when do you start going to the dentist? Or do you ever? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-02-2011, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been wondering when I should take DD to the dentist for the first time.  I guess it would just be for getting used to the idea and having them look at her teeth to make sure everything looks OK, but I am turned off by the fact that we would have to pay out of pocket, and I don't want to have them actually put anything on her teeth, I don't trust flouride treatments.

 

I guess I am just wondering at what point it would be actually necessary, and what exactly a pediatric dentist would offer an almost 2 year old at a first dental visit?


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Old 03-02-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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Unless you see chalky areas that dont brush off,  dark spots or gray areas ...or some other concern I took mine at about 3yrs old.     SOME ped dentists will recommend 1yr old.    I worked as a dental hygienist for 16 yrs ( but stopped when ds3 was born).   All the general dentists I worked with suggested in absence of concerns 3 is what they suggested

 

At 3 we would count, check for decay and polish the teeth.  Do a general exam.


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Old 03-02-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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I want to say we took DS a little after his first birthday, but only because we thought the back of one of his lower teeth was looking "blackish." Turned out it was a blueberry stain because he ate so many blueberries!

 

Anyway, they told us to start bringing him in regularly at 2 (I think they may seem them once or twice a year, just for a general checkup?).

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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I took DS before he turned 2.  Maybe 2 months before?  All they did was look at his teeth.  He's going back again this month and I think they may try to do a cleaning, this time, if he'll let them.  The dentist said they wouldn't push it if he won't let them because he's still very young.  I just wanted him to get used to going so he isn't scared.  I'm not sure why but I have always loved going to the dentist as weird as that sounds.  I think it's because I had good experiences with it when I was little. 

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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I took DS with me for my last visit (I think he was around 18mos). I had called ahead to make sure they wouldn't mind (and DH was there too in case DS freaked out badly before my exam was complete). So he saw me get my teeth cleaned & examined, and got a ride in the chair, plus some stickers & stuff. They would have looked in his mouth quickly & let him play with the tools, but he was already terrified so we didn't push it. But anyway, call your own dentist & see if they'd be willing to do that for you. It takes less than 5 minutes & accomplishes your goal of getting her used to the dentist without costing you any extra or getting into fluoride discussions!

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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We've gone in at 2 and it was less then sucessful. We start going in every 6 months right when they turn 3 unless we notice something beforehand. 


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Old 03-03-2011, 08:30 PM
 
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I agree with JBaxter. I took our son in early like 15mths because it was free.  We didn't have any concerns and the Dr. didn't tell us anything we didn't know, so it was a waste of time.   

 

They told us to "bring him back when you think he will sit still for a cleaning 2 1/2 - 3yrs old., unless we noticed anything of concern."  

 

BTW: Our dentist office doesn't allow kids to come into the exam room unless they're the patient, so it IS worth calling ahead to ask about their policy.   

 

Hope that helps.


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Old 03-04-2011, 06:48 AM
 
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Our regular dentist advises to start around 3 years old.  We've done this with our older two and it seems to be a good time to start.  The first visit is a ride in the chair, exploring the instruments and a look in the mouth.  The second visit involves a simple, general cleaning and by the time they are 4 years old they go in for regular cleanings and start x-rays if needed.


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Old 03-04-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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This is too funny, DD who's 2 yrs 2 months has her 1st appt today, but that's because she's got a tooth near the front that looks like it has extra white on it if that makes sense... it just looks concerning.  Other than that, i think I've heard the same thing others are saying, closer to 3 is the usual time for 1st appts.

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Old 03-04-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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This is exactly what they did at Charlies first appt a month ago.  And we scheduled it on the same day as my annual cleaning, so he could watch mommy first.  He was soooo into it.  and the special "toy baskets" they have on the floor were a huge hit.  WINK
 

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At 3 we would count, check for decay and polish the teeth.  Do a general exam.



 

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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we went at 18m, but DS has teeth that concern me. I didn't like what this dentist said (basically nothing, wait until they fall out and we'll see what the adult teeth look like) so we're going to a larger practice at 2y


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Old 03-05-2011, 12:00 PM
 
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We went at 18 months. I believe they checked the teeth, polished the teeth a bit and applied fluoride. We went to a pediatric dentist. Really the experience was good for me, because then I was better able to understand what they were capable of doing for an 18 month old. It was fast but they did get a good look in there. We went again at age 2. They checked teeth, polished, applied fluoride. DS did better this time around. (First time at 18 months he really just screamed his head off, but they were only in there for like 30 seconds, so it wasn't too bad. And the screaming allowed them to see in there good.) At 2 he was a little upset, but no really hysterics.

 

The way my dentist did it, is the baby sits on my lap (I hold his hands) and lays his head back into the lap of the hygenist or dentist.

 

Our insurance covers the dentist visits, but had I needed to pay I probably would have waited until 2 or 2.5 unless I had a specific concern.

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Old 03-06-2011, 08:11 PM
 
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I brought DS just shy of 2.5.  He did so well at the appt.  He sat in the chair by himself and let the dentist look in his mouth and brush his teeth. 


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Old 03-07-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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So I'm curious: what does the dentist do if there are whiter spots on the teeth? My son has some of this, around the lower edges of his two front teeth. He's only 21 months and barely lets us look at his teeth so I figured a dentist visit would have to wait. I'd hate to put him through the experience if the dentist is just going to "watch" the spots.


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Old 03-07-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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We didn't take our first ds until he was 4.5 yrs and that was still tough to get him to cooperate. He has always been very reserved and introverted and appointments with the doctor were just starting to get a bit better.  I wasn't going to push it if he wasn't willing to cooperate and to pay the money for it, he wasn't insured for dental at the time. No problems and no caries! Although I realize waiting may not be good for all kids.

 

With ds 2 we'll probably go around the suggested 3 yr age. He's much more sociable than his brother and so I don't think we'll have that same problem.

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Old 03-07-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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We took DD shortly after she turned 2. My dentist suggested she come in just to look at her teeth so she can be comfortable.She looked in her mouth,gave her a toothbrush and warned us against giving gummy vitamins which we don't anyway.

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Old 03-07-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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we just went for our first - he was 1 week over 1 year old

 

i mostly wanted to go because he had some grey-ish spots on his front teeth.  they buffed right off.  we went to a pediatric dentist and he and the staff were wonderful, even though my son screamed his head off for most of it.  the dentist said the same thing as above - the open mouth screaming lets him look in their mouths really good.

 

he was fine almost immediately afterwards and i got a talk about not letting them have juice and especially not letting him have a bottle of juice to suck on all night.  plus, we got a toddler toothbrush, but were recommended to just use gauze wrapped around our fingers for at least another 6 months.

 

we paid out of pocket since i'm not adding him to our dental insurance yet.  it would cost an extra $420 per year to switch to the family dental plan vs just paying $75 for the visit.

 

the dentist we went to never pushed anything about flouride.


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Old 03-07-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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My son had these too. The Dr. said they were places of demineralization. She applied fluoride to them.

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Old 03-07-2011, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukuspot View Post

I've been wondering when I should take DD to the dentist for the first time.  I guess it would just be for getting used to the idea and having them look at her teeth to make sure everything looks OK, but I am turned off by the fact that we would have to pay out of pocket, and I don't want to have them actually put anything on her teeth, I don't trust flouride treatments.

 

I guess I am just wondering at what point it would be actually necessary, and what exactly a pediatric dentist would offer an almost 2 year old at a first dental visit?


I just wanted to point out that most states have dental plans for kids without insurance...DD is fully covered for pretty much everything by the state. We took her at 18months and I guess it was a good experience, she did cry though. I think she could have waited until she was two but her front tooth has an ever growing chip from when she bit a rock. The dentist just said it was fine though and I was too busy dealing with a cranky baby to ask him why it was fine and what would happen to it. She has another appointment at 2 years old.

 

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Old 03-07-2011, 08:50 PM
 
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Both of our LOs went before their first birthday and every 6 months since then.

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Old 03-08-2011, 01:42 AM
 
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For something done only once or twice a year, them "getting used to it" just isn't going to happen.  The chance of them remembering something that happened 25% of their lives ago isn't so great.  Let him watch you when you go. :)

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Old 03-08-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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Quote:
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For something done only once or twice a year, them "getting used to it" just isn't going to happen.  The chance of them remembering something that happened 25% of their lives ago isn't so great.  Let him watch you when you go. :)


I absolutely disagree!! (lol not to pick on you or anything!) My 2yo DS remembers completely random things that happened when he turned 1, like how some guy came and knocked down the house down the street. He only went to the doctor once last year -- 6mos ago, though he came along on my visits once or twice too -- and he was way more comfortable at his 2y appt. yesterday but also recounted what happened the last time he went to the doc (why he had been there, what the doc had done -- and it wasn't a routine exam). He also remembers that at his 1y appt, (so over a year ago) someone had left a little monkey toy in the waiting room. Maybe my kid has an unusually strong memory??? But I think we don't give kids enough credit -- because I swear his memory is even better than mine... And that doesn't even account for the more subtle/subconscious forms of memory (I like to call it 'body memory' because your body will remember things your mind doesn't!)

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Old 03-08-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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Our family dentist recommend that at 3 they come with me to my cleaning and watch, then at 3.5 they do a "teeth counting" appointment, they sit in the big chair, get their teeth counted, meet the hygenist and dentist, see the tools, etc. At 4 they do the first real cleaning.

 

But... at DD's first appointment they found a spot of decay in a deep groove on her back molar, our family dentist at the time didn't do work on kids, so she referred us to a pediatric dentist. We went and they recommend appointments starting 6 months after the first tooth comes in! They do not allow parents back with kids like 2 and up, and I was really surprised by that. However, DD did awesome without me, better in fact, and their office is super cool. The rooms are all decorated on a theme, with stuff hanging from the ceilings, etc. The kids really like going, in fact we go today. I would fight the no parent rule if it was an issue, but it hasn't been at all. They also are not big on flouride, so that's not been a big issue. The kids actually ASK to go. Now, we have to pay 50% out of pocket, so these visits are spendy, but worth the preventative care.


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Old 03-08-2011, 08:18 PM
 
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my kids go to a children's dentist, and their office doesn't start seeing kids till age 2 unless you see a problem.  For the under-3's, the dentist comes into the room where he talks with parents after examining the kids, the child stays on your lap with their head leaned back onto his legs, and he looks in their mouth.  No flouride treatments, nothing at all.  He *might* have cleaned or brushed DD's teeth, I don't remember.  I think with DS2 I might bring him the first time just before his 3rd b-day with his older brother.  At 3 they go back without me....it's always gone just fine.


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