I kinda feel awful right now.

Beauty’s first dentist appointment was today.  She’s three.  I keep seeing articles and things saying that your child’s first dentist appointment should be when she’s two, or one, or when she gets her first tooth, or whenever, but when I called a year ago they told me to call back in a year.

So there we were, and we put her on my lap and the hygenist counted her teeth, which went okay (though Beauty tried to close her mouth whenever they put something in it), and then they got out the polisher and the hygenist asked Beauty if she could use it on her teeth.

And Beauty said no.

And the hygenist asked a couple more times, and Beauty said no, no, no I not!  And I explained to Beauty that we needed to do this a little bit, and the hygenist got the first few teeth and then started asking again, and Beauty said no some more, and finally she gave up.

We’re going to a different dentist next time, I think.

But the reason I feel awful is that this is probably the first time that Beauty was asked if she wanted something, and she made it very clear that she did not, and I made her do it anyway.  If the hygenist hadn’t asked permission, but instead had taken a “this is what we’re going to do…” approach, I wouldn’t feel bad.  We’ve been down that road at the doctor’s office plenty.  But as it is, my daughter was asked what she wanted and then her wishes were blatantly ignored and I really don’t like it.

I feel like I didn’t have any good options.  Right now I wish I’d advocated for her.  I wish I had pushed the hygenist away and pointed out that she asked and my daughter said no.  But it’s also a fact that I need to teach Beauty that what she wants isn’t always what’s good for her.

It is not helping that I’ve been seeing a lot about rape culture and consent and things lately.  I haven’t been seeking it out, but it’s been there.

I’ve always embraced a mind-minded approach to parenting.  It’s one of the things that makes me good at it.  I don’t think I did a good job today.

I think I’m finding a new dentist.  In a year.  Her teeth are fine.

And so is she.

Update, later that evening: I’m a lot calmer now.  Hero says my neurochemistry is clearly off-balance, and he’s usually right about that so I’m believing him that this will all look much better in a few days.  Stupid hormones.

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3 Responses to Dentist

  1. CosetTheTable says:

    Oh sweetie!! *hugs*. Do you have any idea why she said no? Not that a 3 year old can always tell you why, but sometimes they can. My suggestion might have been to have the hygienist demonstrate on you first, but that would only work for some of the reasons Beauty would object. Or maybe they could have used it on her hand first? I don’t know, it’s kind of a weird thing to let a strange person put in your mouth, honestly.

    (When I was about 10 or so, the dentist wanted to schedule sealants. My mother said no, and scheduled the next checkup. I went in the next time, expecting a normal checkup, and had sealants put on me. Which was pretty terrifying to me, as I hadn’t even had a cavity at that point, but for whatever reason, I didn’t stop them. My mother was ANGRY.)

    • I dunno, she doesn’t really like stuff going into her mouth in general, and I think she disliked the vibration. The gradual thing doesn’t usually work on her, to be honest. Getting her to open her mouth a second time was more difficult than the first, and I think a third would have been pretty much impossible.

  2. CosetTheTable says:

    Also worth explicitly stating— despite my own little messed up dentist story, I was fine, and continued to go to the dentist without being freaked out, including getting braces. Also, my teeth are probably better off for having been sealed.

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