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I am trying to decide how to get these kids to the dentist. I scheduled it for today, then changed it. Now it's scheduled for Thursday, but I think I should change it again.
All of them have cavities. I can tell that just by looking. I have to brush their teeth for them because they don't know how. They probably never did it. Hailey's are of course the worst, because she's older.
Should I do them all in one day? I'm thinking that might not be a good idea. Should I do them two at a time? And who should go first?
I was thinking Hailey should be top priority, since she is the only one with permanent teeth right now. And as much as I want all the kids to have healthy teeth, all their teeth are going to fall out eventually anyway, Hailey's aren't (she only has four permanent teeth that I can tell). But if I take her first, I don't want her scaring the others. If I take Benny first, he can't really tell them anything, neither can Amy. Christine might be able to tell Hailey some things but even that's not that likely. But Hailey could probably terrify them all if she wanted to.
Also do they gas children for fillings? I don't know how dental care is handled for kids. Will they need flouride treatments? Will they pull teeth that are really rotten?
 

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First I wanted to say you are doing a wonderful thing taking these kids in! My parents had 4 kids close in age when I was younger. They always did 2 at a time for dentist visits. If you take them all at the same time they might all be put into a seperate room at the same time- making it impossible for you to comfort everyone. If you take 2 in ask that they be in side-by-side rooms, that way you can go back and forth between the kids and keep an eye on them. If you're worried about Hailey scaring the others then I would suggest taking 2 of the younger ones on one day, then the next day (or even later that day if you can) take the other 2. 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon maybe. Make sure you talk alot to them about why they're going to see the dentist and that the dentist is going to help them.
 

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Ask if they can put caps on instead of pulling teeth, if that's possible (and financially possible.) Baby teeth are still really important because they hold the "place" for the permanent tooth. And they help with speech development, etc.

PS. There is a dental sub-forum under the "Health and Healing" category. (I know it takes a while to navigate around MDC.)
 

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Hi,

I don't have any dentist advice but I have to say this--remember all of those mathematical word problems we had in high school? That's what your post reminds me of-- I had to laugh. I can take Amy but not Benny- Benny can't tell Amy anything but Christine......and Hailey will scare them all- lol. So who do I take first?

If train A leaves the station at 2pm and goes 60mph and train b leaves at 2:30pm and goes 75 mph......lol.

Ah yes, and we thought we'd never use that stuff in the real world!!!!!
 

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The dentist is not going to fill cavities at the first visit- he or she will check and clean teeth and recommend flouride treatment (flouride treatment takes 30 seconds if you choose it). If fillings are needed you will schedule a future visit. You can help prepare your kids by being calm, feeling confident that this is important, reading picture books about going to the dentist, and/or talking in detail about a check up at the dentist before you go in. For the littlest you can actually lie down in the chair with your child lying on top of you- I did this for my son until he was 4.5 years. Do you have a second adult to go with you? THen you can be a calm reassuring presence for the child being examined while some one else reads or entertains the others. I actually took my son in while his dad was having his teeth cleaned so he could see the whole set up before his first cleaning.
 

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I have two kids--5 and 2.5. I used to take them all to the dentist at the same time. I will never do this again--the older boy is VERY AFRAID of the dentist even though it is a good, gentle pediatric dentist and he has gone since he was 2 years old. He freaks out! Runs out of the office, screams... he is very scared. I think it is best to take them one at a time if you can because if one child develops a sudden fear (as this was a sudden fear of the dentist) you can help them through it. I couldn't really because i had the 2.5 year old, too.

Good luck--it is the best thing to do for them now it will save them a lot of pain before it gets worse!

Also, look for products with xilitol--a naturally occuring sugar that actually proctects teeth... it was done wonders for our family.
 

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The first visit would just be a cleaning/looking/coming up with a plan visit.

Then it would depend on the dentist/child relationship. Our dentist is big into pain management, but still like to do as many at a time as a child can sit through. Ours uses gas to keep them calm and says they all do great.

I'd still try to save the baby teeth, like someone else said they hold the place, I also think they are good "practice" for establishing good habits.
 

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PS. Make sure you find a pediatric dentist. They are specifically trained to deal with kids (and have cool toys in the waiting room, etc.)
 

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I agree with others who have posted - they won't be doing any fillings or extractions that first visit. They will ride in the chair, get an exam so the dentist can determine what needs to be done. Maybe a cleaning if you scheduled it that way? Nothing traumatic. I'd take all four of them - but I'd take another adult to help you anyway.

Good advice on YOU being confident and positive! Kids can read you like dogs smell fear. If you are scared then it will be much worse, even if you are faking like it is all good. My kids love the dentist; ask when they get to go again. Dd1 has had one cavity filled (think she was three; I was just beside myself but it went really well). Dd2 and dd3 have just had cleanings every six months starting when they were each three.

I would do a lot of prepping - we'll go to the dentist. They have a fish tank in the lobby and some toys you can play with while we wait for our turn. I will fill out some paperwork. We'll all go in and you each get to sit in a colorful chair that goes up and down! Wonder if you'll get the purple chair or the blue chair or the green chair? (We actually make little side bets on this at my house - for something like who gets to pick the video that night or whatever.) The hygenist - that is the lady who will make your teeth all sparkly clean - will count your teeth. Hey, let's count them right now and see if she gets it right! You get to wear cool sunglasses 'cause they have a really sparkly light that lets them see your teeth better. She'll put a bib type thing over your shirt so it doesn't get splashed with water when she cleans your teeth. Her teeth washer vibrates; it is so cool! She'll let you touch it with your finger before she starts so you know what it will feel like. When she is done, the dentist will come in and see how sparkly your teeth are. After that I will talk to the dentist a little, then you'll get to pick out a sticker and we'll get going!

I think knowing what will happen, and making it fun and positive is the key. We do the whole "which color chair", count your teeth, cool shades, prize at the end, fish tank angles and my kids have always skipped right in.

When you schedule the fillings, I'd do one kid at a time if it were me. Just easier to focus on helping them one at a time. Oldest kid last!

And I laughed about the math word problem analogy!
 

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It may be easier if you take care of the littlest ones first. They will probably do a deep cleaning and fluoride treatments, then schedule them for fillings for a different day, otherwise it could take 4 hours for both kids.
 

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I'm not sure, but make sure that you have a kid friendly dentist. We had a pediatric dentist in NJ and she was horrible!! My kids hated her and I was not happy either. Now we are back in PA and we go to a regular dentist andmy kids love to go. They love Miss Joanie and Dr Mark.

So, important than who goes first is that the dentist is a super dentist.

And good luck and lots of prayers heading your way.
 

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honestly,
i have not known of them to do a lot of work at the first visit.
It will likely be Xrays and cleanings, and then discussion and planning for what treatment needs to be done...and setting future appts to do said treatment. MAYBE if a kid needs something very minor like 1 small filling, they will do it then and there, but otherwise, we have always had to go back for a seperate appt to actually get the work done after the initial evaluation/xray appt.
Perhaps you could just call, and see if the dentist does work right then, or if you will have to go back..that might help you make your decision.

i see no harm in going to the first appt, and just seeing what needs to be dine, and what the options are. For permaneant teeth, there are cavities that can be filled with new techniques, like laser drilling, and no-drill (they use like pressurized air or something, i'm not sure), if the cavities aren't bad.....so there's no huge needle of novocaine, etc.....or for other procedures, normally you can get gas first and then pain medicine, sometimes even "sedation" dentistry, where you basically get knocked out, and they do it all at once and you aren't awake to hear the drills, etc.....you wake up and its done.
For little kids, like you said, depending on HOW bad it is, whether the rotting teeth are likely to start the permannent teeth underneath rotting, how soon to losing them they are, whether there is pain, etc, there are options..one being just to wait, or to pull the teeth early (sometimes not recommending for speech-language isssues) or to fill them or cap them.....
Like all things parenting, there are going to be lots of options and choices. You might have one dentist tell you it HAS to be done one way, and get three more opinions with different answers. All i can say is, if a recomendation (and that's what doctors give, RECOMENDATIONS, NOT ORDERS!) really feels wrong to you, and the dentist is claiming there is no alternative, get a second opinion.....if you can find a "holistic" dentist in your area, that might be best.

Also, i have to say that....unless there are serious, painful issues to be dealt with right away.....dental treatment can possibly wait for a little while..a couple weeks maybe... *IF* it is going to cause a lot of stress. I know your instincts are to jump in and get everything done, up-to-date, etc....but for these kids...the life they had versus what you are offering them (which is AWESOME, by the way!!), is terrifying and strange. Bombarding them with tons of strange doctors, dentists, etc, might be a little to hard....i know you said you were going to get a TV because they are used to it and you will gradually wean them down, so I know you understand exactly what i am talking about. So, perhaps a cleaning visit, and Xrays, let them get to know the doctor and hygienist, and the whole new concept of "going to the dentist"....and then make the appts for actual treatment in a couple weeks.
 

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Just jumping in to second the recommendation for toothpaste with xylitol in it - xylitol creates an environment in the mouth inhospitable to the bacteria that cause cavities. You can also get xylitol gum, etc. which might be great for the older kids (chewing it has been shown to decrease cavities). It's available both in fluoride- and fluoride-free formulations (we alternate for our kids because I think a little topical fluoride is OK, but not too much in kids who aren't good at spitting all of it out).

I like Squigle (for fluoride): http://www.homesteadmarket.com/xylit...hpaste_es.html

And Epic (for non-fluoride): http://www.epicdental.com/
 
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