We had our first visit to the pediatric dentist last week. So if you were wondering who was making those “screaming toddler” sounds you were hearing, that would be CeCe. Even you folks outside of Kentucky might have heard it. Her level of screaming undoubtedly crossed state lines.
While I read that children should visit the dentist by their first birthday, I am a negligent parent who waited until my daughter was almost two. The information I gathered at this visit was mind-blowing:
- Juice is the equivalent of rubbing sugar-water on your child’s teeth. Dr. J laid out a new hydration diet of milk or water. I come from a place where it is common to see Mountain Dew in baby bottles, and I’m sure that idea would give most dentists an aneurysm.
- Pacifiers are the devil. It doesn’t matter that they are the only thing allowing you any significant portion of sleep at night. Those damn binkies are a sure-fire ticket on the braces train. Dr. J recommended snipping off the end of the pacifier gradually until your kid is like, “Why am I sucking on this nub? Where is my paci? WHAT DARK MAGIC IS THIS?”
- Children’s toothpaste tastes like candy. CeCe treats her toothbrush like a lollipop. After brushing she sucks all the toothpaste off the brush and then asks for more.
- Screaming at the dentist is A-OK. Because if you’re screaming, your mouth is wide open to examine. I’m surprised the hygienists don’t wear ear plugs.
- Plastic dinosaur toys heal all trauma.
The dentist is a necessary evil in life, and I’m glad we have Dr. J who is such a straight shooter. So as I raise my cup of milk, I cheers to a fulfilling, cavity-free relationship: