The Dentist

[deleted account] ( 118 moms have responded )

Just wondering at what age your child(ren) began seeing a dentist? Pediatric dentist or regular dentist? Pros and cons. What have your experiences been?



How important is oral care?

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Johnny - posted on 05/26/2011

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Jaime-Leigh, have you called the pediatric dentist? Here in BC the province doesn't cover the extra to visit a pediatric dentist, neither does my dental insurance. But I know my pediatric dentist just charges the province or the insurance company the regular rate and then charges the extra to the client/patient. Last time I took Michaela, the extra amount I had to pay was $14. So I'd call and ask what their policies are. They may be able to help you.

Jackie - posted on 05/26/2011

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"Fine than! Call me a bad mom and my mom and grandma and very grandma and my mom in law and most of my friends. You are the first people I have known to be gullible enough to swallow hook line and sinker the dentists advertising. There is a reason they use scare tactics in their advertising. Its for gullible people like you! I pity you if you swallow that what all else do you put your poor children thru needlessly? " - Larissa



You don't know scary until you've dropped roughly 15k in your mouth, sat through COUNTLESS hours of dentist appts, oral surgery, 9 teeth pulled,and orthodontics only to still be in a retainer and not done with oral surgery at almost 30 years old!! Did I mention the low self esteem from not having a pretty smile? And whats even SCARIER is that most could have been prevented with regular visits to the dentist and braces at an early age. I have good oral hygiene and decent genetics.

[deleted account]

Laressa, I certainly don't think you're a bad mom because you're not super concerned about the dentist, although I still believe it would be in your child's best interest to at least have a check-up.

I would like to share my story though. I'm 34 and have never had a cavity, never had any problems with teeth, gums, jaw etc. I've never even had my wisdom teeth pulled and the dentist doesn't think I'll ever have to. My dad is 61 and has never had a cavity. There are also very similar success stories on my in-laws side of the family.

Despite all the great, wonderful, awesome genetics (and trust me they are AWESOME! ;)) in my family and Chad's, Roxanne had two cavities at the age of 2 1/2. I was devastated and shocked. Since she was a baby and I would wipe her gums, I've always insisted we take proper care of her mouth. No bottles in bed, brushed her teeth morning, noon and night, limited pacifier use etc. and yet she STILL had two cavities that NEEDED filling because they were back molars.......the two friggin teeth that she would have til she's a teenager.

The dentist assured me that it wasn't anything that we did wrong or didn't do at all. Her molars have deep deep fissures and she's susceptible to cavities. Anyhow, obviously my point is that if I hadn't taken her to the dentist we likely would not have known and the cavities would have likely started causing her pain and then eventually more serious problems.

Taking preventative measures at home aren't always good enough. Wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry?

Amanda - posted on 06/01/2011

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@ If nothing is wrong it probably won't continue on a 6 month schedule. I find it hard to believe that much changes in 6 months.



My husband goes in every 6 months, you really want to know what can happen in 6 months? My husband had a clean bill of health 6 months ago, and his last visit hes now being tested for ORAL CANCER. Thats right in 6 months he suddenly has strange spot on his gums. My son also in 6 months managed to some how get a major infection in his tooth in 4 months from his last cleaning.

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2011

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If we're talking about the dictionary definition of a debate, then it's a 'discussion involving opposing viewpoints' (paraphrased from dictionary.com). The entire point of a debate is to 'argue' the facts on BOTH sides. There is no 'happy medium' in a debate. We're here to disagree and oppose and draw out information and invoke a deeper level of thinking that might not have been reached or even considered had it not been for a conversation such as this. Laressa, it is ultimately YOUR choice to withhold professional dental care from your children until they are adults, but your being here assumes that you've already prepared yourself for opposition of your viewpoint. As it stands, most of us disagree with your viewpoint, so perhaps you can offer up some contrasting information to what we have said about professional dental care...aside from your genetics.

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[deleted account]

Amanda, that's horrible.

Tracey, in Canada it is also recommended for a child to see a dentist by 12 months (sometime around the first sign of teeth). As far as I know, that recommendation is pretty common. Why some people choose to ignore it, I'll never understand?

I understand that, like everything else, it's just a recommendation, BUT it's important, and I think all the stories here have opened some eyes.

Angela - posted on 06/01/2011

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@Amanda, I am so sorry to hear of your husbands cancer, but I am so appreciative that you post this so people can learn how important it is. My family goes every 6 months...but I never realized myself how much can happen in 6 months.

Sneaky - posted on 06/01/2011

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Or it could be the astronomically high number of kids with rotten teeth under the age of 2 in Australia. . . . .

Sneaky - posted on 06/01/2011

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Australian recommendations are to start at 12 months old (assuming there are any teeth to look at!). Maybe Australia is actually ahead on the curve of some things :o)

[deleted account]

With everything else don't we always want to consult with the best of the best? Someone who specializes in their field. Why is it any different when choosing a dentist? If it's at all possible, I strongly recommend seeing a pediatric dentist. They're advice and recommendations AND EXPERTISE is much different than a regular dentist.

No offense, Tiffany (and I realize that you suggested taking her after she has all her teeth, which I think is reasonable) but pediatricians are not dentists.

Ok, I'm harping now....sorry.

Tiffany - posted on 05/31/2011

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I hear a lot that they should go right when they get their first teeth, but I just spoke to my daughters pedi last week about this and he said his recommendation is 3 years old. Not sure I'll wait that long, thinking of getting her in soon as she is 19 months and has all her teeth except for her 2 year molars. Oral care is very important! We brush her teeth every day even though she is not really into doing it right yet, but she's learning. I have bad teeth and certainly don't want my daughter having bad teeth so we'll do whatever we can to ensure she has healthy teeth. =)

Sherri - posted on 05/31/2011

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@ Laressa If nothing is wrong it probably won't continue on a 6 month schedule. I find it hard to believe that much changes in 6 months.

Just be careful with that too. 6mo's ago I took my youngest had all his molars sealed and he had zero cavities. Just took him in again in March 6mo's later and he had 4 cavities. I am a faithful twice a day brusher, watches what he eats etc. It didn't matter, some kids are just going to be be prone.

Also I didn't have one cavity until I was 17 and then none until I was an adult. So he certainly didn't get his soft teeth from me.

[deleted account]

I agree, both your children, especially your 3 month old are young. Perhaps you'll consider regular check-ups and maintenance in the future though?

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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Hey keep in mind my children are both well under the three year mark at 20 months and 3 months. That would be the biggest reason for not having taken them. When my daughter had a sore throat recently the only way dc got her mouth open was to gag her. pointless to take her to a dentist till she is old enough to be readied with.

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2011

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I think the operative words here are 'in my case'...and that's where I question the reason for not taking your children for regular check-ups. In your case you have exceptional teeth...I know there are some people lucky enough to escape the damaging effects of acid erosion, plaque buildup and so on...but generally speaking, these are very common issues with oral health. They're not the exception in our society...they are the norm. The foods we eat, the lifestyles we lead, the jobs we keep, all play a part in how frequently and how intricate our oral health is (and health in general really). I pay very close attention to my teeth and mouth. I brush twice, sometimes three times per day, I floss daily and I've still had about 8 cavities filled. Another point I wanted to make that's important to remember is the fact that; during pregnancy, women's teeth become much more sensitive and susceptible to damage/disease. So even a person with perfect oral health, might discover unchecked problems after having a child.

Angela - posted on 05/31/2011

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I think most people can put aside money to go to the dentist, cleanings and what not are not too expensive and many dentist will let you do a payment plan. I posted earlier you can write it off with taxes in the USA.

Tawny - posted on 05/31/2011

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I do know that there are a lot of people scared of the dentist they had a bad time when they were younger. So people will not go for years and oh boy have the worst teeth ever and will be in the dentist chair for many visits. Which is really sad but your mouth is very important because what would you do if you couldn't eat or talk not much !!! :)

[deleted account]

I would love to continue......my daughter won't be napping much longer but....

So, I'm still failing to understand why you are so resistant to taking your children? You keep mentioning "not important enough to take out the pocket book"......is it about cost for you? Is it an inconvenience?

What do you say to all the women here who've given you examples of horrible things that have happened? Do you just not care, or maybe you don't believe them? OR, maybe something problematic has to happen to YOU or YOUR family before you realize how important it really is?

Tawny - posted on 05/31/2011

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I havent read all of the comments but came to the last page and someone said that they cannot see how their teeth can change in 6 months. You can be surprised how things change in your mouth. I have gone in and had no cavities and in my next 6 month appt. had 2 cavities and mine you I brush and take very good care of my teeth. I use to be a dental assistant so I try very hard to keep my teeth looking nice. But things can change in your life that can affect your teeth. But hey if you dont want to go to the dentist DONT go it is as easy at that you just might have all your teeth fall out or like what Angela said an abscess tooth can be very dangerous if not taken care of and can get in your blood system and also if you dont get your teeth cleaned plaque can also get in the blood system and you can have problems plus if you dont take care of the plaque the cleaning you have to have is nasty cleaning that they dig deep into the gums to remove the plaque and it bleeds and the gums are sore... very gross...

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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Dana did you want to continue?

One friend said it was important to take her son. Not important enough to take out the pocket book however. Another basically said the same thing.

Angela - posted on 05/31/2011

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@Laressa, I am glad to hear you would go if you see a problem but as other said not everything can be seen. Also just to add more reason to go to your dentist and to remark about your husbands filling....
I worked at a hospital and once a man in his early 40's came in the ER with fever and come to find out he was sepsis, meaning his entire body was infected. He died. I asked what and how this happen and was told he had an abscess tooth! If your husband is having sensitivity he may need to have more work done but I assure you a cavity that turns to a root canal or worse is much more painful.
The every 6 months is about professional cleaning especially plaque that regular brushing can't remove, it is preventive and if you have little or no plaque than I am sure you could get by with once a year. I

[deleted account]

What do you mean by that? What did your friends have to say? Does that mean you're done with me?

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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I have for the most part enjoyed this discussion. Its been interesting to discuss it with my friends over the weekend.

[deleted account]

"Insinuating it or outright saying it is so close the same its splitting hairs."

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree because in my opinion there's DEFINITELY a difference in the two statements I presented. We're here to debate. We present personal opinion backed up by facts and we leave emotion at the door....hopefully. You can't get upset by someone telling you about a story of a woman who was jailed. It doesn't do the "debate" any good.

[deleted account]

I realize that you're presenting the other side, and I'm just having a dialogue with you......"debating" if you will! :)

Not much necessarily changes in 6 months, but having regular x-rays and CLEANINGS to prevent problems is preventative, so unless you can't afford to go, I don't understand why you wouldn't?!! What do you have to lose?

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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Sorry Dana. Don't really see the difference. Insinuating it or outright saying it is so close the same its splitting hairs.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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Dana I think you misunderstood me. I did not say I would not. I said have not. If I had been faced with that I would probably be at the dentist every month. I would turn into a dental hypochondriac. Also I am not against dental care for crying out loud. For the sake of a debate I am presenting the other side. The side that a lot of other people besides me take. I probably will at some point take my children to a dental check up. If nothing is wrong it probably won't continue on a 6 month schedule. I find it hard to believe that much changes in 6 months.

[deleted account]

And, about your example of someone personally attacking you. "There was a lady on the news a while back that was jailed because she had not taken her child to the dentist at age 6."

Whoever typed that was stating a fact. It's a true story. She wasn't personally attacking you. Someone telling you that you're a "neglectful douche who should be jailed for not taking your 6 year old to the dentist" is personally attacking you.

See the difference?

[deleted account]

I've also never needed any dental work done. I've been lucky to never have problems, but something your dentist said sort of proves my point. "...if everyone had teeth like you, I'd soon be out of business". Most people have some kind of problems at some point. A lot of people avoid problems because of regular professional preventative care.

I get that you haven't experienced problems, but what I don't understand is what you have to lose by taking your children to the dentist for regular care and maintenance? Why are you so against it? I understand that maybe you've never thought much about it because your children are still young and YOU'VE never had a problem, but now that some people have shared their stories here and it's been brought to your attention that oral care is important, why are you resisting? Is it about cost? You said that you would never pay thousands of dollars for dental work. Really? What if one of your children was having extreme pain and you took them to the doctor who suggested that you see a dentist and the dentist told you that your child needed extensive work? What would you do? Ignore the doctor/dentist?

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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My husband wishes that he had never gotten his tooth filled. It has bothered him more in the 7 years since he had it done than it did before that. Doubt I'll ever get him to go again. I have never had or needed a filling so I don't know what I would do in a situation like that.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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Also my dentist never recommended me to come in regularly that I know of he just said wow if everyone had teeth like you I would soon be out of business. So to me it is not important to go.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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A quote supporting my personal attack theory, Dana. To me it meant that I was a criminal for not thinking as everyone else. And that is why I commented in the first place. To present the view that there are times it is ok to wait with dental care. And everyone pounced on me for that. Which is fine in a sense: its a debate. But that a large portion of my friends and relatives are criminals for that is too strong for me.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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Yes. Crazy phone. And typing on it while bf my baby. O well. If I had had a scare with my teeth or someone I know ( besides like the old people) I'd be concerned too. No I would not like to pay thousands for dental care. But in my experience that is the exception not the norm.

[deleted account]

But that's our point, Laressa. You can't always visibly see problems. Why not just take them for an initial check-up, have some x-rays done and go from there? If you decide not to go back, fine, but wouldn't you want to know if there's a problem.....FOR SURE?!!

I thought my daughter's teeth were wonderful, but I was TOTALLY shocked when she went for her check up and she had two cavities. They weren't apparent to me and I brush and floss her teeth twice a day, sometimes 3.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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Here is an example. Ther
Here's an example. "There was a lady on the news a while back that was jailed because she had not taken her child to the dentist at age 6."

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2011

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But the point of routine dental care is for preventative maintenance. If you wait until there is a problem Laressa, then you could be looking at thousands worth in damage from decay or disease that can sometimes go undetected for years. And that's what we're arguing. Not that you don't see the importance of dentistry, but that you don't believe in the preventative aspect of it. We (the collective 'We') know all too well what happens in other situations when the plan is reactive, rather than proactive. So, if you can help it, why not step to the preventative side?

[deleted account]

You're comparing oral care to a rectal exam? Sorry, but I couldn't help but laugh. There is one important difference, Laressa. It is recommended for toddlers to see the dentist by 3 years for sure, and in most cases it's strongly recommended by 12 months. A rectal exam isn't necessary unless there's a reason for concern or once you reach a certain age and it becomes routine.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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Don't get me wrong if I had any reason whatsoever to be concerned with my children's health in any aspect including dental I would be the first one to get it looked after.

[deleted account]

Who personally attacked you? If someone called you derogatory names or threatened you some how, you should report them. The mods will take the appropriate action.

From what I can see scrolling back through the comments, no one attacked you.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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I tend to class going to the dentist for a check up in sort of the same boat as going for a rectal exam. Not important unless you are worried.

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2011

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Okay, now I'm just confused...where are these personal attacks? I've been back through this thread and have yet to come across a comment that was a personal attack against you Laressa. Enlighten me please.

For the record, you're the only person that insinuated that you were a bad mom...no one else did.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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For awhile it wasn't a debate it was personal attacks. That is what I was getting at.

[deleted account]

And....



"Its not an understood priority like optomitrist or private schooling."



So seeing an optometrist or attending private school are more important than oral care? Private school is a luxury as far as I'm concerned, but oral care shouldn't be. Oral care is mandatory, IMO and encouraged from the age of 12 months.

[deleted account]

Laressa, I TOTALLY respect your opinion, and I'm confused as to how you think I'm not debating. We're supposed to go back and forth, stating our opinions and backing them up, whether it be with personal experience, facts, research, testimonies etc. We might even go so far as to question someone's source, whether it's credible or not. How are we not debating?

You don't get to just post your comment here and expect everyone to say, "Oh, ok....thanks". The whole point is to share information. If you don't agree with my experiences or something I've said then PLEASE feel free to offer an opposing view.

Angela - posted on 05/31/2011

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@Laressa, of course you have the right to your opinon and glad you can state it, it is a debate unfortunately many are on the other side of the fence. I do agree that prevention is very very important and you made a good point of that. I don't think you are a bad Mom at all.
Debates make us think full circle not just our own views. I respect your opinion despite not agreeing. :)

Sherri - posted on 05/30/2011

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Laressa your view is perfectly fine. Some of us are just a little baffled because it isn't our experience. I was always brought up to go every six months from 3yrs on up and it was HUGELY important in our lives as important as our yearly doctors visits. So we are also raising and teaching our kids the same way about the huge importance of dental care. We kids have all been to the dentist more times then I can count. Now the optometrist my oldest (14) has only gone once in his life, my middle (12) once in his life and my youngest (5) not yet. They are tested every year at the doctors and if I feel they have a problem I take them in for a visit. I

Laressa - posted on 05/30/2011

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Ok sorry ladies I did get a little heated and I came across stronger than I should have. It's not that I WOULDN'T take my children its just that it is not my top priority. Mind you my daughter is a year and my son 3 months so its not something I ever Thor of. Since my husband and I both never went till we were adults I assumed that's what we would do with our children. Its not an understood priority like optomitrist or private schooling.

Besides why would the op post it on a debating site if she is dead set against a debate. Has me baffled. I assumed since it was a debate it would be ok to share my point of view?? That is after all the dictionary definition of a debate.

[deleted account]

Elfrieda, I find that most regular dentists will tell parents to wait until they're 3 unless the parent notices a problem. The problem with that is, as parents, we can't always get in there to see properly (which was the case with my daughter) OR, the problem isn't visible without an x-ray.

If you do research or talk to a pediatric dentist, you'll get very different advice. Definitely worth considering.

Jenny - posted on 05/30/2011

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My teeth are messed up. I'm at the beginning of over $10K worth of work to be done, starting with a root canal on the 10th.

I do not want my kids to have to go through what I have. Dental care is very important to us. Thankfully, they are covered 100% under our extended benefits. My son will be going with my daughter to get use dot it at her next appointment but has already had a couple of treatments through dental workshop at our health unit. They brush and floss very regularly.

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