Friday, August 19, 2011

To the Dentist

I brought the girls to the dentist on Thursday. A has been to the dentist a few times. However, today would only be her second time getting a proper teeth cleaning. The first few times were mere exposure, letting her get use to sitting on the dentist chair, having her mouth wide open and even getting the mirror and explorer into her mouth. It would be K's first though. She has always followed A and I to the dentist but it would be her first time on the dentist chair. It helps that August is Oral Health Month so dental check up is free. Best time to get the kids to get use to everything dental.

We go to the dental clinic, Planet Dental, near our place. I have frequented the dentist for a few years now and have actually talked with him about the kids before bringing them. Hence, when I brought them along, Dr Chee was ready. I don't think he needed to do any preparation as he is an experienced professional. I think it is more for my peace of mind that I have done my part besides just reading them books about going to the dentist. That would also ensure that hiccups are minimized on the day of visit.

On that day, I made sure that both girls had had a good nap, a good snack before heading off to see Dr. Chee. Once there, A went first. Of course, I did my prep work before that. I told her I needed her help. As the older sister, I needed her to show K that going to the dentist is not a scary thing at all. Of course, being the great sister she is, she was ready to accomplish the task assigned to her. A did great, though she got a bit nervous during the polishing. I carried K so that she could get a good view of the whole process. With the other hand, I held A's hand, praising her for her bravery. Dr. Chee was singing some songs to lighten the mood so it was fun.

When it was K's turn, I let her lie on me so that she would not feel so alienated. However, she was unwilling to open her mouth. Dr. Chee would try to coax her but to no avail. Still, the both of us considered that a milestone. That was how A started too, getting used to the big dentist chair. A took 2 to 3 visits to Dr. Chee before she was willing to open her mouth to let Dr. Chee count the number of teeth. :)

To congratulate them on their bravery, Dr. Chee made a balloon out of his glove. He even drew a funny face on it. The girls were really intrigued by it. They even got to bring it home, leaving behind even more good memories. In short, K's first visit to the dentist is a success.

Educational Aspects

- Knowing the various dental tools, e.g. an explorer, saliva ejector and mouth mirror and their uses

- Importance of hygience, e.g. why does the dentist need to wear mask and gloves

- Importance of oral health (brushing and flossing) and gum diseases.
(The third point may seem a bit too profound for young children but you would be amazed. A had been fascinated with the posters in the clinic since we first brought her when she was barely 3 years old. We would spend a lot of time explaining the concepts of tooth decay and gum disease, even introducing the word, 'periodontitis')

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