I hate going to the dentist.
Lots of people hate going to the dentist, but I have one of those dentist stories that completely justifies my dentist-a-phobia. When I was a little older than Eva, I got a cavity and had to go to the dentist to get a filling. While I was numb from the procedure, I chewed a huge hole in my cheek and had to go to the hospital. My earliest memories of dentistry are pain and panic. Let’s just say I still don’t get my teeth cleaned as often as I should.
So, when Eva turned two and our pediatrician told us that it was time to make her first dentist appointment, I dragged my feet a little. As in, she’s going to be three in a couple of weeks (how?!?!) and I just barely took her to the dentist for the first time. I knew she needed to go, but I was so nervous for her and with all of the medical stuff she has to go through for her food allergies and her asthma, I really didn’t want to add one more negative experience to the pile.
I don’t even know that we would have made it in before her third birthday if I hadn’t been contacted by Burg Pediatric Dentistry, who was looking for bloggers interested in bringing their kids in. I figured it was a sign from the universe and since it’s a pediatric-focused practice, I decided it would be better than taking Eva to our family dentist. He’s a nice man and everything, but outside of his fancy fish tank there isn’t much to reassure you at his office.
Burg pediatrics does this fun thing where you watch a video to get a code word and when you take the code word in, you get a superhero cape. So, Eva and I watched the video and we read a couple of books about teeth and when we arrived she was very excited about seeing the dentist and I was in a cold sweat.
Spoiler: it was such a good experience.
They got us in right on time for our appointment and the first thing our hygienist, Stephanie, took Eva straight to a basket of costume pieces where Eva picked out something funny for Steph to wear. (She chose a tail.) She also showed her the gallery of happy kids in their capes and then showed Eva how to pat her head and rub her tummy while walking her to the exam room. Eva was completely entertained and distracted and I have to admit that it calmed my nerves a little bit as well.
The first thing they did was take an x-ray of Eva’s teeth and, unbelievably, she did completely fine. She held that little thing in her mouth and Steph was quick and funny about it, so it only took a minute. Then, Eva laid down on the table and watched Despicable Me 2 on the ceiling while Steph got her tools together to clean Eva’s teeth.
Steph went through each tool with Eva before she used it, letting her handle and try each of them herself. Eva was so curious about everything and she kept using her fingertips to test them, so when Steph got to work cleaning her teeth Eva continually tried to use her fingers to feel what Steph was doing. My anxiety spiked a little bit and I was going to reprimand Eva for getting in the way, but just as I was about to say something Steph very calmly remarked that Eva was doing an amazing job and it was great that she was curious. Immediately, I relaxed and realized that their job is probably pretty evenly split between calming down the kids and calming down the parents!
After the teeth cleaning, Steph showed Eva the correct way to brush her teeth (lots of little circles) and then she flossed her, which is (embarrassingly) the first time Eva has had her teeth flossed. Honestly, it never even occurred to me that she needs to be flossing, but she’s supposed to floss every day (every other day, at least!). Eva was patient through all of it, alternating between listening to Steph and watching the television on the ceiling.
Once the cleaning was over, Eva told Steph the code word and she got her superhero cape. Then Steph gave her a toothbrush and she practiced brushing the dragon’s teeth while Steph went to get the doctor. She was so cute, saying, “circles…circles…circles…” over and over again for each tooth. She really wanted to practice on Calvin (perhaps with the hygienist tools, even?) until I reminded her that her brother has no teeth.
The dentist, Dr. Segura, came in and counted all of Eva’s teeth and took a quick look at the x-ray. He was great, very friendly, and gave me a lot of good information about brushing her teeth and things to look for in her diet, especially because her teeth are very close together. Then, Eva picked a prize from the prize drawer and went out to have her photo taken for the happy patients gallery wall. We also left with a goody bag of dental fun.
The whole experience could not have been better. Eva has asked to go back about ten times and she gave a bunch of her stuffed animals dental check ups. She’s also added dental tools to her birthday wish list (now includes Doc McStuffins tools, a hammer, and dental tools) so I guess I need to figure out if there’s a dental play set out there? I don’t know if one exists because, hello, kids hate going to the dentist.
Not my kid! We’re looking forward to our next visit this summer. Thank you so much to Burg Pediatric Dentistry for giving us this opportunity! You’ve made me a little braver about heading to the dentist myself. (Maybe taking some bunny ears for my hygienist would help?)
Note: This is a sponsored post. We received a free dental exam for review purposes. The thoughts and opinions above are my own.