we’re late for dutch’s first dental appointment. he’s only two but it’s recommended by the american academy of pediatric dentistry that your child see a dentist when the first tooth appears. or definitely by the time your child is a year old. well, dutch’s first teeth came marching in full force pretty early. by four months he had four teeth. by six months, six teeth. by eight months, eight teeth. and so and so on. he had a full set of choppers well before any of the kids his age that we knew.
so technically we should have had him at the dentist when he was 4 months. can you imagine? four months old going to the dentist?! i don’t know about you, but i don’t know any one who has taken their 4-month-old baby to see a dentist.
brushing a toddler’s teeth has got to be one of the hardest things i’ve done as a mother. for one thing, at 2 year’s old, children like to exert a certain degree of independence. you know, they feel like they can handle just about anything on their own. but teeth brushing is definitely not one of those things. i mean, sure you can let them brush their own teeth, but they definitely need a follow-up done by a parent.
for instance, i’ll hand dutch his toothbrush with a little toddler training toothpaste on it and he’ll sit there and suck all of the paste off of it and then yell, “i’m done!!” sometimes he’ll actually swish the brush around in his mouth a bit, you know, for all of four seconds and to him, that’s all it takes. but that’s when i usually take over and well, [ding, ding, ding] let’s get ready to rummmmmmmmmble!!!
we brush his teeth often enough, but i’m concerned about the nights when he’s had a bit of milk or juice to drink when he should’ve only been drinking water. and then there are the very, very few times that he’s had candy. like the other morning when i was rushing around to get dressed for work only to find dutch walking around with a green apple jolly rancher in his mouth.
first thing in the morning.
when he hadn’t even eaten breakfast because he said he wasn’t hungry.
and when we hadn’t even brushed teeth yet.
and did i mention, green apple jolly rancher?
i bought the candy for my 12-year-old stepson during the weekend and i’m sure he took the bag home with him, but somehow one little piece must’ve landed somewhere and dutch found it. oh, and i’m sure dutch’s daycare provider wondered why his tongue was green first thing in the morning.
so all of these things were floating around in my mind while i searched the other day for a pediatric dentist, right after a girlfriend of mine told me she had just taken her 2-year-old son to the dentist only to discover he has three cavities.
hopefully, we’ll come out with a clean bill, but mostly, i’m just hoping that my child has an enjoyable first visit to the dentist. you know all it takes is one bad dentist visit to jack up one’s perception and we’ve got a long way to go.