Remember the tale of the two lost teeth?
Well, after Jamaine lost the second tooth, we decided to bring her to the dentist.
I wasn’t quite sure how she would react. I remember going to the dentist when I was a kid and how horrible it was because the dentist scraped and poked at my gums and teeth. Not fun at all.
This time, I thought I could help Jamaine prepare for her first visit and let her know what to expect.
Good thing, one of our storybooks had one about Dora going to the dentist. I told Jamaine, the experience would be just like Dora’s. The dentist will look at her teeth and clean them.
“Mommy, will my teeth grow back?” Jamaine asked.
“It will,” I said. “That’s why we have to go to the dentist. Let’s listen to what he says. He will also help you make your other teeth stronger.”
The dentist was hubby’s cousin so that worked in our favor as well. He wasn’t a pediatric dentist, but he was good with kids and he had a gentle way about him.
Before he used any of his tools, he would explain to Jamaine what it was for and he would constantly reassure her throughout the cleaning process.
Jamaine was behaved the whole time, I was so proud of her.
And when it was Iya’s turn to sit on the dentist’s chair, Jamaine cheered her on and told her, “It’s okay, Iya. It’s okay.”
My girls came out of the dentist’s clinic with big happy smiles and a reminder from the dentist to always brush their teeth.
That worked in my favor. When they’re less than enthusiastic to pick up the toothbrush, I say “Remember when we went to the dentist, he said…” Works every time.
When my kids have to go through a new experience, I think the key to reduce resistance is to prepare them for what is going to happen. Reassure them constantly and use stories if you can to illustrate what the experience is like.
If other people are involved, make sure they understand that it’s important to make the experience pleasant, if not enjoyable, for your kids.
Chances are, if they have a good time or if they at least had a pleasant experience, they won’t think twice about going back.