Back in the third week of September 2011 I took my 3 year old son for his first visit to a pediatric dentist. He had seen our regular family dentist before but they were never able to get him to calm down enough to so much as look inside his mouth. So as we got closer to the time he needed a check up I checked with my insurance provider to see what office accepted our provider.
I came up with 3 or 4 offices yet found only a few reviews online that didn't really give me much of an idea what to expect when I went in. So I went with my next easiest option; whomever had the first open appointment. That's how we ended up with our appointment with Dr. James Miller at South Hill Children's Dentistry in Puyallup, WA.
We got to our appointment a little early as I had no clue where I was going. I ended up parking on the wrong side of the building so I had to walk around and find it, no big deal really. I didn't notice any signs pointing me in the right direction but the entrances on the building do say the name of the business but I couldn't see them from my car. We went inside, checked in and were directed to the waiting room. As soon as the door was opened my son was so excited to see a mini carousel!
He rode the carousel for a few minutes until he decided he was done and ready to check out the rest of the toys & activities in the waiting room.
He went & checked out the handheld toys for a few minutes. (They do come off the hooks, he just didn't bother)
Then he discovered the train table!
There were also some arcade games for older kids and a table full of neatly organized books. (Sorry, no pics of the books)
After a few trips down the slide of the little castle we were called back for his checkup.
He sat in a regular dentists chair and I was able to sit on the chair facing him with his legs draped across my lap. He felt much more comfortable having me on the chair with him rather than awkwardly perched on a stool next to him trying to comfort him as we would do at my dentists office.
He did really well as the dentist checked out his teeth. When it came time for cleaning he was a little frightened and told me half way through that he was scared & needed to hold my hand. The hygienist was quick and efficient and was even able to floss his teeth all in under 10 minutes!
After she was done she awarded him with a bag of goodies including toothpaste, a tigger toothbrush, bubblegum flavored dental floss, spider-man stickers and a quarter sized gold token.
When we exited into the lobby I saw what the token was for, an 8 compartment toy machine. I thought this was much cooler and a little more interactive for kids than the regular old treasure chest or bucket that I sometimes scavenged through when I was a kid. Not that there's anything wrong with those, I just thought this added a little more of an "arcade" feeling to the whole experience.
Here we are months later and my son still asks me when he gets to go back to the dentist. It's obvious to me that he can't wait to go back. And honestly, neither can I!
PS...No cavities & 20 pearly whites :)