AGL Kids Guest Post: Why It’s Important to Bring Kids to the Dentist Early

AGLLogoThis week’s guest post comes from Chris and Rose Tam, the awesome parents behind All Good Living Kids, a local business that sells organic, chic, and eco-conscious clothing for the young ones. The Tams share an experience that taught them why it’s important to bring the kids to the dentist before the age of 2. Here’s their guest post:

When we first had our son we would read articles about bringing your baby to see the dentist as soon as they had teeth. We know! Sounds ridiculous, right? Babies get teeth between 4-7 months old! Why do you need to bring them to the dentist when they are only months old? And you probably have heard others say, “Aren’t those baby teeth anyway?”

The Tam Kids

Big Smiles from the Tam Kids

We felt this same way. This is why we didn’t bring our son to see the dentist until he was between 3-4 years old. Unfortunately, when he got his initial assessment, he had 10 cavities! Now it’s not like we were feeding our child sugar. But we have to admit, he did love his apple juice. Now, I don’t know if the cavities were all from the apple juice. I have a friend who fed her children apple juice all the time, and they never had a cavity. I do believe that if we took him for a visit from a younger age, the dentist might have seen the signs of decay and we could have done preventative measures to reduce the number of cavities.

If that doesn’t convince you to go see a dentist early, maybe this will. The day of his scheduled fillings, his body ignored the oral sedation. That’s right, no sleepy child.  Now, try putting a nitrous mask on a child who has only been to the dentist 1 time before. That’s right…freaked out child! Apparently the nitrous only works if the child is breathing the gas in. And I guess since a screaming child is breathing out, nitrous can’t get in! In the end we had to papoose him to a board and proceed with the fillings. Luckily we had an awesome dentist who worked super fast and remained super calm, despite his crying, and I survived. He’s 9 now and we have been coming every 6 months to get his teeth cleaned and I am happy to say that he has only had 1 additional cavity since that dreaded first visit.

We learned from that experience. We took our next two kids well before their 2nd birthdays and have continued to do so every 6 months. Our 6-year-old has only had 2 so far. And our 4 year-old, knock on wood, has 0 to date. Woo hoo!

Now I don’t know. Maybe they have better teeth genes then their older brother, but I do think that going earlier made the difference.

But why should you really go see a dentist early? To get the kids used to going and not being scared of the dentist. Let them meet the dentists, hygienists. Let them see for themselves that it doesn’t have to be scary or painful. They can see for themselves that going to the dentist is not so bad. They will get their teeth cleaned, wear cool sunglasses, get pictures taken, and if they’re lucky, they may even get to watch a video or play a video game! If that doesn’t convince a kid, I don’t know what will. It will make those days when they actually have to get a filling a lot less scary for them and for you, ‘cause believe me, holding your child down while he is papoosed and trying to keep your own composure so they don’t freak out more, is tough.

Thanks Chris and Rose! Got a story to share? Send us a comment below and tell us about it. And don’t forget to check out the AGL Kids blog here: http://allgoodlivingkids.com/blog/

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