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dnjkilbey 07-18-2004 04:23 PM

Childs 1st dental visit - what age?
I was looking into Pediatric Dentists for my DD who will be turning 3. On the Dentist's website it said they recommend the 1st visit between 8 - 18 months! So, I went ahead and made an appointment for my DS who is 13 months. Does that seem kind of strange to anyone else? I was wondering if anyone else has taken a young child to the dentist and how you handled it.

Abear 07-18-2004 04:47 PM

All three of my children (DD-20, DS-12 and DS-10) had their first visit to the dentist at age 2 as that is what my pediatrician recommended when DD was that age. I never asked after that, I just took each one for their first visit at age 2.

I just acted like the visit was no big deal. I explained that the dentist was going to look at how clean their teeth were and see how good they were brushing their teeth.

Going to the dentist never became an issue with any of my children.

Lifestar 07-19-2004 05:38 AM

I always HATED the dentist when I was little. ( I SWEAR mine was a Nazi in hiding here in the US)

He never believed in using anesthetics on children, saying they didn't feel pain the same way adults did, and somehow my parents believed this was true?! :-O

Needless to say I was hesitent to bring my children to dentists.. but I perservered, because I was an "educated" mom. Yeah, right.

But my older daughter got an ear infection with EVERY baby tooth, so she was evaluated by a pediatric dentist at the age of 15 months, when the molars came in...

I was amazed that these guys even existed!!

My second daughter was first seen at the age of 18 months, and needed a root canal between ther front teeth, where she had a cavity at the gum-line in back that I never saw... Poor baby ( poor Mommy!!!)

But as I said, thank G-d for pediatric dentists!!

dnjkilbey 07-20-2004 07:43 AM

Thanks for the advice. I don't mind dentist's too much, but my DH does!!! I am very excited to take my almost 3yr. old. She loves brushing her teeth and it has been fun explaining the dentist to her. I'm just worried about my 13 month old. He also has sensory issues, especially in his mouth. I wasn't able to even feed him jarred baby food or cereal until about 1 1/2 months ago. I hope it all goes well though, because they know what they're doing!

VickiLynn 08-11-2004 12:52 PM

The dental clinic we use told me to schedule DS's first appointment when he turned 3.

Abear 08-11-2004 01:00 PM


Originally posted by dnjkilbey
I am very excited to take my almost 3yr. old. She loves brushing her teeth and it has been fun explaining the dentist to her. I'm just worried about my 13 month old. He also has sensory issues, especially in his mouth. I hope it all goes well though, because they know what they're doing!
Did you go for an appt. yet??

If so, how did it go????

dnjkilbey 08-11-2004 01:48 PM

Thanks for checking back!! We haven't gone yet. We go on the 20th, both of them. I'm still nervous about my 13 month old. But my DD is excited. We went to the library and got dentist books that we have to read all the time. Also, we practice kind of what the dentist will be doing. I hope this all goes well!!
thanks again for asking!!

elrey 08-23-2004 04:59 PM

root canal
Hi Lifestar. I have a 4 year old that needed a root canal. I was too afraid of the anesthesia to have it done. I realize this was a very selfish choice on my part but what is a mom to do?


Lifestar 08-23-2004 05:32 PM

Jackie.. Are yoiur 4yr old's permenent teeth indanger of infection from the cavity that needs the root canal? this is something to consider..

The anesthesia is not a total going under.. iand should only be done by a pediatric dentist with extensive experience.. nOT by a general family dentist. (IMHO),,, how did the apointment go?

Abear 08-23-2004 05:58 PM

Re: root canal

Originally posted by elrey
I realize this was a very selfish choice on my part but what is a mom to do?

As someone who had damage to my permanent teeth from lack of dental attention, I would say if the root canal still needs to be done, DO IT! If you take your child to a pediatric dentist, it should be perfectly long as you don't make a big deal out of it.

My parents did not know any better. My problem was not cavities, it was a gum infection. I have had to have excessive amounts of dental work done that could have been prevented.

Just the humble opinion of someone that has been there, done that!


Originally posted by Lifestar did the apointment go?

I was wondering that same thing!! Please update us!!

elrey 08-23-2004 07:17 PM

Thanks Lifestar and Abear. You give me lots to think about and consider. Thanks for the info.

dnjkilbey 08-24-2004 11:42 AM

We rescheduled
I swear everytime we have an early appointment (this was at 8:20) something happens!!!
We are not early birds in our house since I'm a SAHM and there is no real reason for us to get up early, we are up around 8:30-9am. But that night before my DS was up at 1a, 3a & 5a for good. Then I finally got him back to sleep at 7am and I wasn't about to try and wake him up again. And my DD ending up in our room sleeping on the floor and about 12:30 she was throwing up!!! I guess it was sign that we definietly should not have gone to the dentist that morning!!!
We are going to reschedule closer to the end of September and more so late afternoon. I hope this one will help!!!
Thanks for thinking of us and checking on us.!!!!

tashablueyes 09-01-2004 09:14 PM

Hi, I am a Dental Assistant, and I was COMPLETELY uneducated on dental health! It was not until after I had started my schooling in the profession that I realized how neglected my own teeth were.

The best time to take your child to the dentist? When he or she gets that first tooth. One of the big reasons to go so early is to detect abnormalities as teeth are one of the last things to develop in the womb, abnormalities are not uncommon. But the other is that it helps your child get used to the office and grow to understand that this is just a routine thing, and can really help them to have healthy teeth for the rest of their lives.

Just a note on anesthetics...I now work for a specialist, but I worked in Community Health for my internship and am familiar with pediatric dentistry... the amounts of anesthetic used in children are very low and allergies and adverse reactions to the anesthetics now used in dentistry are VERY, VERY low and the damage to your child that can be caused by not using the anesthetics is HUGE!!! Look at those of you who are literally terrified of going to the dentist now.

Also, a root canal in a child is very different from a root canal in an adult, the inner pulp area of a baby tooth is much larger, and the dentist does not remove or damage the nerve as would be done in an adult root canal.
If you have any questions, please ask me, I really have a heart for children and I have a good amount of experience with their dental care!!!!

Good luck with your appointment, dnjkilbey! It really helps if you explain to your children where you are going and why, and to practice having them open their mouths so that you can "count" their teeth like the awesome and fun dentist will!

elrey 09-01-2004 10:02 PM

Hi Tashablueyes,

So how are general dentists as opposed to pediatric dentists. We have general dentists at the Arizona Tooth Doctors for Kids office here in Globe. Thats where I took my daughter. The anesthesia still bothers me. I remember when I was a kid they didnt use general anesthesia. Just oragel and a needle of novacaine. I dont mind the dentist for myself. Never did. To be blunt, I dont want my daughter to die in a dentists chair! There I said it. Logically I know the risks are nil, but the mom in me.....

So, what about no general anesthesia just oragel and novacaine. It was good enough for me and I still have a mouth full of fillings.

Thanks for the info, Jackie

tashablueyes 09-01-2004 10:20 PM

Actually, what I think I misunderstood what you are saying... what I meant was to have them use the topical (which is the orajel like stuff) and the local anesthetic (which is what you refer to is Novacaine, but much safer now than that)

It should be plenty for your child as long as you can keep her reasonably calm and she will open her mouth for them. The next step would be to go to nitrous oxide which is a combination of a carefully monitored does of nitrous oxide in combination with oxygen, both administered through a nose cone which is a soft rubbery (and usually colorful and scented for kids) that just covers their nose. This is good for children with high anxiety and does not sedate them, it is merely calming enough that the procedure can be done. The side effects of this are low. The main negative reaction being nausea can be avoided by only giving your child a light snack before the procedure as opposed to a large meal within the few hours beforehand. Actually sedating a child (putting her under) is considered the last option and I can understand your fears, I would not put mine under unless she could not handle the other ways (I.E. if she was freaking out and not opening her mouth) I have seen many children cry hysterically until the procedure begins and then are fine once the Dr starts explaining what they will be doing, showing them how the suction is "Mr. Thirsty, see, he kissed your hand, now he will do that it your mouth, doesn't that feel funny?" (and pediatric dentist are usually good at administering quality care QUICKLY) your daughter will not feel any real pain aside from the numbing shot, and usually when a kid is done, they are just fine again, it is almost purely a fear of the unknown kind of reaction. She will be fine. I hope I helped you some, go ahead and keep asking, especially if my answers did not make sense! (it's late!)

elrey 09-02-2004 06:48 AM

unless I totally misunderstood the dentist I took my daughter to he said she would be knocked out. As in general anesthesia. He said there would be heart monitor on her and everything. He said all that and we havent been back since. Novicane and nitrous are just fine with me. Im not that big of a freak out mom.

Also, again is there a difference between a general dentist and a pediatric one? I have talked to lots of moms in this area and they really like this local dentist. I dont. I really believe it will come down to taking my daughter to Phoenix to the dentist. Thanks for the information. Jackie

tashablueyes 09-02-2004 11:50 AM

There are differences between a general and a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist deals with kids all day every day and therefore has it down, they are knowledgeable about the most up to day methods and usually much more comfortable around kids. They have been trained to anticipate the special needs of children. Also, they have equipment that is specialized to children that general dentists may not have. I would say if you are not comfortable with that dentist and you have other options, move on! You need to be able to fully trust that he sees eye to eye with your familys needs and desires for care. Does your daughter have any special needs that he believes requires her to be under general anesthesia? Because if not, he just may not be comfortable working on conscious kids, and you would both be better off with someone working on her who is. Unless she has some physical or emotional need that would require the full sedation, I do not see why it should be a problem to take the more conservative approach... please keep in mind that while I am a professional, these are my personal observations and opinions. I would suggest calling a pediatric dentist and sort of ask him or her about their views on things like sedation... another thing that you may not like about pediatric dentists is that usually they prefer the parent out of the room... this technique usually works very well... Let me know if I still did not answer your questions fully.

elrey 09-02-2004 01:20 PM

Thanks Tasha for making me not feel so wrong and selfish about the way I had been feeling about the whole thing. I will do further research and get a dentist we are comfortable with. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience and your opinions with me. You are a great help. Jackie:rednose:

tashablueyes 09-02-2004 05:22 PM

I have to be useful for SOMETHING! I don't think it is ever selfish or wrong if you are thinking about something that could adversely effect your kiddo, and it is always a good idea to get as much info as you can, especially if you are uneasy.

dnjkilbey 09-02-2004 08:38 PM

Thanks tashablueyes for all the info. Glad to know that I should be taking DK's to the dentist now. Actually, I should have awhile ago, but now I know. Thanks!!!! Also thanks for all of the other info. I will keep that in the back of my mind incase we need it (hope we don't!)
Thanks again!!!

tashablueyes 09-02-2004 09:04 PM


Bilby 01-25-2013 05:02 PM

My boys didn't get teeth until they were at least 10-11 months and I think their first dentist appointment was around 2yrs old.
I think the earlier they see the dentist visit is nothing to fear they better it goes for future visits.
They cleaned their teeth twice per day ... mostly and never less than once at night.
I also think if the parent shows anxiety the child feels that and can make the visit a bad one so be easy about it all.
My boys are now 18 and 22 and still no fillings so we did something right.

seleach 01-26-2013 04:19 AM

Kathy, your boys have good teeth. Probably due to good brushing and dental visits.

I don't remember how old my kids were for their first dental appointments but it was before they started school. And they had never been afraid to go and never put up a fuss.
My dentist at that time was very good and he knew just how to make the kids comfortable.

RobertaD 01-26-2013 06:15 AM

My kids didn't have their first visits until they were 4-5yrs old (they didn't cut teeth until they were 12mo & 13mo) which is what our dentist office recommended. Prior to their first apartment they sat on my lap while I had a dental cleaning so they could see how my teeth got tickled and they knew what to expect.


Bilby 01-26-2013 03:08 PM

I should also say that food plays a big part, my kids never drank soft drink until pre school (5yr) and my youngest didn't like the bubbles so didn't start drinking that until he was about 9 I think, and even then soft drink like chips were a weekend or school holiday food not something to be eaten every day. They are good vege eaters, I also watered down fruit juices mostly apple (they didn't like orange juice)

barbar 10-15-2014 05:17 AM

It's interesting why children hate dentists so much. My babygirl lost her first tooth in primary shool, can you imagine? It was very late and she had a problem with new teeth. Microsurgery was necessity :( but everything was fine because she did it in the best place.
I can reccomend it: Manhattan Root Canal Treatment Center, New York City Endodontist & Apico Center. She could count on post-surginal care and professional help.

Bilby 10-15-2014 01:31 PM

I remember I swallowed my first tooth that came out, I was at school I had nothing to show for it but a gap in my teeth lol

cat lover 12-02-2016 01:02 AM


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