I'm currently dealing with teething - my 10 month old has 4 teeth and has two more coming through. My 8 year old is losing baby teeth and his adult teeth are coming in - making him look so grown up :( !
I've noticed so many of us have questions about teeth timelines and baby/child oral health so I wanted to share a little story of an experience I had with my son at the dentist as well as provide some super interesting information I learned from a local Pediatric Dentist - Dr. Ella Choi of Playtime Pediatric Dentistry
So my father in law is a dentist and while for the most part it made my son much more comfortable at dental appointments, he had a hard time when he got a cavity at the age of 5. We got him to lay back in the chair, ready to treat the cavity and every time grandpa would put a tool in his mouth he would sit straight up and close his mouth. He was very scared of having the cavity looked at. Rather than forcing him to let grandpa do it, we decided to try a pediatric dentist. We took our son to Playtime Pediatric on West Broadway. They were fantastic!! And my son actually enjoyed the visit. Their office was full of bright colours, toys and books and a super cool fish tank! Once they called us in my son was offered a choice of toys - he picked a hot wheels car, and then he climbed up into the chair. He was given a blanket around his shoulders and the dentist met him with a huge smile and an incredibly kind demeanor.
I reached out to their office and asked the following questions. Dr. Ella Choi's responses taught me a lot! Hopefully they're beneficial to you also :)
1. Why take your littles to see a pediatric dentist rather than a general dentist?
"- Most Up-to Date:
Pediatric dentists are very knowledgeable about the latest technology in dentistry for children. Dentistry is a fast changing field, and there are always new technology and research. If your child does not see a pediatric dentist every 6 months, she or he may miss out on the latest information on taking care of little teeth.
- Small Teeth Specialist:
Pediatric dentists are required to take an additional two or three years of pediatric training after dental school. We are the best at diagnosing the problem and providing the best treatment for your child. After all, that is all we do – taking care of little smiles.
- Dental Education:
If there are any abnormalities in growth and development, pediatric dentists are the ones with answers. We educate parents and patients about nutrition, oral hygiene, cavities and oral habits.
- Behaviour Specialist:
We have intensive training in behaviour guidance and use many different techniques tailored to your child. Part of our pediatric training is child psychology, which allows us to read the child’s temperament, anticipate the child’s behaviour and help them build coping mechanisms.
2. What can you expect from a pediatric dental office setting?
Playtime Pediatric Dentistry is dedicated to creating positive experiences for families by providing a playful environment, child-friendly language and applying behaviour management techniques. We have the smallest dental chairs and tools just for our little patients. We have ipads, toys, TV’s on the ceiling, Gameboys, balloons, prizes to make it exciting for your child. Moreover, it is about the special way we provide dental services for our pediatric patients. We always explain every step and show what to expect in child friendly terms. We call suction “Mr. Thirsty” and a drill is called “Mr. Speedy”. Communicating in a gentle and effective way is our specialty. When your child understands what to expect, they tend to be very good at the dentist.
3. Does a pediatric dentist have specific training with kids?
A pediatric dentist has 2-3 additional years of training after dental school. We are trained at a children’s hospital and learn behaviour management technique, child psychology, sedation techniques and management of medically compromised patients. After completing dental school at University of Alberta, I was trained for three additional years at UBC and BC Children’s Hospital for pediatric dentistry. I also obtained my master’s degree at UBC. My thesis was about radiation in children."
For more information about Playtime and Dr. Choi, visit http://playtimedentistry.ca/
Here are some great references that can help make your child's first and subsequent visits to the dentists fun!
first visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKyjLh8xe2k
And watch here to learn more about your little's teeth timeline, teething and oral care.