A few weeks ago, I finally made an appointment for The Boy to visit the dentist. (I actually made an appointment for all of us to go to the dentist, but Cute Husband and I see a different dentist and we couldn’t get in to see him until next month. But I digress.) I’m not sure why, but it seems pediatric dentists are kind of hard to find. It doesn’t make sense. The AAP recommends taking your child to the dentist before the first birthday, but no one seems to have told the ADA that.
One of my coworkers recommended her son’s dentist, but after calling for months and waiting for them to call me back, I finally asked another friend where she takes her little boy, and she sent me to Dr R. It’s a bit of a drive for us (30 minutes!), but as soon as we got out of the car, The Boy started pointing up at the windows where a lion, a monkey, and an elephant stared down at us. So far, so good.
Once I got him into the building (“It’s a bright sunshiny day – a perfect day to play!”), he clung to my leg while I turned in the new patient paperwork, then willingly parked himself in front of the TV to watch Ratatouille. Oh – as if it’s not enough that there’s a TV in the waiting room, there are TVs above every chair in the cleaning/check-up area. How cool is that?
He did really well with the cleaning, but he didn’t care for the sharp pokey-thing or the mirror that Dr R put into his mouth to check his teeth (16 in all! Only 4 more to go, and then we’re good for a little while). He also didn’t like getting his teeth flossed, which I’ve now been told I need to do each night. [sigh] But the cries were just fussy cries, nothing really traumatic (or so I hope – I suppose I’ll know when I get his therapy bills in about 20 years), and he was perfectly happy again once he was sitting upright. Plus, he got a rubber duck and a toothbrush out of the visit. How can you possibly argue with that?
So, he got 16 healthy teeth and no cavities. The top central incisors look a little discolored, she said, so I’ve been instructed to brush those really well in the mornings and a night, floss between them before bedtime, and bring him back in February for a fluoride treatment. (He had some fluoride painted on all his top incisors after his checkup. He wasn’t a big fan of that, either.) Then the next check-up isn’t until May.
As for pacifier use, she said we’re doing the right thing by limiting it to bedtime and only bedtime, but she’d like to see it go away by his second birthday – no later than 30 months. We’ll have to work on that. She was also happy to hear that he’s been off the bottle for 7 months, and that we don’t give him any juice.
All in all, I’m happy to cross this First off the list. I’m glad we didn’t wait much longer, but I kind of wish I took him earlier so that The Boy would be more accustomed to having people poking around his teeth. But he’s got healthy teeth and healthy gums, too. I really can’t ask for more than that.