Cincinnati Family Magazine

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February 5, 2023

First Time at the Dentist? It’s All Good!

Going to the dentist has changed since I was a child.

Today, many dental practices offices offer whimsical waiting and treatment rooms that set the stage for a positive experience for little ones. Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is a perfect example.

A giant octopus with a toothbrush dangling from its tentacles greets children as they enter the door. Massive sea turtles and puffer fish float peacefully overhead. You feel as part of an underwater adventure.

At 2 years old, Bella is a bit late to visit the dentist for the first time. First birthday, first visit. I know better, but simply kept putting it off. Not only is it important to go early to check teeth development, but also it is the perfect time to learn how to care for your child’s newly forming teeth and begin to start a familiarization with the dental staff and practice.

Bella was happy to sit among the floating fish and color with her crayons, but walking back into the strange unknown was a little scary for her.

We read books on going to the dentist before our trip, but it didn’t prepare her for the actual event. We were led into a room that suddenly came to life when the lights went off and glowing stars, moon and animals came alive.

MORE: Save Your Child From a Mouthful of Cavities

Lisa, our hygienist took the time to talk to Bella at an age appropriate level. Assuming she would hop into the “big” chair, I was surprised to learn that it is easier on everyone if Mom sits almost knee to knee with practitioner with Baby on her lap facing forward in a comforting hug. We laid Bella’s head on the practitioner’s lap where it was easier to reach her teeth.

Easier does not mean that Bella did not fight and scream and try to get away. The calmness that both Lisa and Dr. Katie demonstrated left little damage. The entire cleaning took less than a few minutes. The checkup by the doc and fluoride administration took another two minutes at most.

Leaving with her Mickey Mouse toothbrush, toothpaste and her favorite, dental floss, Bella was excited to show them off and wanted to floss her teeth immediately.

Two months later, Bella loves brushing her “teeph.”   I think we are on track for life-long healthy dental health.

Thank you Sea of Smiles for creating a perfect first dental experience!


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