Now that school is finally over and summer is here it is time for… you guessed it check-ups. There is a small window of time between the last day of school and the first day of camp and this is when I like to squeeze in all of the kid’s check-ups.
First up on our list of check-ups this week was the dentist. I scheduled an appointment for the first Monday we were out of school. My thinking was get it over and done with as quickly as possible.
My older girls have been to the dentist many times and aren’t too fazed by the experience. The older two are also big rule followers and are angelic patients. This was going to be my youngest’s first “real” check-up and I wasn’t really positive how she was going to fare for she is neither a rule follower nor an angel. Last year she went to the dentist but they just counted her teeth and gave her mouth a once over.
While preparing to write this post today I did a little research online and was shocked to find out that the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first dental visit should be at 12 months. Wow, I guess I am a little late bringing her at 5! I had always thought it was 4 with check-ups every 6 months after, which usually turns in to twelve months at my house. I guess I should do research more often… on the other hand maybe not who really wants to know when they mess up?
On route to the dentist Amelia seemed pretty calm but informed us that she does not like dentists or doctors because they use sharp things like needles. All right I admit that statement concerned me a little. I was starting to worry that she would not sit well for the hygienist while she had her teeth cleaned. I ignored the comment not wanting to dwell on it or make the situation any worse. I find the more I focus on a situation with the kids the worse it becomes.
We finally arrived at the dentist and Amelia bravely volunteered her sister to go first. Isn’t she a love and so generous. However, had this been a line for a roller coaster or ice cream she would have knocked her sister over to get there first!
My dentist, Dr. Mark DeNigris, is the greatest. I love him! When my oldest was little I asked him to refer me to a pediatric dentist. He was quite insulted. I guess I didn’t realize his practice is a family practice. I was pleased because as I mentioned he is the greatest. On Caroline’s first visit I started to walk with her into the back, I assumed I would have to sit with her during her exam. Nope, he stopped me in my tracks. He said, “I need to be her friend back there, you can’t come.” I was taken aback but I understood what he was saying and realized she would be much braver if Mommy wasn’t there. And you know what? He was right.
As Grace had her turn at the dentist Amelia and I played in the waiting room. Thankfully there are toys to play with to keep young ones occupied and also to distract them from any fears they may have about what kind of treacherous things go on behind the door where all the patients go…
Grace returned to the waiting room smiling accompanied by the hygienist, Donna who proclaimed that she was the best patient. After giving Grace the once-over and realizing she had returned in one piece I believe Amelia felt it was all right for her to take her turn. The dental hygienist was wonderful with her. She was both patient and understanding. Amelia made it through her visit flying colors. Her favorite part of the visit? The goodie bags and the prize box. She walked out of the dentist as if she had been to a birthday party with her bag in tow, stickers on her shirt, and a big smile on her face!