This week marked yet another first for little Jellybean as we went for her very first appointment with the dentist. She embraced the visit like everything else she does in life, with gusto! From the moment we walked in the office of Alexandria Children’s Dentistry she was ready for prime time! She started by finding the play area that was designated “just for kids” and happily played a computer game with another unsuspecting toddler.
When we were called back, she reluctantly left her new friend and skipped back into the inner sanctum of the dentist’s office. Much to my surprise, instead of being ushered into a tiny little room with a big chair and scary torture gadgets, we were led into a wide open room with toys and puppets on the walls, two dental chairs, and a nice view of the skyline. There was another little girl a few years older than Jellybean sporting a pair of cool sunglasses and relaxing in the other chair but before they could bond over the dental experience our hygienist came out and introduced JB to all of the instruments they would be using for her teeth cleaning.
Wait! Did she say teeth cleaning?! Mommy was a bit shocked. Honestly, I do not know what I expected on her first visit to the dentist: an introduction to dental health, tooth brushing lessons, a little exam but a full-scale cleaning? On a not yet three year-old? Metal things poking in her mouth, loud noises whirling around her head, yucky tasting stuff in her mouth, and having to keep her mouth open for so long with a vacuum in there…I was terrified for her! Furthermore, I did not want to traumatize my child to the point she would refuse to ever set foot in a doctor’s office again!
The hygienist did a great job of re-assuring me that everything would be okay and if JB appeared uncomfortable she would skip the cleaning part of the visit and move right onto dental education. I could live with this arrangement; I just had to be brave for my little Jellybean.
While I entertained her with a horse puppet, the hygienist got everything set up and JB got comfy in her chair with her own cool pair of pink sunglasses! As she got her teeth cleaned she held Mommy’s hand and watched everything that was going on around her with complete fascination and not once did she flinch!
Once her teeth were cleaned she then got a demonstration on proper teeth cleaning with the help of an alligator and a huge toothbrush. Never one to let me relax for too long, we all jumped for the toothbrush when she began using her own teeth to show how she brushed her teeth at home!
Finally, Dr. Angela came out for the finale and examined her teeth, counted them all, and gave another pep talk on the importance of taking care of her teeth.
Then, in what seemed like a blink of an eye, we were done!
My girl handled the visit like a pro! I would like to flatter myself into thinking it was my calming presence but I have to give credit to Dr. Angela and her staff – they did a fabulous job walking her through the entire process so she would know what to expect and not be afraid. Honestly, I felt a bit like Grover at the end of “The Monster at the End of This Book” when he said “and you were so scared”.
At the end of the visit she got an A+, a cool new toothbrush, a bouncy ball, a Mickey Mouse sticker, AND a cool princess prize! What a great visit and another awesome first for Jellybean!