I promised myself that I will take care of Lucas’ pearly whites especially that we know a really good Pedia-Dentist. We took him to Dr. Pam Abesamis-Villanueva last year for Fluoride…and that was it. Admittedly, we were so busy last year that every time we planned to go back to Tita-Doc Pam, we cancelled it. Until I noticed that Lucas’ pearly whites were not pearly whites anymore.
I saw some discoloration on Lucas teeth. Yes, not tooth. Teeth. What’s worse is I that I saw that it’s becoming darker and it was spreading. I told Pam about this when our families had the traditional holiday dinner and she told me to keep brushing Lucas’ teeth religiously. It was easier said than done. My once excited little boy during brushing, is now a biting, kicking, crying little boy during brushing.
Anyway, back to his teeth. I have to admit I was getting more and more worried when I saw the brown things that wouldn’t come off even after brushing. I was telling myself, is this….CAVITY??? I remember horror stories of children having their all of their teeth extracted as early three years old because of cavity. I am not exaggerating. Incidents like these have happened. I cannot imagine my cute Little Boy not being able to smile because he doesn’t have teeth. People will call him Toothless (like the dragon’s name in How to Train a Dragon). He’ll be scarred for life! Yes, I was exagg and praning like that.
Finally, we were able to set an appointment with Tita-Doc Pam last Saturday. We were the first clients and Pam wasn’t there yet so I let Lucas play at the clinic’s play area. He likes that place. While he was enjoying the slide and the books, Dadi was enjoying Transylvania which was being shown on the TV.
When Pam arrived and I told her that I think Lucas has cavities, she also looked worried and immediately asked the staff to prepare. We tried getting Lucas seated on the dental chair while he watches Barney, but when he wasn’t cooperative so Pam decided we do a knee-on-knee technique. That means Pam and I are seated facing each other, our knees touching, while Lucas lie down on our laps. His head is on Pam’s thigh while the rest of his body is on mine so I support him. I like this technique because while we are trying to hold Lucas down, I was doing it and not an assistant. I know if I can be gentle yet steady with him. Pam’s assistants just supported Lucas’ head.
When Pam saw what I think are cavities I was already preparing myself for the worst. Maybe she will ask for Lucas to be sedated because she needs to extract the teeth. I was already thinking of an explanation to my son if he asks me when he gets older why his teeth looked like a checker board when he was just two. So when Pam said, “Hindi ito cavities!” (These are not cavities), I. Was. Relieved. She said those were stains. Just to be sure, I asked her if we need to sedate Lucas, she blurted, “Ano ka ba! Cleaning lang ‘to no!” (It just needs cleaning). Like a said, praning.
Oh but it wasn’t JUST cleaning. If Lucas was kicking and crying and biting during brushing, he had the same reaction, times ten. Tita-Doc Pam patiently and gently removed the stain on each teeth using a dental probe. I do not know how long it took but it felt long. We even had to take a break because the Little Jedi was getting exhausted. Pam said Lucas is so strong. I guess she’s used to kids like him because she never lost her enthusiasm to get all those pesky stains off.
After removing all the stains, she gave Lucas Fluoride. Dadi took the crying toddler back to the play area while Pam and I talked. After a few minutes I heard him laughing again. He’s ok.
Pam said those were vitamin stains. Kids get it from vitamins with very strong or dark colors. It’s pretty common and harmless, but if it isn’t removed immediately, cavities can stick to it. It’s very important to brush the kids’ teeth every day and to be given Fluoride every six months especially if the toothpaste being used doesn’t have Fluoride yet.She advised that we can swaddle the little boy during brushing so no one will get hurt including him. She said, it’s better that he cries now than later, when his teeth becomes infected with cavities. Good point.
She scolded me for bringing Lucas back to the clinic exactly a year after our last visit and begged me to bring him back after six months. She even said to visit her often so Lucas will get used to the clinic. You bet we will! I don’t want another cavity scare like that. 🙂
Here are my tips when going to the dentist:
- Prepare your child. Explain to him/her where you are going and why, no matter how young the patient is.
- Make sure your child is full before going to the dentist. Some treatments and procedures, like putting Fluoride, will require at least two hours to set. That means no eating and drinking for the next two hours.
- Let him/her be familiar with the clinic area. I highly recommend that you take your child to a Pedia Dentist because chances are, the clinics are designed to be attractive to children. It will help them relax before and after the treatment.
- Don’t be afraid. I know that some mommies are more scared than their kids. I was. Hehe.
- Trust your dentist. He/she knows what they are doing.
- Reward your child. It doesn’t have to be grand. Just something to show your appreciation for being brave.
- Bring an extra set of clothes. It can be war inside the dentist’s clinic during treatment so just be ready.
PS. No photos were taken during the cleaning because everybody was busy including Dadi.