Well, yeah, my 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter had a cavity! Already… regardless of how fussy I am about the oral hygiene, and how much I insist on her not having too many sweets. And there, it happened, despite all the apples she’s had instead of chocolate, and all the water she’s drunk instead of juice… So off we went to fix her first tooth.
How should you prepare for the first dental visit? Well, I recommend going with other children, from the kindergarten maybe. Kids have a better chance of having that first experience at the dentist’s office mixed with laughter and playing if they make a group visit. They’ll be curious about the chair and the instruments, and won’t be scared if they think it’s all just for fun. Going to the dentist’s to fix teeth is an entirely different thing.
For several days, my daughter had complained about the toothache and showed me her teeth, so I decided to check what’s going on. I must say I wasn’t convinced. You know how kids are: my elbow hurts, my nail is sore, oh, this headache just won’t go away… The first time I mentioned my backache, she walked bent over for days and did a splendid job impersonating me.
Although in reality the quality of the teeth is about more than just keeping them clean, I have to admit that I felt this was a defeat of my own healthy habits…
In spite of my projecting outward optimism, cheering her up and saying that she’s the bravest girl I know and has no reason to fear the dentist, after the initial euphoria and getting tired with inspecting her teeth with the dentist’s mirror, of course, my daughter started crying and tried to get off the chair.
And that, my friends, is the time when you should try out all your pre-developed strategies. With kids, it’s the matter of tactics, personal attitude and example…
How much did this first trip to the dentist’s cost me? The price of the tooth filling for kids is insignificant. What cost a lot more was the long-desired “Lucy the Dog” toy, a battery-operated felt canine my daughter asked from Santa Claus before the New Year’s Eve. She didn’t get it then because I despise that kind of toys. But a serious crisis calls for serious measures. Having been promised the toy, she obediently got back on the chair, opened her mouth wide and patiently waited for the intervention to end.
And so… our flat is getting filled with senseless toys and we’ve got through the first cavity and dental visit. My daughter, me – and Lucy the Dog.