Taking my toddler to the dentist.

Last week, my phone notified me that I had an upcoming dental appointment.  The first thing that I did was text my neighbor to arrange child care.

But then I got to thinking…

Momma raised three of us by herself.  She dragged us all over the place and we just had to learn how to behave in adult situations.  Hmmm…  Maybe I shouldn’t be avoiding this with Bennett.  Maybe I should embrace the challenge of teaching him appropriate behavior and see this as an opportunity to help him grow emotionally.  Ugh.  This could be really hard.  He’s going to want to touch everything and the noises might scare him.  But I don’t want to be a parent who always chooses what’s easiest for me.  The hard stuff can sometimes be the best stuff.

So, sure enough, I gave my neighbor the ol’, “Never mind.”

This morning, Bennett and I trekked to the dentist with an arsenal of books, snacks and a few strategic toys.  He knew just what to do when he arrived in the waiting room as there was a bright red, plastic toy barn staring back at him.  So, yes, we had to bring that back into the room, too.  First, I held Bennett in my arms as we pointed out the light, the chair, the equipment, the computer, the instruments that buzz and whirr, etc.  (What interested him the most, however, was the attention he was receiving from the ladies.  He’s such a flirt!)  Then I plopped him on the floor next to me with his goodies and laid down in the chair while my toddler got comfortable in my peripheral vision.

All in all, it was incredibly painless.  My mind was completely prepared for the worst, yet the worst never manifested itself.  Sure, we had to pause a few times to remind him to look at a book (instead of picking up a dental tool) or keep him from leaving the room; but, seriously, it wasn’t a big deal.  Hopefully this early exposure to my dental appointment will help Bennett to be comfortable for his future appointments.  Additionally, hopefully he’ll continue to learn how to entertain himself.  It’s a priceless ability.


  1. March 20, 2014

    Pretty sure I let other people steal you guys once in a while …. but it is good to get him use to proper behavior in public. I wish more people would do that with their children. *sigh*

  2. March 20, 2014

    have you scheduled his first appointment now that he’s been to one with you? (not that you’ll necessarily be using the same dentist for him)

    it’s great that you’re taking him places and teaching him early what appropriate behavior is!

  3. March 20, 2014

    Good job Suzy! I’ll admit when Darian and I have dentist appointments I get one of my parents to come sit with him in the waiting room while I get my teeth done, and he’s school age. He’s very good at entertaining himself when he chooses, but my appointments get a bit gross and I don’t want him to get scared. Now that he can read I can probably set him in the corner with a book and he’ll be fine.

  4. March 20, 2014

    Yea! Proud of you for being brave and making the most of an opportunity. We did the same with our kids. Took them many places. A lot of our “experiences” were with travel. People always asked, ” are the kids going too?” I was always surprised! Of course our kids were coming with us! Now I know that God was part of that plan…sometimes I forget the everyday influence of God in my daily living.

  5. March 21, 2014
    Aunt Manny

    I’m sure the assistants loved him. Mr. Flirty Pants. 🙂

  6. March 25, 2014
    Melody Mendelsohn

    Best part, I feel, is his exposure to a dentist and the office under safe conditions. No pain, no fuss for him either. Very good call, in my book.

  7. April 2, 2014

    That was a good thing to do. We always recommended the first visit to dentist should be just watching. As long as you didn’t cry. lol! I use to do a lot of baby sitting as a dental asst. I loved it!!

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