Well, maybe not all the time but I must admit I was a bit envious of Lilah’s first pediatric dentist visit. When I was a kid I was lucky to get a Highlights or Ranger Rick magazine in the waiting room. When we walked into her new dentist office there were trains and toys galore along with all the kid’s magazines. I checked Lilah in for her appointment with the super chipper staff, and we were shortly ushered to their quiet consultation room. They walked me through the dental appointment process and procedures and were patient when Lilah was too shy to answer any questions.
I was amazed when they brought us in to the patient room. It was heaven. They had the patients’ tables with TV screens above (and headsets) for the kids to watch cartoons on, there were video games in the corner (real arcade types) for the kids who were waiting for their siblings or had just finished up their own appointment, and at least 4-5 staff members were talking to the kids, cleaning teeth and taking photos of each patient with the dentist. After giving Lilah a sticker of her choice (Dora and Boots), the dentist and his assistant both walked Lilah and I through the steps of how to brush properly, which teeth needed to be flossed (only the ones that were close together where plaque can collect), and choosing proper nutrition and drink options for the best possible dental health. I was incredibly proud of my girl when she fully cooperated and even smiled for her photo. Just like when I was a kid, Lilah was given the opportunity to take a small toy from a basket as a prize (though she declined).
After all was said and done, she convinced me to stay for an additional 15 minutes to play with the trains. She did not want to leave and exclaimed that she had “so much fun.” I’m thrilled that her first experience at the dentist was a positive one. Shortly after arriving home, Lilah pulled out her goody bag and showed me her stash of 4 toothbrushes, a flossing tool, a SpongeBob sticker and some other random items. That evening she couldn’t wait to show me how well she could brush her teeth. Yay!!!
Less than a week after her visit Lilah received a colorful handwritten postcard (with stars and hearts) thanking her for being an amazing patient. I couldn’t be happier. I would suggest that anyone considering whether to take their kids to their dentist or a pediatric dentist should go with the latter. I’m sure this experience will set her up for a more positive outlook towards her dental health.