Toddler Milestone – Norton’s First Dental Visit

Stock image from stock xchange

For a while now, I’d been trying to get this toddler milestone done.  The Northern Health Authority had said that the first dental visit should happen around one year.  The American Academy of Pediatrics had said two years.  My own dentist had said three years.  Ugh.  After some talking and doing, Norton had his first toddler dental visit today.

I’d had visions in my head of how this particular toddler milestone would work out.  Norton would be his sweetest and most charming self.  He’d sit in my lap in the chair while the husband surreptitiously snapped shots on my iPhone.  He’d smile and be fascinated when R, our hygienist, showed him the instruments.  Everything would be blissful, and we’d follow it up with a fun visit to the park.

Then there was how it really went.

I was stressed out before we even left the house.  The husband was unable to come with me.  He was recuperating from having his tonsils removed and had been dragged into work.  (Yes, he’d booked time off.  But stuff happens.)  Norton was uncooperative.  I changed Eudora’s outfit to get her ready to go since I had to change her butt anyway… and I came back out to find her covered in baby barf.

When I was starting to load the kids up (Eudora was going to go stay with her Grandma Kitty), the husband got home and said that he’d come.  I knew he felt awful, but I also knew that I’d need the help.  It turns out that it’s a very, very good thing that he came along.

While I was filling out Norton’s intake paperwork, he tried to go out the door.  When his daddy stopped him, he threw himself on the floor in a delightfully humiliating toddler tantrum.  This was made even worse by a kid who looked about six or seven telling me, “He woke my brother up.”  (There was a baby who looked to be around eight or nine months in his dad’s arms.  Dad, at least, saw that I was at the end of my rope and said that it was fine.  These things happen.)  Out of desperation, I told the husband to put my phone on airplane mode and let him play with it.

R, our hygienist, came out to the waiting room.  “Are you Norton?”  She was smiling; her voice was warm and friendly.

Norton looked up at her and said very firmly, “No.”

*sigh*  I knew I was in for a treat.  I ended up picking up a screaming toddler and carrying him down the hall.  I tried holding him nicely in my lap but couldn’t hold him.  Finally, the husband held Norton in his lap.  There was no cooperating.  At all.  When R tried to show him the “tooth tickler”, Norton once again shut her down with “No.”  When Dr. N came in to take a peek at Norton’s teeth, there was much fighting.  The husband held Norton’s body and arms.  I held his head and other hand.  Dr. N was also holding on, and R was holding his feet to prevent kicking.

For the first time, I felt supremely grateful that Norton is not a biter.

After the squirming was over, we got the verdict: no cavities, but she could tell he was a thumb sucker.  As I feared, she suggested that braces would probably be in his future.


At least we survived.  And when we got home, Norton went straight to bed.

Maybe the next toddler dentist appointment will be a nicer event.  It was certainly a letdown in the toddler milestone department.  How was your toddler’s first trip to the dentist?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. […] had enough troubles with Norton’s teeth.  No cavities that the dentist could tell after our dentist visit from Hell.  He does, however, have that extra left lateral incisor, and that’s causing some crowding.  […]

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