Trip to the Dentist

Jess McGlynnJuly 27, 2012

This week we took Meg to the dentist.  To be honest I was dreading it as six months ago she shrieked and cried and clung to my leg the second we stepped into the room…I have no idea why as the last time we’d been with her she would have been too young to remember.

Anyway, determined that this trip would be a success we employed various tactics which I’m going to share with you.  I am in no way claiming to be an expert but something obviously went right as Meg skipped into the room and was first to sit in the chair and let the dentist look in her mouth with no problem whatsoever!

So here you are, top tips for toddlers at the dentist:

Read about it

We used this book as Maisy is a favourite of Meg’s but a quick look on amazon showed me that there are loads of stories about trips to the dentist.  Peppa Pig was a top hit but I bet there are other character books you could use. 
We read this book to Meg at least once a week in the month prior to going and then every day this week to prepare her.
Role play
For Meg it’s important for her to know exactly what will happen so we spent a lot of time playing ‘dentists’…although Meg usually likes to be the person who’s in charge I thought it was important that I played at being the dentist so she could experience sitting still and opening her mouth.  We’re now working on playing ‘doctors’ so that we don’t get hysterics every time the GP comes near her!
Talk about it!

I think this is the most important one for Meg.  Myself and my Other Half spent a lot of time explaining every detail of what would happen…”the dentist is a man” “you’ll sit in his chair” “if you’re good you’ll get a sticker” etc etc – it was pretty monotonous to be honest but I know from past experiences that if something doesn’t go the way Meg has expected it to then we get tantrums so laying it all out beforehand really does help.

So, just three small tips that might help someone else with a toddler who is afraid of the dentist! 

And if all else fails, use bribery!  If a sticker isn’t enough of a bribe use whatever works for your toddler.  We promised Meg a treat but she was happy to accept her Happy Feet sticker so my Other Half (and his wallet) could breathe a sigh of relief!

I will say that I didn’t fair half as well as Meg and my Other Half who both got an A+ for the condition of their teeth.  I met with the hygienist who a) made me hold my own air/water brush thing as she attacked my mouth and b) literally covered me in my own blood.  I sat up to leave and she said “Oh, you might want to check the mirror before you go out” and I saw why, it was all over my face!  Are they paid to hack away at your gums!?!

Do you have any tips for visits to the dentist?  Feel free to share them with me!

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