see 1st hand that it isn't a big deal. Also, pediatric dentist are very good with kids. They are more patient- that is what separates them from general dentists. For her 1st appointment, their main goal will to be to make it a positive experience, whether she gets a real cleaning or not. She may jus be getting familiar with the chair, and looking at the instruments this time around. They might just try to get her to open her moth so they can look in, and that be it.

You have no worries about strapping them down or anything horrible like that. I always recommend to patients that they call the office to see if you are allowed to go back with the child. (I wouldn't make he appointment with an office who wouldn't allow me to go back.) Many offices do not allow it because they say that they child will act up when the parent is there- but I think that is some kids. My child was the opposite- so I told the office that as long as I was there- she would do fine. Just talk to them about it, they may bend their usual rules.

Because your child hates the "doctor", make sure you do not call the dentist a "doctor"- her association may make it bad from the beginning. So she will need to be reassured that dentists are gentle, and nice, and fun. So call tehm "Dentist Smith" or whatever- but not "Doctor Smith."

I always recommend getting children books about going to the dentist. I have always gotten books on whatever subject it is that we will be experiencing- and that does the trick for my child.... it just familiarizes them with what to expect. Not knowing what to expect is the worst thing. Your dentist office will have wished you would have called to ask them details rather than to worry.

So call the office and talk to them honestly about your concerns. Just be okay with nothing really getting accomplished on your daughter's teeth, should she be uneasy this time around. The next time will be much easier- afer you praise her for being such a good girl. Also, the dentist will have a "treasure chest" for good patients- and she will love picking out a surprize! You might end up amazed that your daughter may even get a full cleaning on her very first appointment... you never know- keep your cool, so she does the same.

Good luck and call her dentist! God bless!

A.

1 mom found this helpful

First and foremost if they start to strap her down, I would immediately look at them and say "we're done". That would traumatize anyone to never want to go back. I would not allow that and surely they won't do that, I have yet to have anyone say their dentist did that. Second, if they are a ped dentist then they are used to kids freaking out. I guarentee they deal with that day in and day out. Get a chair, sit beside her and if she starts freaking out then you can talk to her while sitting beside her. Third, depending on how the child does will determine how much they do in the first visit. Some only do a "get to know" kind of thing, showing them the chair, instruments, etc. And then if the child agrees to let them do any cleaning they will.

You need to take a deep breath and relax everything will be fine and the more you "freak out" the more your child will.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
I took my daughter to the dentist for the first time back in the winter. She is a peds dentist as well. I think going to a peds dentist is the best thing because my daughter was very comfortable with her. They didn't clean her teeth that appointment. She sat her in the chair and put the bib on her and asked my daughter if she could see her teeth. I don't know how the doctor did it but my daughter actually thougth it was fun. Before going to the Doctor I told my daughter where we were going and that the doctor would look at her teeth. I told her she would have to hold her mouth open and she couldn't bite the doctor. Just let her know what is going on so that she can feel more comfortable about her appointment. Good luck.

I had to take my own son around the same age and they gently talked hum into sitting into the chair. the dentist I went to started by pretending to count his teeth. If your daughter starts to get to upset the dentist should suggest trying again next time that's what mine did. Hope that helps. J. B.

If you have chosen a pediatric dentist you're already one step in the right direction. Make sure you give your child a dose of tylenol an hour before the appointment, and keep a positive attitude. If you do not make the association between doctor and dentist it is likely she won't either. Since you are pregnant and obviously a little freaked out yourself I would recommend taking another adult that she is comfortable with along that can keep you calm and stay in the room with her while they do her X-rays. If you walk in with the attitude that you are in control of the situation and there is nothing to be scared of then she will stay calm until something gives her a reason not to. Discuss with the staff before any procedures are done that you are more concerned with the visit being a positive experience than you are with accomplishing everything the first trip. If your daughter becomes agitated or complains of pain feel free to cut the visit short and reschedule for another day. At that point you can discuss whether it would be better to consider sedating her for future dental work.

I started taking my now 3 yr old to the dentist with me a year and a half ago. The first time he just watched me get my teeth cleaned and then the dentist just looked at his teeth. The second time he let the hygienist do a quick brushing with no paste, just the spinning tool and let the dentist look at his teeth. This last time we just went my little guy says, "Mommy, I think I want to go first." :) He laid there like a big boy all by himself and let the hygienist brush and floss his teeth and then let the dentist take a look too.

Your daughter is going to feed off of your emotions whatever they are about the dentist. I have no fear of the dentist and so my son is also relaxed and comfortable with the dentist. However, my best friend is scared to death of going to the dentist and she can't get her 5 yr old or 3 yr old to even go in the door to the office. Your kids know when you're scared or anxious about something so try to take a deep breath and get excited about going to the dentist.

The other thing we did before going the first time was to borrow some books from the library about going to the dentist and read them. By the time we actually got there my son knew what to expect and was pretty cool about it.

I take my daughter to my dentist; her first visits were with me and watched me get my teeth cleaned. Since sweets and soda weren't an issue the dentist didn't have me have my daughter in for a cleaning until she was 3. I sit on a stool in the corner and "coach" (less now since she's a pro at going to the dentist), the hygnenist has her wear sunglasses to help with the bright light that they use to see. Practice going to the dentist and perhaps read some books about going to the dentist (there are also ones about visiting the doctor).

Hi S.,
If you have a good dentist, you should have no problem. I took my son to the dentist when he was almost 3 and he was terrified. He didn't let the hygientist do anything. So, when the dentist came in he didn't want him to touch him either. The dentist finally got him to open up and he ended up just counting his teeth and making sure they were healthy. He didn't have a cleaning or anything else. When we went back the next time he was not as scared and he let them do the cleaning and exam. They were really good about letting the child's fears take precedence. Yes I was allowed to be in the room, and you should too.
If they try to push the issue with your daughter tell them you just want to try again next time. Good luck.

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