Today was Michael's first visit to the dentist. We had gotten a referral from Michael's pediatrician, as well as a recommendation from a friend.
It was a pediatric dentist and like no other dentist I had ever been to. When you walked into the waiting area, it reminded me of waiting to eat at the Rainforest Cafe. There were tree sculptures around the office, as well as various animals hanging on the walls. The door to the bathroom looked like a door to a log cabin (I should know as we visited the bathroom 2 times while we were there!). There was a regular waiting room with chairs and magazines and to the right of it was another waiting area. This was glassed in with double doors leading in. Inside were several video games, wood benches and a Thomas train table. Michael was in heaven with the train table.
We had a bit of a wait but the time went by quickly and we were called to come back. The exam room was quite large and could accomodate 4 patients at one time. There was a large TV on the wall and the chairs were arranged in a semicircle. On the floor at the center of the semicircle were 6 glass floor panels. The panels covered a mini jungle in the floor! Michael was loving it and kept walking over top of it. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous to talk on top of it myself.
Katie and I sat on a bench and talked with the dental hygienist while Michael explored the jungle. After that, he got right into the exam chair. He was so cooperative for the hygienist and opened his mouth to let her count his teeth. She then used the mirror and showed him how to use it too. Next was the toothbrushing. Michael chose the bubblegum flavored toothpaste and got each of his teeth cleaned with no problems. The hygienist then squirted his teeth with water and used the suction tool, which Michael liked. He even let her floss his teeth. I wasn't surprised about that because he lets me do it at home when he has something stuck in his teeth! We waited for a bit longer for the dentist to come to check Michael's teeth. Everything turned out really well and the dentist said Michael's teeth looked great and he would see us in 6 months.
Michael got a goodie bag at the end of the appointment. It had a toothbrush, floss, pencil, and stickers. All of that was in a case for travel. He got a short tour of the office before we headed back to checkout. The final part of the visit was to have his picture taken in front of the elephant for a memory of his first visit. I don't have the picture as they will send it to us but I thought this was a nice touch.
All in all, I was surprised it went so well. We have been talking about the appointment for several weeks now and I hoped that he would be OK with getting his teeth cleaned. I think it helped that he has been to the dentist with Todd and I but there are no sure things with 3 year olds. I asked him if he liked it and he told me that he really liked the Thomas table just like he has at home.