For something done only once or twice a year, them "getting used to it" just isn't going to happen. The chance of them remembering something that happened 25% of their lives ago isn't so great. Let him watch you when you go. :)
when do you start going to the dentist? Or do you ever? - Page 2
I absolutely disagree!! (lol not to pick on you or anything!) My 2yo DS remembers completely random things that happened when he turned 1, like how some guy came and knocked down the house down the street. He only went to the doctor once last year -- 6mos ago, though he came along on my visits once or twice too -- and he was way more comfortable at his 2y appt. yesterday but also recounted what happened the last time he went to the doc (why he had been there, what the doc had done -- and it wasn't a routine exam). He also remembers that at his 1y appt, (so over a year ago) someone had left a little monkey toy in the waiting room. Maybe my kid has an unusually strong memory??? But I think we don't give kids enough credit -- because I swear his memory is even better than mine... And that doesn't even account for the more subtle/subconscious forms of memory (I like to call it 'body memory' because your body will remember things your mind doesn't!)
Our family dentist recommend that at 3 they come with me to my cleaning and watch, then at 3.5 they do a "teeth counting" appointment, they sit in the big chair, get their teeth counted, meet the hygenist and dentist, see the tools, etc. At 4 they do the first real cleaning.
But... at DD's first appointment they found a spot of decay in a deep groove on her back molar, our family dentist at the time didn't do work on kids, so she referred us to a pediatric dentist. We went and they recommend appointments starting 6 months after the first tooth comes in! They do not allow parents back with kids like 2 and up, and I was really surprised by that. However, DD did awesome without me, better in fact, and their office is super cool. The rooms are all decorated on a theme, with stuff hanging from the ceilings, etc. The kids really like going, in fact we go today. I would fight the no parent rule if it was an issue, but it hasn't been at all. They also are not big on flouride, so that's not been a big issue. The kids actually ASK to go. Now, we have to pay 50% out of pocket, so these visits are spendy, but worth the preventative care.
my kids go to a children's dentist, and their office doesn't start seeing kids till age 2 unless you see a problem. For the under-3's, the dentist comes into the room where he talks with parents after examining the kids, the child stays on your lap with their head leaned back onto his legs, and he looks in their mouth. No flouride treatments, nothing at all. He *might* have cleaned or brushed DD's teeth, I don't remember. I think with DS2 I might bring him the first time just before his 3rd b-day with his older brother. At 3 they go back without me....it's always gone just fine.