I apologize for the late post today, but we were experiencing a milestone this afternoon--our little guy's first dentist appointment! His dentist is a good distance from here, too, so the drive took a while, and once we were finished there it was too easy to hop across the street to the awesome shopping area, so we meandered a bit before coming home.
But back to this dentist thing...have you been lately? To a dentist for children, that is. My, how times have changed. I don't remember much about my dentist other than yucky flavors, pain, and not much compassion. I now have an incredibly valuable mouth if you take into account the amount of money I've had to spend fixing things. I don't know if there is a correlation, but I wonder how differently I would have done things if my experience had been like our son's today.
We arrived, signed in, and he played on the climbing structure in the waiting room until we were called into the conference room. The hygienist greeted us there and explained that they preferred to do the exam with our three year old flying solo unless my presence was absolutely necessary. I confirmed that nothing would happen without my consent (I've seen those Dateline episodes about kids' dentists abusing the system), and our big boy walked back to the exam room hand-in-hand with his new friend.
Then, I waited. I waited for nearly an hour. I read an entire magazine. Next time, I will bring a project. It was an amazing time of nothing to do but "be." I actually read an article on that, which is what made me think of it. Finally, I was called over the intercom to return to the conference room.
It was then that I was allowed into the inner sanctum. Bright colors, TV screens, balloons, and toys everywhere. Our son didn't even notice I was there because he was watching a movie. When he finally did see me, he rushed to me adorned with stickers and carrying a caterpillar-shaped toothbrush. His dentist shook my hand and told me how helpful our son was during the exam, and then he showed me the x-rays of his mouth with all of the permanent teeth waiting in the wings. He told me that, to my utter relief, our candy-eating little boy has no cavities and that with proper care he COULD lead a cavity-free life. The dentist then presented me with a photo of the two of them and a keepsake letter from this first visit. Compared to my experiences as a child, it was surreal.
So, our son had an amazing first time at the dentist's office and I had an hour-long break. And we received great news about his little teeth. And I found a really cute sweater later. It was a great afternoon!
Do you have a story from the dentist's chair?