Flashback: December 2010 – I was 8 months pregnant with Alex and we were celebrating Olivia’s 2nd birthday at my brother-in-law’s firehouse. Everything was great, except for the fact that half of my family cancelled last minute, the food was late arriving and was cold, and I was just a hefty mess of hormones. But, my little lady was turning 2, and she LOVED Elmo, so her birthday theme was fittingly Sesame Street. I never thought we’d potentially end up at the dentist.
While I was waddling around trying to get things set up for the minimal guests, Olivia was running around playing with another little girl. They were sitting on a couch in the back of the room and I figured she was surrounded by other adults, so she was fine.
Yeah, not really. I heard a bang and then screaming. I turned to see my husband carrying my little birthday girl who was BLEEDING from her mouth.
Blood was running down her chin, onto his shirt, and dripping on the floor. O.M.G. This was a major injury in my eyes. She’s never been really hurt before (except for the time her daddy threw her into a moving fan, but that’s a whole other story).
After the crying stopped, we had to check out the damage. A chipped tooth, very bruised gums, and a fat lip. Not so bad but understandably she was very touchy the rest of her party. Even when Elmo himself arrived, she was still a little sad from the trauma she just endured.
The following Monday we made an emergency appointment with a pediatric dentist to make sure she didn’t damage her teeth. The dentist checked and filed down the chipped front tooth and we were out the door. She recommended we start regular dental cleanings/check ups at this age, so we made our first appointment for a few months later.
A few things I learned from her first appointment at the dentist:
Going to the Dentist
– those gummy snacks I’d been letting her eat are the worst for baby teeth. Mainly because they get stuck in those back molars and since baby teeth aren’t as strong as adult teeth, they tend to decay faster.
-fruit juice is also a no-no when it comes to advice from dentists. Fortunately, my girls rarely drink juice. I don’t even buy it at home.
Everything was going well until Olivia’s 3-year appointment. She had an abscess on her gums above the tooth she damaged in the fall. Turns out, the root of her tooth had been slowly dying over the past year. It needed to come out. That was a whole ordeal in itself. This year the other tooth was so loose because it didn’t have it’s friend that they pulled that out as well.
My 2-year-old got her first checkup this past February. She did fabulous. She’s a bit of a late teether. She only has 12 teeth at 2 years old. Turns out she has what is called a “double tooth.” Her 3rd and 4th teeth on the bottom are fused. I read up on it and it only occurs in 2% of the population. Her dentist wants to keep an eye on it to make sure the adult teeth under the baby teeth aren’t fused as well. It’s funny looking. I haven’t been able to get a good photo because, well, she’s 2.
My kids seem to have an extensive dentist history in the short amount of time they’ve been alive. But, through everything, they still enjoy going. Part of the reason is because I researched all of the pediatric dentists around my area. I think it’s important to choose a pediatric dentist rather than a regular adult dentist.
I’m happy to say that even though our dentist has pulled 2 of Olivia’s teeth, she is not afraid to go again. That might be in part because the Tooth Fairy has visited twice. But I also think choosing the right dentist is key.
Our dentist’s office is awesome. First of all, the waiting room is kid friendly, which is important if you have to fill out paperwork or wait for the hygienist to come get your child. Also, they know how to deal with children’s fears or insecurities. They’re always happy to see the girls and take extra time with them instead of just rushing through everything. They also give out cool stickers and my girls favorite, Disney Princess floss. So, if you’re in the market for a dentist for your little one, research and use review sites to help you make your decision. It really does pay off, especially for your child(red).
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