Sometimes you try to do the right thing even though you know it will be a ridiculous exercise. So, following all the recommended guidelines, I took my two-year old child to see the dentist for the first time last week. And, the fact that it did not end in a fit of tears (from either of us) means that it actually turned out better than I expected.
It was however, far from a success. Despite the dentist’s kind demeanor, Little Monkey kept his distance. Head down, furrowed brow, mouth like this…
After a few minutes of unsuccessfully trying to coax him into opening his mouth, the dentist and I agreed to call this visit a wash. Plan B involves trying again in another few months and continuing to take him regularly until he gets comfortable enough to open his mouth. Of course, sixty seconds after walking out the door, the Little Monkey is all chatty again and opens his mouth wide as he can to utter shrieks of joy.
I’ve been to two different dental practices now in the UK and they could definitely learn a few things from their American colleagues about making the dentist office an inviting place to go. Especially for kids. Nothing says danger to a toddler like an incredibly sterile environment full of medical equipment and devoid of anything resembling fun. Want to encourage kids to go to the dentist? Have a play area, get some toys and games, make it colorful and fun.
And, if you know of such a dental practice that caters to kids in the Oxfordshire area, please leave a comment. I’d love to find out that such a thing exists.