Getting Kids to a New Dentist? It’s not Like Pulling Teeth Anymore!

By KIM S.

“If only grown up dentist visits where this fun.” That’s what I kept telling myself on our recent trip to visit Dr. Joe at the Children’s Dentistry of the Rockies.

Upon our move to Missoula, one of the first things our crew noticed every day when we made a trip down Reserve Street was the big brown bear sign outside Children’s Dentistry of the Rockies. 

“Mom, we want to go play there,” says Tinker Belle as we drive by one afternoon. I tried to explain to her that it wasn’t a bounce house or play area but rather a dentist.  Clearly not having the adult size appreciation for trips to the dentist she squealed, “Yeah! I can’t wait to go there.”

Childrens Dentistry of the Rockies

A couple months settled into our home in Missoula it was finally time to begin making the usual round of doctor appointments that come with the territory of three children under the age of 5. First up, the dentist. Now like most parents I tried to prepare the girls for what this visit might be like even though this wasn’t our first time.  “The DR is going to look at your teeth. Even these way back here,” as I gently show Strawberry Shortcake by using her toothbrush. My goal was not to have them nervous but just prepared. No tears- that’s what we were hoping for.

All this worrying was… for not.  Upon walking into the Children’s Dentistry of the Rockies we were instantly greeted by a larger then life bear in a barrel and a various assortment of animals such as an owl hiding in a tree or a turtle fishing on the cash wrap.  Video games, music, toys- wait is this a dentist office?  I couldn’t believe the instant squeal of joy that came from my crew.

Getting Kids to a New Dentist? It's not Like Pulling Teeth Anymore!

 

Getting Kids to a New Dentist? It's not Like Pulling Teeth Anymore!

After checking in, were greeted by the nicest team with big smiles and the promise of an adventure around the corner in the big chair. Down the hall and to the right a whole wall of prizes, and a game wheel greeted us.

 Getting Kids to a New Dentist? It's not Like Pulling Teeth Anymore!

 

Getting Kids to a New Dentist? It's not Like Pulling Teeth Anymore!

Once in the chairs the girls were given their special “glasses” and headsets. Laid back to a perfect angle they were minutes into their favorite movie before they even met Dr. Joe.

Getting Kids to a New Dentist? It's not Like Pulling Teeth Anymore!

We left with smiles and goodie bags full of exciting toys and dental tools. The girls could hardly wait to get home to try out everything in the bag.

Getting Kids to a New Dentist? It's not Like Pulling Teeth Anymore!

 

Getting Kids to a New Dentist? It's not Like Pulling Teeth Anymore!

I’m sure I have left out several details but I will leave you with this: why can’t the dentist for grownups be half as much fun as this?

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Kim StaningerKim is a former city girl, married to an outdoorsman, and a mother of three (Shortcake, Tink, and Turbo). When not burning toast, helping the little ones talk through meltdowns, and teaching ABC’s and 123’s, Kim (aka 406 Mom) is exploring Montana and making it her home.  You can find Kim on Instagram or Twitter at @StingNest, and many of her Missoula adventures and mommy memos here on….406Mom.