Paulo had his first dentist appointment. I didn’t know what to expect because he’s so young (18 months old). But since his teeth came in early at 5 months and he already has most of his teeth, the dentist suggested for him to be seen early. So as a typical Type A mother, I worried. What will they do? Will they clean his teeth? Will they take x-rays? Will they need to strap him down to see his teeth? Will they find a cavity? Will Paulo cooperate? Will he cry? Will he bite? I was silently panicking in the waiting room. Meanwhile, Paulo made himself comfortable watching the movie “Finding Nemo” and practicing his toothbrushing techniques with the giant toothbrush.
After a few minutes, it was our turn. There were two chairs set up facing each other. I sat in one of them, while the dentist sat opposite from me. She was very calm and instructed me to hold Paulo facing me then to lay him back toward her so his head was resting on the pillow on her lap. She asked me to cross his arms over his chest then hold them down and keep him entertained by talking normally to him as he looked at the many colorful fish swimming in the big aquarium right next to him. (Strategic placement!) Very gently, she opened his mouth, counted his teeth, and had a quick look-see. Then she took her gloves off and gave the dental assistant her assessment of his teeth.
“No cavities, no plaque. His teeth are almost all in and they look great! You’re doing a super job of brushing his teeth!”
(If she only knew what I go through to get his toothbrush anywhere near his teeth!)
Our next dentist appointment is in 6 months. At that visit, they are going to clean his teeth. Not TRY to clean them, but actually CLEAN them. All I can say is… Good luck to the dental hygienist who’s going to be performing that task!