Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Little Teeth, Big Cavities

Wes had his very first dentist appointment last month. I was afraid Wes was going to give a level one melt down as soon as we walked in the door. Happily, I was proven wrong. We went with Children's Dental hoping that a dentist who specializes in kids would be a better fit. And we were right!
They have a great waiting area with a little old fashioned village, a flat screen tv playing disney movies, and 2 touch screen computers for playing games.
In addition to smaller, private rooms they have a large room filled with tables, each with a small tv for the kids to watch while they get worked on.
At one side of this room is another play area. It's got a couple more tv screens for video games, and...
A really cute school bus to play in.
One of the best parts is how the doctor handles his patients. He's great at putting kids at ease with his easy humor and silly jokes. He lets the kids be held by their parents so they feel more comfortable and secure.
Poor Wes had to get x-rays, but it was so great how easy it was to take them.
That's when we saw the tears came out.
But getting to choose a cool new Spiderman book and a balloon cheered him up!
So at the end of this appointment the dentist slammed us with the number of cavities Wes has. It was a large number. We did not take care of Wes's teeth like we should have. To be honest, mostly because I didn't think that it mattered much with baby teeth. Not a good attitude to have. In an effort to keep my fellow moms better informed than I was I found some great information to pass along!

Say good-bye to your toddler's toothless, gummy grin and say hello to his first dentist appointment.

Whether your toddler has a mouth filled with teeth or only a few poking through, it’s time to start thinking about keeping his adorable smile healthy. Sure, baby teeth don’t hang around forever (they generally start to fall out to make way for adult teeth by the time your child is six or seven), but it’s still important to keep those tiny teeth — and gums — in tip-top shape while they’re saving the spots for grownup teeth. How do you make sure those pearly whites stay pearly? First teach your toddler to brush his teeth (or tooth) at least twice a day (use nonfluoridated toothpaste until your toddler knows how to spit out the paste fully). Next, book his first dentist appointment — if you haven’t already.

But before you assume that getting your toddler into the dentist’s chair will involve either a tantrum or bribery, remember that your child doesn’t harbor any ill will toward his first dentist — yet. After all, he hasn’t had a close encounter with The Drill. For him, his first dentist appointment could be as much fun as a stop at the local amusement park (the chair goes up and down, back and forth!). So keep your own negative feelings in check (if you have any) and let your child enjoy his first dental visit with the same enthusiasm as a visit to Grandma’s (without the candy, of course).

Here’s what you need to know about your tot’s first dentist appointment:

When to go. Most experts recommend that you take your child to his first dentist appointment within about six months of his first tooth’s arrival, or by the time he turns one. If, however, your toddler’s teeth are obviously discolored — you’ll probably want to take him to the dentist sooner rather than later.

Whom to choose. When it comes to picking a first dentist, many people take their tot to Mom and Dad’s dentist — and this is often a good choice, particularly if your dentist has experience with young children. You may also want to consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist — someone who has additional training in caring for children’s oral health. Another bonus to choosing a pediatric dentist: He’ll be prepared to deal with any squirming or hollering in the dental chair, and he’ll have a waiting room filled with distractions such as kids books and toys.

What will happen. Expect the first dentist appointment to be short and informal — more of a meet and greet for your child and the dentist. Depending on your child’s age and comfort level, you may be asked to hold him while the dentist pokes around his mouth. Or you may be asked to hang back in the waiting room so your toddler can have some quality time to get to know the dentist and staff on his own.

As for the business of inspecting your tot’s teeth, the dentist will check for decay and take a look at your child’s gums, jaw, and bite. The dentist or the hygienist may clean your child’s teeth and apply a fluoride preparation (particularly if there is a stain or a high risk of cavities) or he or she may save that for the next visit. Chances are, the dentist will talk to you about good oral-hygiene habits — and give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about toddler teething, thumb sucking, tooth-friendly foods, or anything else that pertains to your toddler’s oral health. You may want to bring a list of your questions to the appointment so that you remember them when you’ve got the dentist’s attention.

How often to visit. Based on how your toddler’s teeth look, your dentist will let you know when to make the next visit. Most experts recommend that toddlers see the dentist about every six months — as long as there are no major problems. So don’t forget to schedule your child’s second appointment on your way out the door!

If you have any teeth tips please share! And if you're headed to the dentist good luck!


  1. That dentist office is the coolest one I've seen! What kid wouldn't love to be there?! I'm glad your sons appointment turned out better than you expected. That's my hope for when I take my 2 year old daughter to her first visit in a few months. I'm hoping to let her sit in on her brothers appointment first so she knows what to expect. I wanted to pass along this Mom's Guide to you. It has great tips on how to better care for our kids teeth. http://www.1dental.com/moms-guide/

  2. Bacteria will convert sugar from food scraps into acids that cause tooth to become acidic environment (natural environment teeth should be alkaline) and acid is what ultimately makes a small hole in the tooth enamel.

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