About two months ago I had a dermatologist appointment, and ended up going to the wrong office. I was running late and got to the desk and they were like “Uh, you’re in the wrong place.” (They have two offices in the same area, about two miles from one another. Annoying!)
As I was leaving, having had to reschedule my appointment for another day, I walked past a pediatric dental office. Since I now had time on my hands, I popped in and asked the receptionist at what age they started seeing kids, and if I could make an appointment for my toddler.
And today was the day!
They took us back to a big, open exam room. There was a little boy to our right, probably about five years old, getting his teeth cleaned, and it was so fun to hear they hygienist work with him. He was wearing big sunglasses to shield his eyes from the lights, and she said he looked like Justin Bieber. Since they only see kids, they’re set up for kids, and it was encouraging to witness.
I was asked a whole list of questions:
Was he bottle or breast fed? At what age did he wean? Does he use a pacifier or suck his thumb? Are you brushing his teeth? What kind of water do you have, and what kind do you give him to drink? Does he drink juice? At what age did his first tooth erupt, and do you remember which one? Do you have any concerns or questions?
And then it was exam time!
I sat in the dental chair with Harry facing me on my lap, and laid his head back in her lap. (So much easier to see into his mouth and get around; will be switching to brushing his teeth laying down now.)
The hygienist brushed his teeth and showed me where two of his top one-year molars are making their way in. “So if he’s crabby, this is why.” I feel like he has been continually teething since July, (and I guess he has been); I am familiar with teething crabbiness.
She suggested we start flossing his bottom teeth as they are close together, and showed me how. Brushing his bottom teeth is like trying to brush a cat’s teeth, so I’m not super optimistic about flossing, but I’ll do my best.
The hygienist logged his teeth in an online chart. His eyeteeth have cut through, but aren’t all the way in yet. One upper molar has cut and the other is about to.
Then the dentist came over— a friendly 40something guy with a red beard and kind eyes. He took a look in Harry’s mouth, at his teeth, his jaw and his bite, and said everything looked good.
Then dentist asked again what Harry ate and drank, and told me no juice and no fruit snacks. He said cheese is a great snack and that it has cleansing properties. Good thing, because we like cheese around here.
No worries about paci use, but confirmed we should limit it to naptime/bedtime. This was a relief, as I was a little concerned. The dentist said that while the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says to quit all oral habits (thurmb sucking, pacifier use) by age 3, he peronally prefers to see them eliminated by age 2. That was already my goal, so it good to have it confirmed.
“Thanks for bringing him in,” he said.
We’ll go back once he has all his baby teeth for his first cleaning!
I’m glad we went ahead and had his first visit to the dentist prior to him needing a cleaning, because it took the mystery out of it for me. Plus now in case he slips in the tub or trips on the driveway, we have a relationship with a dental office, and have someone to call.
Harry loved his new toothbrush, and didn’t want to let it go. Visiting the dentist is exhausting!