W’s First Dentist Appointment

First appointment with dentist went greatAs much as I sigh over the princess stuff on Disney Junior (do not even get me started on the interactive Valentine’s) they do have these really sweet and clever videos in between the shows. The videos are like vignettes of behavior to model and they work great with W.

A few months ago there was a video showing a little boy preparing his own breakfast: he got the cereal down, he got his bowl, he got his milk and spoon… It showed him pouring the cereal into his bowl and then pouring milk on top of his cereal. After W saw this video he declared that HE COULD DO THAT TOO! And from that moment on W has been in charge of his breakfast. (the only change we make is that I pour milk into a cup that he then pours into his cereal)

At the beginning of February Disney Junior started showing a video about a boy going to the dentist. They portrayed “going to the dentist” as this super awesome and wonderful ADVENTURE. Immediately W started saying, “I want to go there! I want to go to the dentist too!”

On Monday W handed me his art for the day at preschool pickup and he was so proud of his tooth page. Once again he nudged me, “I have to go to the dentist.”

I figured I should jump at this kind of enthusiasm and while he was (NOT) napping up in his room Monday afternoon I located a pediatric dentist in our neighborhood and gave them a call. As it turned out they had an opening the very next day.

W told everyone he encountered on Tuesday morning that he was going to the dentist. It made me laugh to see the reactions of people’s faces.

I picked W up early from school yesterday and he was so silly and excited. It helped that the dentist was in the same medical building as his pediatrician. The dentist’s office had a space theme and the lobby was this super groovy dark area with glowing lights. He was wowed.

When they called his name we both went back. (I have heard that some dentist offices frown upon having parents go back with the kids but this place has a, “you know your kid better than us, do what is best” attitude.) W was escorted to an exam chair and the dental assistant introduced herself and then introduced her tools. She let W hold each one and she demonstrated what they do. He was allowed to pick out a flavor for his tooth cleaning and another flavor for his fluoride treatment.

I was so proud of how well W did. He was captivated by the dental assistant and followed all of her directions. He laughed as she cleaned his teeth and he loved having the water and suction in his mouth.

The dentist came over and counted W’s teeth and I asked her to check out his attached upper frenulum. Last week W’s teacher had indicated that he could benefit from some speech therapy and I remembered that this attached frenulum could be a problem for his speech. The dentist said that it had mostly detached on its own but she said it could be connected to speech as he would have to work harder to have the same mouth movement as other children.

When W’s exam was over he got to pick a new toothbrush to bring home AND two toys from a large toy chest. He told one of the people at check out, “I love having someone look at my teeth!” And now he wants to be a dentist who drives a garbage truck.


Now I am tasked with finding a dentist for myself. I am mortified to share with you how long it has been since I have seen a dentist. It’s been a LONG TIME. Which is a wee bit scary.

Some photos of W enjoying himself at the dentist:

Original art on this post was created by W.


  1. The sunglasses during the cleaning? Awesome. Any way that I can copy that for myself without seeming ridiculous? I, too, have put off a needed trip to the dentist for some time. Cripes.

    • Alexicographer says:

      My dentist provides them (to adults! me!) though I usually have to remember to ask. I am too old and cranky to endure unrequired discomfort (bright lights shining in my unprotected eyes). Just ask!

  2. We’ve seen that dentist clip on Disney Jr too! And one of my boys has been talking about the dentist ever since. What a great experience you guys had and great idea to jump on his enthusiasm. I’m waiting just a little bit longer to take the twins. They haven’t even had a professional haircut yet. :-)

  3. Good for him! Elizabeth’s first trip to the dentist was…less good. Her second trip was pretty great though. I think I took her too young the first time.

  4. What a good boy! Curly didn’t mind the hygienist, but the dentist freaked him out (I couldn’t blame him, I think we’ll go to another dentist next time…)

  5. That’s so great for W! We had a great family dentist growing up and year after year of positive experiences. It’s no coincidence that my brother grew up to become a dentist!

  6. Love it when they figure these things out for themselves. What a smart little guy!

  7. OMG that is so different from our first experience (when they were not quite 3). They were also really excited beforehand, but when we were actually there, it was awful. No cleaning went on at all because they were so freaked out (Burrito hated everything from the get-go, but Tamale was on board for the first few minutes… until she wasn’t), and the exam occurred through being held down and having the dentist glance at their open mouths while they were each screaming. They’re almost due for their 6 month return visit but I have not been rushing to schedule because it went soooo poorly last time. Their dentist is very, very child friendly, and most kids find it really fun there; hopefully they will do better next time.

    Oh and I would never go anywhere that wanted them to go by themselves. It shows such a lack of understanding of young children. Some kids would be fine with it (like Tamale) but some kids would be freaked out by the separation alone, let alone the strangers poking around your mouth with machines (like Burrito).

    Glad that W had such a great experience!

  8. Alexicographer says:

    Oof. Dealing with dentist visits is a major stressor for me, glad W’s first one was a good one!


  1. […] my teeth every morning but many times I collapsed into bed without brushing at night. I KNOW. When I took W to the dentist and saw what a great experience he had I realized that I had become more invested in W’s […]

  2. […] mentioned that I had W’s dentist check out his (no longer) attached upper frenulum. Since it is no longer attached it should not be a problem […]

  3. […] week I took a very excited W to his 2nd dental appointment. He had such a fun time at his first appointment that he was counting down the days until he could have “robot cleaning” adventures […]

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