I recently took my youngest for his first dentist visit and spent the majority of my time in the waiting room recalling mine. Of course things were a little different then, but one thing remains the same; that first trip to the dentist chair is always a scary one.
Before the Visit
To tell the truth, as a kid I didn’t pay much attention to my teeth. My mom and dad were always on me to brush them, but beyond that the only thought I ever gave to my mouth was what kind of candy to put in it. That of course ended when I had a sudden sharp pain at the back of my mouth. After some discussion amongst the parents, it was decided that mom was going to take me to see her dentist. Dad told me to lay off the candy.
The Day of the Visit
I had no idea what I was in for, and kind of thought the visit was going to be like a normal check-up at my doctor’s office. Just to be safe though, I got my favorite Barbie doll ready to go too. As a back-up of course. My mom looked a little nervous when she started up the car. This is what got the butterflies in my stomach going.
The Reception Area
A dentist office has a distinct antiseptic smell that you don’t find in a doctor’s office. That smell is the only thing I remember as I sat swinging my legs in the chair waiting for my name to be called. Ms. Barbie was clutched in my hand the whole time. When they finally did open a door and call my name, I remember feeling like it was the longest walk of my life.
The first time seeing that chair when you are a little person is very intimidating. Of course all of the dentist tools were in plain sight, making it even more scary. I sat down clutching Barbie in that big chair and awaited a fate I was sure to be worse than death.
The dentist was a lot kinder than my doctor and made the whole visit pass as quickly as possible. Yes, I had a cavity (3 to be honest but who’s counting) and he scheduled me for a series of follow up visits. He also gave me an electric toothbrush (it was one of the mid level Braun’s) and told me that I better use if I wanted to keep the rest of my teeth, and told my mom about how a water flosser would also help. He said that if I liked it, they make kid’s versions specifically from Waterpik. With a bag full of stickers and samples of toothpaste, me and Barbie were given a pat on the back and sent home.
The attitude of the dentist and his kindly demeanor is what made that first visit bearable. When I look back on my long list of memories with him, (I loved candy) it is not the painful procedures that I remember, but his smiling face letting me know everything was going to be alright.