The dental practice I visit is not one that specialises in children’s dentistry. However, I figured K was probably overdue for her first dental check-up. So I enquired during my last visit whether he also checked children’s teeth. He said theoretically from 1 year old, but in reality they might be more cooperative from 2 or 3 years and up. Ah – I happily related that mine was already 4. But it did took me a while to get my act together and schedule the appointment (oops)…
From the get-go, we were wow-ed by how well he related to K. Though the hubby did comment that the dentist himself looked quite gin-nah… haha.
As K got into the chair, he explained that ‘this is a very special chair…’ which could move back and forth, as well as up and down, and made sure she was comfortable before he started lowering the incline.
Then he gave her the glasses, explained that he was going to check her teeth and Kate was opening her mouth even before he asked!
|Mirror and scaling implement|
Then he explained that he was going to clean her teeth w strawberry toothpaste, if she liked strawberries, and if she liked pink. (Answers were ‘Yes, favourite’ and ‘Yes’. What’s not to love about that toothpaste eh?)
Then he told her he would be using a special toothbrush to clean her teeth and it’d be a ticklish and asked whether she’d like to try it on her fingernail first. Bzzzzzz, bzzzzzz it went…
|The polishing brush with strawberry toothpaste|
So she didn’t flinch at all as he cleaned her teeth, even as his ‘electric brush’ whirred away. He talked matter-of-factly throughout, and even told her that he’d be counting how many teeth she had, and how she had to listen cos he’d be asking her the answer later (and he did remember to!).
Initially, all he observed were some mild stains but alas! He found that one of her top incisors had decay! He showed us the brownish line and noted that it was mild. Nonetheless it was best to get it filled since her adult teeth would take a couple of years to emerge.
We asked if the likely cause was the lack of thorough brushing, and he concluded that it was probably so. We don’t give her much access to sweets, so we’re not sure how there could be enough plague lingering on the top incisors to cause decay…… I asked if I should be brushing her teeth, say every alternate day, to ensure a proper job. He said I shouldn’t have to, if she was doing it right.
He then promptly took out a set of jaws (I’ve been wanting to get a set!) and patiently demonstrated all the surfaces she had to reach. He really didn’t have to, so I was quite pleased that he took the time to.
I asked if she could have the filling done today but he advised going slow, esp since this was her first dentist visit. On hind sight this was probably wise, since when I told k she had to go to the dentist again she said ‘yay!’.
I think his charges were quite reasonable too – her fees were $20 less than mine (usual adult fees for normal scaling and polishing). And for such a great start in the dentist’s chair, I’d say it was worth it!