September 10, 2009

First visit to the dentist

I had wanted to bring Yiu Yiu for a dental check-up since last year with the intention of exposing her to dentists, so that she won’t grow up fearing the dentists, like I did. My first exposure to the dentist was when I was in primary school. Those days, we had mobile dental clinics visiting our school and they would check on the oral health of the students. Students found to have dental caries were then arranged to undergo further treatment at the Klinik Pergigian, and I was one of those students. I've always dread going to the dentists, even to this day. And I always have to brace myself up for the twice yearly dental check-up! It could be due to the traumatizing experience of being taken to the Klinik Pergigian then, or it could be due to my extremely sensitive palate that whenever any dental instrument touches it, I'll retch.

Since I want her early experience with dentists to be a positive one so she doesn't grow up dreading them, I wanted to find a dentist who's child-friendly and would put her at ease during the visit. Someone recommended this dentist but her appointments are always full, especially on Saturdays, and has to be booked weeks in advance. As such, I procrastinated, as usual!

The other day, I noticed a tiny brown spot on Yiu Yiu's upper right lateral incisor and upon closer inspection, I was dismayed to realize that it was actually a tiny cavity. I quickly checked on all her teeth and found several tiny cavities on her lower teeth as well. I quickly called up the clinic but I still couldn't get an appointment with Dr. Jean, the owner. The earliest appointment available was around 3rd or 4th week of September but her front desk manager assured me that their other dentist, Dr. Amy, is good with children as well. Since I didn’t want to wait that long, I decided to see Dr. Amy. Even then, our appointment was only scheduled for a week later.

Before the visit, I had been psyching Yiu Yiu up, telling her that I'll be taking her to the dentist to check on her teeth as some of her teeth are "spoilt". She asked if it would be painful and I had to evade the question by saying that the dentist will only check and clean her teeth, coz I really wouldn't know if the dentist would do anything on her teeth. Anyway, she seemed to look forward to the visit, and even asked if the dentist is pretty…haha!

The visit went very well. While waiting for our turn, Yiu Yiu happily played with toys at the waiting area and walked around kpc everywhere.


When our turn came, Dr. Amy talked to her and put her at ease immediately. She checked on Yiu Yiu's teeth and confirmed that what I saw are early caries.



I think in total Yiu Yiu has about 4 or 5 teeth with early caries. And since Yiu Yiu doesn't sleep while sucking on her bottle of milk, which is the most common cause of tooth caries in children, she said that probably Yiu Yiu's teeth are just more susceptible to caries. Luckily Yiu Yiu's caries are all at the incisors, which should start to fall off in 2-3 years time. There's none at her molars, which will be with her for a longer time as the permanent molars don't erupt until she's 9 or 10 years old. There's no need to do anything now but to ensure that we maintain good oral hygiene to prevent the caries from worsening. My fault actually, coz I never insist on Yiu Yiu brushing her teeth before sleeping. But from now on, I guess she'll have to do it whether she likes it or not. The dentist also asked me to floss for her daily. Now that's going to be a challenge, coz I myself don't floss regularly :-) Anyway, I guess I also have no choice but to be more diligent in caring for my teeth as my gums have receded over the years due to tartar buildup.

14 comments:

2ma said...

yiu yiu is so brave!!!

Hui-Wearn Tuan said...

hi! dr amy chin was my coursemate in uni. anyway - don't worry about flossing as yet but make sure you brush diligently nightly. then make sure you bring yiu yiu for her regular check ups.

Liew said...

Mmmm like mother like daughter.....but doter is better coz she is not afraid of the dentist :)

jazzmint said...

good that her 1st experience is a pleasant one :)

Linda said...

Few months ago, I also took my daughter to a dentist, She got filling on the upper 2 front teeth. There are still few cavities on the other teeth, but the dentist said the cavity is too small to fixed.....

Since then I make sure that I brush her teeth every night before she sleeps after her last milk...

Good that you can find a child friendly dentist there, I wish i can find a friendlier and more patient dentist here in Penang too.

A Mom's Diary said...

2ma - I suppose children approach everything with an open mind. It's we adults who plant fear, etc in their minds :-)

HW - so flossing is not really necessary for her yet? Yeah, gotta make sure she brushes every night now.

WK - now that you mention, yeah hor...I used to have lots of fillings done. How come you, WF and KS no problem one leh?

Jazz - that was my main objective, to make her first trip a pleasant one.

Linda - thanks for dropping by. Looks like our daughters have the same problem. Why not ask around if someone can recommend a child-friendly dentist in Penang?

Liew said...

Because we are not as 'wai sek' as you la ;)

Mummy to QiQi said...

i just brought qiqi to dentist last thursday due to some emergency. We are so surprise to find out that 3 of her top molar is badly holed and required root canal treatment at such young age. it was a horrible incident and she cried like mad :(

ryeli said...

wow. yiu-yiu is brave. dunno if mine would be as brave. thanks for the contact too.

i floss daily and am just wondering how do you floss kids' teeth coz there are gaps in between their teeth. i make sure ryeli brushes her teeth everyday as i'm paranoid of these (but there are days we have skipped). a few mths back, i noticed some yellowy stains in which i will scratch them out with my fingers coz i don't want them turning into cavities. guess i have to start her on early dentist visits too.

A Mom's Diary said...

Chinnee - oh dear, root canal! Does QQ needs it for all three molars, or just one? I had root canal done about 10 years ago, so I can imagine what QQ had to go thru

Syn - if we don't plant fear in them, then they should be alright.

Yiu Yiu brushes every morning too, it's just the night brushes that are inconsistent so now we have to make sure she brushes before sleep as well.

KittyCat said...

Floss??? Brushing is already such a chore with this wriggly, playful chap!

Lucas HAS a cavity between his two front teeth so I'm brushing his teeth regularly every morning.

TRYING to do it before bedtime too...

Hope we can find such a nice dentist too to assess his pearly whites. Sweets are definitely the culprit here!

Angeleyes said...

Aiyoh... Yiu-yiu so brave!!!! My Darrius is totally hopeless! Don't say to ask him open his mouth, even ask him to show his hands to a strangers also he will scream till the building shake!

That's why I have been brushing his teeth for him diligently so we can avoid all these now. Can't let the kids brush their own teeth coz it won't be clean!

Also, I cut down on sweet food unless necessary like when he needs his medicine... else no sweets at all!

A Mom's Diary said...

Kittycat - she's quite alright with flossing so far, maybe coz it's the dentist who asked her to do so. Funny how she listens to other people more than her own parents :-(

It's difficult to get her to brush as night too, especially when she's really tired and sleepy.

Angeleyes - I normally let her brush first to get some practice, and I'll finish off for her with another round of brushing. Yeah, at this age, they are not dexterous enough to do a good job in brushing.

Wah, Darrius is so disciplined. Can go without sweets. YY asks for sweet treats daily, and I give in coz I cannot tahan her endless whining, but we limit to only one sweet or choc or ice cream daily. Hehe..looks like I'm the one who's not disciplined :-) We didn't want to introduce sweet stuff to her but she was introduced to them by the two elder boys at the babysitter's :-(

BoeyJoey said...

Hmmm... which reminds me... I should check HQ's teeth to see if there's any cavity... hope I won't find any! *pray*