My big girl hates going to the dentist. It was always like this, regardless what kind of problems she had or what kind of doctors we visited. Every time we were supposed to go for regular checkings or for some serious appointments, she was terrified, with outbursts of panic attacks and deep anxious moments. Now, as a fully 18+ years old, she is in the same mood every time when faced with the prospect of a visit to the dentist, whatever the reason.
On the other end of the spectrum, is me who with 6 was sent to the dentist on her own and never experienced any terrifying moments when on the chair. I always had teeth issues and although a regular checking program and many family dentist friends took care of me, nothing could stop the teeth decay and even more visits to the dentist. But although I also went through really weird episodes - when one dentist lady decided to make an extraction without anesthetic because she was afraid that I might have an allergic reaction to it - I kept trusting the doctors, using any visit as an opportunity to talk about teeth health and other medical related issues. A knowledge that didn't help that much as apparently the lack of a proper food in early childhood and some genetical issues faced me with the unpleasant situation of starting loosing my teeth in my early 20s.
Baby Teeth Routines
With my 2-year old son, the situation is still work in process, but I tried from his 8 month of life on to introduce the dental care routines into our daily life. In our advantage plays also the fact that in Germany, there are local institutions in charge with such issues, and from his first year of life we were requested to pay a visit to the city hall dentistry cabinet to learn about basic rules of stomatological care, including what products to not use - such as sweet juices.
We started by brushing the teeth twice the day - in the morning and in the evening - by using fluoride-based tooth paste, without added sugar, and trying to find the best eco- and using friendly tooth brushes, as the one we had from Planet Bamboo. Introducing this routine into the daily life was made step-by-step and as usual, the best way to do it is by offering yourself the best example. My son was able to see that I am doing the same and even that before I am brushing his teeth, I am doing the same with his favorite Teddy bears.
However, our trips to the pediatric dentist weren't always a cup of tea. With the pediatrician he was always friendly and as we go there regularly, there is a certain connection between the two, therefore although once in a while he is not so keen to go through the regular healthy checkings, the doctor has enough authority to convince him to do. With the pediatric dentist the situation is a little bit different. It might be some mysterious way which scares the kid every time he or she sees a chair and all the tools around it. Convincing my otherwise friendly son to sit on it, even on my lap, was almost impossible and here we are, 4 visits to the dentist later and still unable to keep him to the mouth open for more than 1 second...
Keep Visit the Dentist
Although at this stage, the risk of serious teeth decay problems is probably very low, I still recommend to use the services of a pediatric dentist, as he or she will certainly have some extra acquired skills about how to deal with children. Or, at least, the cabinet do have some stuffed animals and other kiddy attractions that might keep your baby entertained and in a better friendly mood. Another tip will be to keep visiting the dentist once in a while, maybe every 6 months, just to let your baby used with the ambiance, and the doctor and, if lucky enough for keep him on the chair, the basic routines. Especially if you are a single parent with a limited time in your pocket, you might feel annoyed by all those visits and consider it a waste of time, but believe me, you made in fact an investment in your child and it is what matters after all. As in the case of the pediatrician, it is important that you keep an open line with your dentist for consultations about the best toothpaste and brush to use and any other issues that might affect the dental health of your child - the proper foods and what to avoid - too much sweets, for instance - is equally noteworthy. Especially when you have a family history of tooth problems - as I do - finding the right strategy for keeping the genetics in chess cannot be done without the adequate professional help.
Therefore, it is important that besides the pediatrician, to have also a good reliable dentist for your baby too, which will help you to keep the serious dental problems at bay and avoid serious issues later into adulthood. Dental issues are opening the door to many other ugly maladies therefore be sure that you do everything possible to prevent serious issues, by using an early dentistry checking for your baby.