Kids & The Dentist

Houston Smiles Series Graphic{For more posts within this series, click the picture above.}

Okay, so you remember my last post about children’s teeth, right?  And you remember how I said that all children should visit the dentist by the time they hit their first birthday?  Confession :: I *just* took both of my kids {ages 1 & 3} to the dentist for the first time last week.  You see, it’s just that with Hayes’s medical issues and then me launching this little thing called Houston Moms Blog, well – I’ve been a little bit busy.  I know, I know…  There is absolutely no excuse, and I already used the online appointment request to book their next check-up six months from now.  I just needed a swift kick in the rear to get their dental health off to a great start, and I am so glad that our sponsors at BLVD Dentistry gave me one!

And now  I’m here to give you that gentle nudge too.  Trust me, you will be SOOO glad you booked that appointment too!

Preparing for the Dentist

Kids & The Dentist (2)As with everything else in life, preparation is KEY!  Make sure that both you and your child are fully ready for their appointment by following these few easy steps…

  • Make sure you find a dentist who is not only comfortable, but very familiar with children’s teeth.  The great thing about practices like BLVD Dentistry is that they are truly a one stop shop.  You can visit them for your kiddos, for yourself and your hubs, and even for your teen who – gulp! – may or may not need braces soon too.
  • Oh, and be sure to schedule a time when your child is well rested and generally happy.  Everyone will appreciate it if you take the time to really think that out.
  • Once you book an appointment, hop online and fill out the patient registration forms ahead of time.  Trust me on this one!!!  It is no fun to have two wild toddlers crawling all over you while you try to answer just one. more. question. in the middle of the waiting room.  {Can you tell I speak from experience on that one?!?}
  • Both on the paperwork and in person, be prepared to let the dentist know about any medical conditions or medications that your child is currently taking.  You may not think that the hernia surgery they had when they were a baby is all that important, but every little detail really is.
  • Also, be sure to jot down any questions or concerns you might have for the dentist too.  For instance, is there a tooth that may be emerging a little funny to you?  Does your child still take a bottle or a pacifier?  Have you noticed any pain or discomfort related to your child’s mouth?  They are there to help – just ask!
  • Leading up to the appointment, talk about, read books, and even role play what is going to happen at the dentist’s office.  Your child will LOVE going to the bookstore to find a new book all about teeth, and they will think it is so much fun to take a peek in your mouth or even pretend to give you a cleaning.
  • Always, always, ALWAYS stay positive and excited about the dentist – no matter what.  As I am sure you know by now, you are your child’s biggest role model, and they will follow suit with however you feel and whatever you say.  So be sure to talk highly about the dentist, and don’t EVER use going there as a threat, “If you don’t brush your teeth, I’ll make you go to the dentist and have him do it for you!”

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What You Can Expect

Kids & The Dentist (5)Okay, here is where I’m going to get a little bit personal and share exactly what happened at our visit with Dr. Ramsey at BLVD Dentistry just last week.  {The good, the bad, and the downright embarrassing!}

  • When we walked into the waiting room, we were immediately greeted with a big smile and warm welcome.  I had let the receptionist know that this would be my children’s first time coming in, so they really went out of their way to make them feel right at home.  {Possibly a little too at home.  Keep reading…}
  • So you know how I told you to fill out the patient paperwork AHEAD of time?  Yeah, I forgot to do that.  I’ll spare you the details, but this is where the embarrassment kicked in as my kiddos tried turning the waiting room into their own personal jungle gym.  Thankfully, everyone was so sweet and just giggled at their antics.  Phew!  I was so glad I booked an appointment with an office that was kid friendly.
  • Just a few minutes after I handed in the paperwork, we were called back into the private exam room.  And I must say – I LOVED that my kiddos were contained in those 3 1/2 walls and not disturbing the others around us.
  • The dental hygienist was so incredibly kind and really took her time explaining each and every step to my children before she got started.  My one year old was still a little bit young to really grasp it all, but my three year old hung on to every word that she said.  That extra effort on her part made it amazingly easy when it was time for her to get in there and really start cleaning.  My son opened his mouth like a champ, let her get to work, and was beyond proud of himself after she was done.  SUCH a proud mama moment for me too!
  • Once she finished up, Dr. Ramsey came in to take a look at things.  And this, my friends, is probably where I should mention that not only is he uber-patient and such a nice guy, but he is also a dad to a toddler as well.  So he totally and completely gets it…and doesn’t make you feel bad when your kids start to get a little bit wild.  {Once again, speaking from experience!}
  • Somewhere in the midst of my children climbing all over, Dr. Ramsey managed to get a nice, good look in both of their mouths.  He counted teeth, checked for cavities, and just made sure that their dental health was in overall good shape.  He did notice one issue in my daughter’s mouth that needs to be taken care of ASAP, and I was so thankful that he not only brought it to my attention – but gave me all of my options and helped me make an exact plan for next steps and a resolution.
  • Once we finished up in the exam room, it was time to say goodbye and head home.  But first, my kiddos both got to pick out a brand new toothbrush AND a prize from the treasure box!  Y’all – they seriously felt like they hit the jackpot, and both of them brushed their teeth and played with their new toys the entire ride home.

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Calming Fears & Anxieties

While of course, we can all hope for a great experience and smiling faces with each visit, we know that sometimes there are legitimate fears and anxieties related to the dentist as well.  If that’s the case for you and your family, here are a few suggestions that may help.

  • Start young.  The younger you begin getting your kids to the dentist, the better off you will be in the long run.  Sure, it may be crazy to try and get your 10 month old who only has four teeth to sit still, but the important thing is that they are getting the experience and paving the road for a lifetime of good dental health.
  • Prepare before EVERY visit.  Prepping before the first visit is HUGE, but doing a little something before each and every visit can be just as important too.  See the notes above for ideas and suggestions, and know how much confidence you are giving them by helping them prepare.
  • Be positive.  Even if you may have slipped and said some not very nice things in the past, make a change now.  Talk about the dentist and what a great guy he is.  Remind them that he has so many neat tools.  Point out the office as you drive by and talk about how exciting it is there.  Keep that positive impression in the forefront of their mind year round.
  • Explain the importance.  Take the time to really talk about how important it is to have healthy teeth.  Let them know that we need our teeth to chew our food and grow big and strong.  Tell them that the dentist can help check our teeth in ways that we just can’t do at home.  You might be surprised at how much they understand.
  • Know that it’s okay.  If you’ve tried everything, but the fears and anxieties won’t go away…don’t stress yourself out over it.  Seriously.  Your dentist has seen all types of patients with all kinds of backgrounds, and they are there to help you and ease those burdens too.  The important thing is getting your child there.  They can help with the rest.

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Don’t forget – if you’re searching for a family dentist that is helpful, patient, and kind, we can’t recommend our sponsors at BLVD Dentistry enough!  Check out their four Houston area locations below, and take that first step by booking an appointment SOON…

BLVD Rice Village
2402 Rice Blvd, Suite C
Houston, TX 77005

BLVD Heights
107 Yale St, Suite 300
Houston, TX 77007

BLVD Oak Forest
1343 W. 43rd St, Suite F
Houston, TX 77018

BLVD Galleria
1801 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 1D
Houston, TX 77056

Please Note :: This entire Houston Smiles series is graciously title sponsored by BLVD Dentistry; however, all thoughts and opinions are proudly our own.

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Kelly is the founder of Houston Moms Blog and has lived in this beautiful city nearly all of her life. She has a degree in education from Texas State University and was honored to teach special education for eight years to some of the cutest little kiddos you could ever meet. While teaching, Kelly met Cody – a tall drink of water and country boy to the core – and together, they fell in love, got married, and decided to start a family. In March 2011, they welcomed Hayes into the world, a silly but smart little boy with a story you have to read to believe. And in April 2013, their family was complete with the addition of Hadley, a super gregarious and oh-so-cute baby girl. Now, Kelly devotes her days to caring for her own little ones…and would not trade this new job of hers for the world! In her not-so-spare time, Kelly loves meeting up with her girlfriends for margaritas, failing miserably at Pinterest projects, and exploring this big old city with her two favorite little side-kicks in tow.


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