How To Recoup After Your 3-Year-Olds Emotional Dental Experience

July 19, 2017

July 17, 2017 started off as a normal morning for my family & I. When I say normal I mean my kids and I got up late and rushed to get ready while yelling and screaming.

No matter how much I prepare the night before, majority of the weekday mornings are chaotic.

We all left home in one piece and surprisingly with everything we needed.

I made 2 stops (sitter and summer fun) before heading to the dentist with my 3-year-old son Temana.

It was only his 2nd dentist appointment ever. He had his 1st cavity (youngest of my children to have). Because his 1st appointment went so smoothly, I was expecting it to be a breeze. 

We approached the room and I immediately sensed his hesitation.

I placed him in the dental chair and he immediately tried to get off.

I tried encouraging him and even bribing him but I was out of luck.

The dental hygienist suggested that maybe sitting on my lap would be better. Great idea!

We sat there for about 5 minutes watching cartoons. You could say that it was like the calm before the storm.

As soon as the dentist came in and said one word, Temana tried squirming away and hiding his face in my chest. (Mind you the sitter is a sweet lady with a calm voice).

He squirmed and we tried settling him for a few minutes.

Him being on my lap was not working.

So we decided to switch. I put him in the chair and I sat by his feet.

What happened in 30 minutes felt like hours.

He had the death grip on my wrists. 

His eyes were shut tight. 

His voce was raspy from crying and screaming. 

He was kicking and squirming.

I could feel the individual drops of sweat dripping down my forehead.

At one point he bit down on the dentists finger and wouldn’t let go.

Towards the end he had the death grip on my head and was holding it close to his chest.


It took 3 adults to get one cavity taken care of.

He didn’t open his eyes until it was completely done.

When it was finally over his voice was scratchy, my hair was messy like I had been through a whirlwind & the dental staff were popped.

When they finally mentioned “treasure chest” he cheered up. Phew!

While reading this many people would think “how horrible of the dental staff!” But although it felt like a tornado, the dental staff were really patient and kind.

I was so glad that there were no other patients in the office. I wouldn’t want other people to think that the staff were horrible.

We got into the car and I felt like I got hit by a bus. My poor baby just went through a horrible experience.

Any sign of sadness or pain in my kids just tears my heart apart♥.

When I dropped him off at the sitter it was only 9:00 am.

I still had an entire work day ahead of me. I was an emotional wreck. I felt emotionally drained.

How was I going to make it through the rest of the day?

I did these simple things before doing anything else:

  • Took 3 deep breaths 
  • Reminded myself that he was totally fine at the sitter
  • Texted my husband and told him about our experience
  • Texted my closest friends and told them as well

Was I totally fine after? Not really but I was able to calm myself down and get on with the day.

Doctor and dentist visits have never been easy for my two boys.

I know that people say that your children can sense your anxiety. Is that true?

I’ve tried prepping them prior but it’s still a scary thing for them.

Are your kids afraid of going to the doctor and dentist?

Do you feel drained after seeing your children go through uncomfortable situations?

What do you do to recoup?

I would love to hear your thoughts! ♥



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