Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kids and the Dentist

My 4-year-old son is so excited because he got TWO sticky eyeballs.

Have you ever told your kids they have to brush their teeth or they will fall out? Let me tell you, my son won't soon forget that after the latest dental appointment. He really didn't want to go, but was being pretty brave considering the circumstances. Fortunately, his teeth are in great shape. But the little boy next to us.. not so lucky. As my son was clenching my hand, the little boy next to us starts screaming at the top of his lungs. I'm thinking it's his first dental visit and he's scared. Then, his mom starts explaining to the dentist how her son's tooth had fallen out. Her two-year-old son's tooth fell out for no apparent reason! Sure enough, the dentist says he has periodontal disease and his mom says over and over, “See I told you honey, you need to let me brush your teeth or they will fall out.”

Our dental hygientist is a little stunned by the situation. She looks at the fear in my son's eyes, finishes cleaning his teeth and lets him pick two toys out of the bin instead of one. So my son was excited to get two sticky eyeball toys.. and he brushed his teeth twice before he went to bed!

When should your child first go to the dentist? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends at one-year-old. Did you know there are pediatric dentists? According to webMD, pediatric dentists have two years of additional experience beyond dental school. I thought they just catered to kids with toys, movies and kid-friendly equipment. Who knew they actually have more training in spotting dental problems with kids? I'm thrilled.

And what about that pacifier? Is it really that bad for my child's teeth? You can find a list of commonly asked dental questions and answers at healthy smiles healthy children.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Diane Vespa said...

Ugh! That other Mom needs a lesson in tact, especially when it comes to children.

My kids love going to the dentist. They get a new toothbrush and usually a new little toy, too. They sure have come a long way since I was a kid ;)

Exblick said...

My kids' "first" dental appointments were done during one of my check ups. Our dentist scheduled an extra long appointment for me and let the boys watch closely. Then he had my son sit on my lap in the dental chair while he gently "tickled" their teeth (that's what he called it). This gentle introduction made their own, individual, appointments much less scary.

I thought this was a pretty cool way to introduce exam chair and tools in a very non-threatening way.

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