I had to book a dentist appointment this week. When you reach my age – pushing 30! – your ideas about the dentist are pretty set in stone.

They may be the nicest person in the world. They may have a lovely twinkling smile, have a wonderful bedside manner and be incredibly attractive. They may even offer you treats and stickers if you behave yourself in the chair.

And yet, despite all of those factors, you still firmly believe they’re going to drill a giant black hole in your gum, pull out all your teeth one by one and, if they’re feeling sadistic, stick your tongue to the top of your mouth so you can no longer speak.

(Just me who thinks that then?)

But, it should be pointed out, that virtually every dentist is lovely and they do a fantastically important job.

With that in mind, we took Sophie for her first appointment.

She’s got some healthy looking teeth, one really cool shaped fang and a host of others coming through.

We started cleaning her teeth as soon as the first one poked through and she quite likes the feel of having her teeth brushing.

Her lip smacking certainly shows she’s keen on the toothpaste.

So, a trip to the dentist was not only a rite of passage, but a chance for us to find out a bit about what we needed to do as parents to take care of her teeth.

And besides, he surely wouldn’t wreak all that havoc on a small child’s mouth now, would he?!

She was far too small to sit in the chair so my wife held her while our lovely dentist had a quick look in her mouth.

Dentist

“1…2…3…” he counted slowly, the dental nurse methodically recording his words. “4…5…” Sophie started to wriggle so my wife kept her still.

“6…7…8…she’s got eight teeth,” he triumphantly proclaimed. Well, we kinda knew that! Four at the top, four at the bottom had given us a healthy clue.

This little girl seems more up for it than Sophie was!

Perhaps this little girl is having her teeth counted too!

“But what about the slightly pointed one?” we blustered. “And her gums…are they healthy?”

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” he smiled. “All you need to do at the moment is get her used to the toothbrush and be cleaning her teeth regularly. That’s it. And we’ll see her again in six months.”

So, with that we were ushered out of the door. Sophie’s mouth had survived, far more comfortably than we’d imagined, and the whole ordeal lasted little longer than a minute.