thread: Taking your toddler to the dentist

  1. #1
    Ali Guest

    Taking your toddler to the dentist

    Just wondering at what age did you first take your bubs to the dentist?Was it an awful experience or did the little ones behave?

    I have just realised that I have never taken my 3yo to the dentist and I am a bit apprehensive,


  2. #2
    Registered User

    Apr 2003
    Western Australia

    I am in the same boat as you.

    My daughter needs to go sometime as well and I haven't done anything about it!

    I will be watching your question for replies!!

    Thanks for raising it!

    Best wishes

  3. #3
    Custardtart Guest

    Try and prime the kids before you go, tell them it's going to be really interesting and exciting and they can learn all about the shiny tools the dentist uses! Take along a playpack just in case you have to wait a while and there aren't enough toys in the waiting room, but most of all, don't let the kids know that YOU think it's a drag going to the dentist. My children think that going for appointments is an absolute blast, they love it.


  4. #4
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!


    I have zero experience in this area, but I did notice in our local library a cute kids book about "A Trip To The Dentist".........that may help make the whole deal into an "adventure" for Chloe?

  5. #5
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
    Add BellyBelly on Facebook Follow BellyBelly On Twitter

    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia

    Unfortunately I have lots of experience here!

    My dentist generally recommends taking your baby to the dentist for the first time (after it's teeth erupt of course) when you have your normal yearly check up, to slowly get them used to someone looking at their teeth. All he does is have a look in their mouth and that is it - no tools, nothing, just so they get used to the idea. Other suggestions include getting a little torch to look in their mouth and explain the dentist will have a look at their teeth, inside their mouth. My dentist even has pretend dental mirrors made of plastic and reflective paper so you can play at home.

    If you get to the dentist and the child is upset, stop - you don't want their first experiences to be bad or all future visits will be difficult too, as they will remember how traumatic it was. So if they are not obliging, then stop and try another day, just practice looking in their mouth and things like that.

    I actually found Marisa to be completely against a woman dentist looking at her teeth, but once she had a male dentist, she actually laid back and let him look! She had her head in my lap and the dentist was lovely - he was a paediatric dentist though as Marisa had very early signs of decay in a back tooth - when I helped to wean her at 2 years I would give her a weak bottle of milo as distraction and she'd often fall asleep with it. Wont do that again! It was so traumatic and I had major mother guilt, you can read the full story in this forum somewhere, it was around 9-10 months ago.

    It's not going to be as bad as you think, I promise! But just don't let the dentist force the little one to do anything or you'll probably find trouble going to the dentist next time.

    Good luck!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    In 2015 I went Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team

  6. #6
    Ali Guest

    Thanks all - I am sure it will be OK. Chloe loves any new adventure and even enjoys seeing the doctor!

    I was hoping someone would know what age it is recommended to start taking children...any dentists or nurses out there? I just met a new friend who takes her children every 6 months starting at 12 months. If that is recommended, I should probably book 2 appointments and take my youngest too!

  7. #7
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
    Add BellyBelly on Facebook Follow BellyBelly On Twitter

    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia

    My sister is a dental nurse and worked for the BellyBelly website dentist. He suggests in their first year, to take them in with your own usual annual check up and make regular appointments for them then in. Some dentists do 6 monthly and some 12 for younger children. Just ask your own dentist what he does normally for children when you go in for the first time.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    In 2015 I went Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team

  8. #8
    mooshie Guest

    okay i am hopeless myself with the dentist lol

    anyway i finally went and got a check up when my son was around 3 yrs old, i spoke to the nurse first and asked if he could ride in the chair etc - told him that morning mummy and jay were going to the dentist and he was going to have a ride in a special chair and then the dentist was going to count his teeth. well he came in with me and i went on the chair the dentist (who i have been going to since i was 5 omg he should be retired by now lol) was fantastic he asked jay if he wanted to hop on and jay flatly refused so we didn't push it and my mum took him into the waiting room whilst i got my filling done and teeth cleaned. he was fine with all this.

    i then took him again when he was 4 and this time he sat in the chair and let the dentist count his teeth and he got a sticker and a toothbrush - it was a good experience for all of us.

    apparently in vic for anyone that wants to check it out, pre schools have a free dental program, i don't know much about it as i haven't heard this year but my g/friend told me about it last year so it might also be worth asking around pre schools if they have some sort of dental program run through councils etc.

  9. #9
    Ali Guest

    Thanks Mooshie and Kelly for your tips - I am embarrassed to admit that I am one of those hopeless people that doesn't get their teeth checked regularly 8-[ . Luckily I have had no dental problems so far.

    But - maybe the girls are the inspiration I need to get organised and take the whole family. Will check back in and let you know how we go.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Jun 2005

    i am horrified of going to the dentist so last time my husband went for a teeth clean i was working so he took our ds with him. he was about 3 at the time. the dentist put him up the chair and had a look at his teeth then gave him lots of stickers and a new toothbrush. he made it so casual for him that ...thank god he is nowhere near as scared as me! he told us to take him back around the age of 4 for a checkup.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Oct 2004
    Outer Eastern Subs - Melb

    I'm a fairly regular visitor to the dentist, not because I enjoy it but because I must be a goody-goody. I've been taking DD since she was born in the pram. Since she was about 18 months they'd put her in the chair and have a look at her teeth and she's been great at not having any fear.

    It's a good thing really because at 5 one of her teeth broke and she had to have a filling. Then 4 months ago the same tooth had an abcess and she had to have 'kiddy root canal' work done. She was so brave and I was so proud of her. It didn't tickle but she just 'bit the bullet' and accepted that's what had to be done.

    I'm just glad she'd had so many positive experiences at the dentist - just regular check ups - prior to her serious work being done. Hopefully it will be a long time before she needs anything else done.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Jan 2005
    Down by the ocean

    I was thinking of this the other day. Mason was terrified at the Dr's last week, but he may just enjoy a ride in the chair.

  13. #13
    Pietta Guest

    One of our close friends is a dentist so i will ask him and get back to you! He did tell me to give Ryley his own baby toothbrush to get him used to having stuff in his mouth (Besides toys!!)

  14. #14
    layla Guest

    I think having a good dentist is the key!
    I have been seeing the same once since I was 12 and he's great with my kids. I took them with me for all my check ups when they were babies and they'd have a ride in the chair. Once they were about 2 years old he would "count their teeth " and give them a sticker. All very positive.
    Sean is now almost 10 and has never needed any work, but Kate has had a couple of fillings and a damaged tooth pulled out. I imagine it could have been quite traumatic for her in different circumstances but she has never hesitated to hop in that chair and has never complained.
    Get recommendations from people and find a dentist you are comfortable with.