We plan to take Caitlin to the dentist later this afternoon. We discovered a cavity in one of her upper molars after she requested to go to the dentist last night. At first she told us she simply wanted to go but after asking her again, she said her tooth sometimes ached when biting.
I'm glad that she is not afraid of the dentist. I feel that it is important how a child's mind is conditioned when it comes to visiting healthcare practitioners such as the dentist, paediatrician or doctor of any sort. I remember during my schooldays, the school provided free dental care and when the dental nurse came a-calling, we would all be gripped with fear of having our teeth drilled or extracted. I don't remember how the fear originated.
Children's books about going to the doctor and dentist helped us give Caitlin a positive feeling. Most books picture it as a fun and good experience by injecting some humour with the educational elements. We also prepare her for the experience by giving her a heads-up on what to expect and include some of the fun or interesting stuff, such as the tools they use and what they are for, and how the dentist's chair can go up and down, etc.
Caitlin loves visiting her paediatrician and has more than once requested to visit him even when she is not sick. She says she "loves" him and would sometimes draw a picture just before leaving home to present it to him.
August 2007, Caitlin relaxing on the dental chair, waiting for her filling to set.