It was last December that IC got to visit the dentist for the first time. Actually, she was already there for an appoinment during the first month of 2007 but she gave a big fight and a loud scream that we all decided it is better if we simply let it pass. A good thing the whole family was there, meaning the papa got to hold onto her before she started terrorizing the whole clinic.
Oh she's a professional when it comes to terrorizing doctors. She hit the ear and nose doctor twice, and scandalized with loud screams and high kicks during an appointment with him in 2006. The doctor told us to let it go or else she wouldnt want to come back if she's forced into a check up. We have never came back since :D
Anyway, since MC's a regular visitor of this dentis clinic, IC is already used to the people and the place. In fact, the lady dentist and her dentist husband, used to be our next door neighbor until they bought a new house in the city late 2007. So, she knows her well, too. But with IC, you would really never know.
A few days before the visit, I already explained to IC that she only needs to open her mouth, say ahhh, and let the dentist look into her mouth to count her teeth. She knows I am saying the truth because that was what happened when MC visited for the first time, and IC was there, too. She's amenable to that. And that of course, after the check up, they would each get a surprise gift from the dentist's supply of treasures especially there for the kids.
And then MC started whining, saying she dont want to go to the dentist. Ooops, what's happening now, a role reversal? I had to take her on the side to calm her down and to ask her to be a real trooper because we dont want IC to be fighting with the dentist. She agreed because she also dont like it when IC starts crying. A real big sister, she is.
When we arrived at the clinic, we are asked to go right in. What I like in this clinic is that the kids already feel at home because they have been coming here for a long time and because, all waiting rooms have toys for them. Instead of getting bored waiting, they get to play and read and even drive around!
Now what do I do to keep the kids from being afraid of the check up procedures? I ask them if they wanted to seat on my lap or if I they wanted me simply to hold their hands. MC, as the eldest, decided to show to IC that everything would be ok, so she's the first on the chair. She asked me to hold her hand, which I did. IC got busy playing.
And then when it was IC turn, she wanted to sit on my lap, which is also okay for the dentist. At first she wont open her mouth but the dentist if ready for her; she was given a big mirror to hold while the dentist got her small mirror. The dentist told her she needed help. IC obliged by holding the mirror up so she could also help in counting her teeth. That was that. And the first date with the dentist went without any dramas.
I did talk to the dentist about the kids' teeth and possible treatments, when needed, and she said she wanted both girls to come back this January.
Well, the next date would be Tuesday next week. I would be alone with two kids... I hope everything would turn out okay. But in case, I wanted to talk to MC about being a good example for IC. I dont want this to be a horror trip. Or else it would take a long time before IC would even enter the clinic again.
If you want to know why the kids especially MC, got to feel at home at this dentist clinic, it's a long process and here's what was done:
1. We all went for a first visit with the whole family. During that time, there was no real check up done, we introduced the kids to the dentist, exchaged some stories and we were shown around the clinic. The kids saw the play corner, the play nooks in every examination rooms, and of course, the treasure box of surprises.
2. The kids (actually it was for MC but since I always have to bring IC with us, she's gone through the whole process) were asked to come at least twice a week; for her to get used to the clinic.
3. The next visit was for MC to show the dentist's assistant how she brushes her teeth. After that, she and IC were given toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste. The other visit was for MC to try the dentist's chair, including the counting of her teeth.
4. The first treatment was accomplished by me holding MC's hand; and the rest of our visits would even find MC assisting the dentist with the small mouth vaccuum.
5. And of course, the girls want to visit because of the surprises they get.
What were the dentist's advices?
- The kids should always brush the teeth after every meal.
- Always use the right toothbrush and toothpaste. Avoid those toothpaste with sweet flavors because it leaves sugar in the mouth, too.
- Kids under 7 years old need the assistance of the parents when brushing the teeth to make sure they are doing it right.
- Here's a surprise for me: The kids could enjoy sweets but make sure that they eat those sweets in just one sitting not in staggard way; for example if you give sweets to kids at 2 pm, let them have all the sweets for that day ONLY during that time. And make sure that they brush their teeth after. Controlling the eating of sweets to only a certain time of the day could help a lot in preventing bad teeth.
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