Nobody likes going to the dentist. That’s a pretty well known fact. So when it came time to take our three-year-old triplets to the dentist, I was a bit more than apprehensive. I imagined it ending up something like this:
We’re pretty good about taking care of our kids’ teeth. We brush their teeth at least once a day. We try for two, but it doesn’t always happen. We brush for them because they haven’t developed the dexterity to do a good enough job yet, and that’s okay. We do let them practice, but only after we have done it for them. We don’t feed them a lot of sugary snacks, we don’t give them a lot of sugary drinks, etc., etc., you get the idea.
We made the appointment weeks ago, so we had plenty of time to prepare for it. Still, somehow, I was surprised that the day had arrived. We woke the kids up, got them dressed, fed, brushed their teeth, and loaded into the van for the 15 minute ride to the dentist’s office. We arrived only a few minutes late (small victories) and got the kids settled in the waiting room. They had a huge Lego table there for the kids to play with, which was a pretty good distraction.
After just a few minutes of Lego time, we were called back into a room where the dentist was waiting for us. Juli, with her Tinkerbell doll, Elisha, with her Jessie doll, KJ, who opted not to bring a toy, Gretch and I all piled into the room. Gretch sat in the chair while the dentist sat next to her, and we opted to start with Juli. I got to watch the other two and keep them out of trouble, which wasn’t too difficult since there was an Etch-a-Sketch and two Waterfuls toys in the room for them to play with. These are quiet, simple toys that are great for diverting little ones’ attention from what’s actually going on without disturbing anyone else in the room.
Elisha’s and KJ’s exams were very similar to Juli’s. I was absolutely astounded. We had made it through the triplets’ first dentist appointment and no one was screaming or crying! I thought for sure all five of us would be in tears by the end of it. Instead we all had a great experience and were in and out of the office in about 30 minutes.
The moral of this story, folks, is to find a good pediatric dentist who knows how to work with children. If you can find one, they are worth their weight in gold.