Last week (on Valentine’s Day!) we took Mason to the dentist for the first time! It’s recommended by most of the big associations that children go to the dentist by their 1st birthday and this was something we’ve struggled with – it seemed like Mason didn’t really have that many teeth then, we couldn’t imagine him cooperating for such a thing, and most dentists around here don’t see kids before age 4 unless there is a problem. One of my friends told me of a recent trip to the dentist with their 27 month old where they were charged $90 for an “exam” that involved the child spinning in the exam chair and get a toy. And while I see the point of making the clinic a “friendly” place for children, I wanted more than that for Mason.
And then we found Smiles in Motion – a pediatric dentist that JUST sees infants, toddlers, and children. We were pretty impressed with their website and the information they sent us in the mail and the trip did not disappoint.
A view of the kid’s lobby area right when youw walk in. Mason played in here and I read him books (including “Teeth” by Dr. Seuss) while we waited for a few minutes.
We started off with a complete tour of the clinic, from the x-ray room to the exam room and then started off with an x-ray. We didn’t think Mason would sit patiently enough for the two second x-ray while wearing the x-ray “bib” so he got to sit in my lap instead.
After that, we went into the doctor’s office. Had Mason been a bit older, we could have went to an exam chair where he would have had his choice of over 20 movies to watch (Including Cars 2, Tangled, and Rio!) on his very own video screen. Instead, he had a room with his very own slide to play on while we talked to the dental assistant.
She was very happy to hear that Mason’s teeth get brushed 3 times a day (Thank you daycare!), that he doesn’t drink chocolate milk, and that he has less than one cup of juice a day. She also gave us their blessing to not be concerned about him still sleeping with a Nuk and as long as we get rid of it by his 3rd birthday, we’re good. I’ve been waiting until he was a old enough to understand the concept of “the binky fairy” or making a trade, but had always heard the rule of thumb was age 2, so this made me feel a bit better.
Dr. Spitz came in next and we got started on his exam. He sat on my lap facing me and then the doctor and I sat knee to knee and he laid back into her lap. From that vantage point, she cleaned his teeth, checked his gums, took a look at his tonsils, and applied a fluoride treatment. He held his daddy’s hand through the whole thing and was a trooper and Dr. Spitz said everything looked great! She figures his final four teeth (those evil back molars) should come through in the next 2-3 months, which I’m not too excited about, but what can ya do!?
He got to pick out a toy afterward and was pretty proud.
All in all, the appointment was a great success. Despite some of the older folks we know telling us that taking a kid his age to the dentist was a waste of time and money, I’m very glad we went and it’s always good to hear that the things we’re doing are the right things and that everything is looking good!
He played in the play area while SuperDad and I took turns using the restroom before the drive home.
We’ll be seeing Dr. Spitz again in 6 months. We asked Mason if he liked the dentist and he shouted “Yeah!!!” so I think it was a success!
This time last year – 11 months / Tantrums Before Two?
This post was not sponsored or prompted by Smiles in Motion in any way. We just had a great experience there and totally recommend them if you’re in the Chippewa Valley!