Technically, this wasn’t his first visit to the dentist, because I brought him along once when Patch needed to have her braces adjusted.
But this was the first time he actually sat on the chair and got a flouride treatment.
I am proud to say that my children do not have dental phobia. The two girls love going to the dentist, which I think is rare among kids. Well, maybe they don’t really love as in enjoy going to the dentist, or as in giddily excited whenever I announce a trip to the dentist.
But at least they don’t whine, cry and run around the clinic. At least I don’t have to hold them down on the chair while the dentist pulls a tooth. Nope. I have never had to deal with those. But yes, I was like that when I was a kid. My parents just could not get me to sit on that chair long enough. I’d often quickly jump out and run away before any of the adults had a chance to pin me to it. Hahaha!
I was such a pain because, well, I was in pain! My parents brought me to the dentist when a tooth needed pulling. And the dental chair is not the most comfy place to be sitting on (even if it were to be padded with patio cushions fit for lounging). To me, each dental visit would entail trauma and crying. And so the cycle which began with pain went on and on. Believe it or not, I outgrew my dental phobia in my early 20s already, when I started going to my dentist-cousin who was ever so gentle and patient. (Hi Arnel!)
One important lesson on dental visits I realized when I became a parent myself is to bring the kids even when there’s nothing wrong with their teeth. Bringing a child to a dentist only when a tooth is aching just puts too much stigma on the person bearing tooth-pullers and needles. The dentist becomes too associated with pain, crying and scary-looking tools. No kid wants those!
The key is to make the first dental visit as pleasant as possible, so that the child will look forward to coming back next time. So parents: don’t wait till your kids have rotten teeth or swollen gums to see the dentist. I tell you, it will save you a lot of stress. 😉