24 January 2014
Dental Therapists and Pirate Teeth
This week I have taken the three 'big' kids (actually, at 5, 4 and 2, they're all still little) to see the dental therapist. You'll notice we don't use 'dental nurse' anymore. I wonder when that changed?
They were very brave. Even Tristan (2) sat on my lap and opened his mouth for inspection, with only a little bit of coaxing. Rosie was very excited and, while Elliot was still on the chair, kept asking, "When can I sit on the chair?" She looked very cute in her ladybug 'helmet.'
At 5 years old they take the first x-rays, and it turned out Elliot had a couple of little holes forming in between his teeth, where toothbrushes don't reach. Enter the Pirate Tooth!
While it looks obvious-ish in his mouth, I've decided that this is a very good way to go about dentistry in childhood. In a previous life (pre-children), I used to be a Dental Assistant, so I have witnessed at close quarters the fear and abject terror of grown adults as they walk into the dental surgery. Anything that cuts out drilling, scraping, mouths full of fingers and instruments, and painful injections in childhood is a good thing in my book. Perhaps we'll be raising a generation of children who don't fear going to the dentist because they haven't been subjected to painful experiences there.
It's tempting to feel embarrassed that MY kid is the one with a 'fake' tooth (It's still there in all it's glory, just under the crown.). Like I should be ashamed that I let my son's teeth get holes. But you know what? Baby teeth are soft, and we do everything teeth-related right. (Apart from sometimes forgetting to brush in the morning after breakfast. We can do that better.) Instead, I will be proud that we regularly get our children's teeth checked and act when action is needed. Go Mama, go! Save the teeth!