Braving the Dentist

By Nancy Cozine
Braving the Dentist

When Jack’s first tooth came in when he was about 8 months old, I actually cried. Not because I was overcome by happy emotions at this milestone, but because I knew it meant one thing … The Dentist!

I know no one loves going to the dentist, but I have an unfounded, completely ridiculous fear. I am stricken with anxiety at just the thought of calling to make an appointment. And, now I had to figure out a way to be brave because it was time for Jack to start seeing a dentist.

I knew it was coming. I knew the first birthday rule (first visit by first birthday, or when the first tooth appears), but I talked myself into believing that was a long time away. So there I was ill-prepared for this moment.

After some great pep-talking from my husband, I mustered up the courage to combat my fears for the sake of Jack’s oral development. I had done a great job so far – carefully cleaning his gums every day with a wet cloth, using the right orthodontic nipples on my bottles – I couldn’t let it all go now, could I?

After talking with some of the other Moms in the neighborhood and checking our dental insurance provider list (we added him to our coverage at the first open enrollment period after he was born, in case you were wondering), I decided on a pediatric dentist. And, with a little hand holding, made an appointment.

The morning of his appointment I was a nervous wreck, but I tried hard to put on a brave face. My palms were so sweaty I was afraid Jack would slip out of my hands while we sat in the waiting room. They called our name and there was no turning back. The dentist introduced herself and asked me to sit in the chair and hold Jack in my lap. My heart began to really pound as she came toward us…

And then she started talking to Jack and showing him some colorful toys. She got him to smile and without him even really knowing looked in his mouth and gently touched his gums. Then said, “ok everything looks great.” She showed me how to clean his new teeth and explained what she will do at future appointments every 6 months. I had made it through!

Six months flew by with a few more teeth popping through. I took him for his second appointment and guess what? It was just as easy this time. I realized, when I called to make his third appointment, I was as calm as can be!

Delaney’s first tooth broke through yesterday, this time I cried because I found out while she was nursing!