After everyone’s fantastic advice about taking Nathan to the dentist for the first time, we took the plunge and made up our minds. Lots of folks suggested a pediatric dentist, and we were really leaning that way until Sarah Kate went to the dentist for a checkup. I was talking to the dental hygienist (who happens to have a brother with autism) and she recommended a local pediatric dentist. A few minutes later, though, she mentioned that dentist’s policy of not letting parents go back with the kids after the first visit.
Nathan is a pretty easygoing kid and not really sensory-sensitive (is that a term?), but occasionally certain experiences will weird him out, and when that happens he’ll cling to us like a bad smell. I started thinking maybe a quiet, soothing environment with Mom nearby might be a better option. Worst case, we try it and things don’t go well and we move across town to the other guy.
Fortunately, they had an opening right after school two days after Sarah Kate’s appointment, and I jumped on it. He had been with us when she went to the dentist so he saw the whole thing play out. BONUS: Sarah Kate would be at glee club so it would just be me and the little guy in case things went awry.
All started well. He was interested in the books in the waiting room and took one with lots of CHRUCKS! and heavy equipment back to the room with him. He seemed pretty oblivious to what was about to happen. I, on the other hand, was on pins and needles, wishing I had checked with The Google beforehand to see if there was a patron saint of dentistry (FYI: there is).
Step One: Choose his tooth-polishing-stuff flavor. The verdict: chocolate.
While he was holding the little pot of “chocolate”, she showed him the polisher and even touched his finger with it, explaining that’s what she was going to do to his teeth.
Then she asked him to help her by holding her mirror while she looked at his teeth. The moment of truth had arrived.
And… he did exactly as he was told.
She told him to open wide. He did.
She asked him to help her by holding Mr. Thirsty while she polished his teeth. He did.
He even had a great deal of fun with Mr. Thirsty (you may have seen that video on last Friday’s snippets).
And just like that, his cleaning was done. No crying, no stress, no anxious looks, no nothing. He did better than Sarah Kate did on her first trip to the dentist.
Next up: the For Realz Deal…the dentist himself. It went just as about as well as could be expected.
Nathan got His Very Own Dental Mirror To Keep, as well as a bunch of other goodies – coloring book, certificate, etc. – to commemorate his first dental visit.
Just like before, he did exactly as he was told while the dentist checked his teeth. No cavities and all was well. The most difficult part of the visit was getting him out the door when it was over.
Wonders never cease.
Thank you so much to everyone at the dental office of Dr. John Maddox for making my little guy’s first visit a success.