We all know that we have only 2 sets of teeth. Our adult teeth emerge from around 7 years of age and accompany us for the rest of our lives. Any serious damage to our teeth will not only be costly to treat, it may potentially impede the quality of our lives.
Ironically, in an affluent and urbanized society like Singapore, tooth decay can still be a serious problem especially since we tend to consume many types of food and beverages that are high in sugar and preservatives. What makes it worse is that, for some, our phobia of dentists can deny us from early prevention and intervention from serious tooth decay.
I can certainly identify with that. Growing up, I dread going to the dentist. My Mom left all my dental checks to the dental nurses in school and in those days, they were very fierce, nothing like the dental nurse now. My wisdom tooth extraction three years ago also cast a shadow as I had severe allergic reaction to the painkillers given.
So when it comes to our children’s oral hygiene and dental health, we leave nothing to chance. David brushes for the kids conscientiously every night; it’s one of his Daddy-chores. He maintained Dana’s teeth so well that at 7.5 years old, Dana’s baby teeth were all still intact.
Last month, Dana had approached the school dental nurse on her own accord, rang me on the phone to get my consent and came home with the extracted upper front teeth for the tooth fairy. I could only marvel at my girl’s courage.
Two weeks later, she complained that her bottom front teeth were also causing her discomfort. I took a closer look and realized her adult teeth had already emerged behind her baby teeth. We made an appointment that weekend to consult a paediatric specialist, located at Paragon Level 13.
The dental clinic was situated at the Paragon Medical Block. Registration was brisk and there are toys, books and even iPads at the reception area to occupy children.
A play area to keep kids entertained while we wait…
Inside the dentist room, the colourful walls adorned with marine life murals are very welcoming and put Dana at ease. There was even a TV screen at the ceiling to distract / entertain the kids while the dental checks are on going.
Colourful murals in the room plus a TV on the ceiling!
The paediatric dental specialist, Dr. Terry Teo introduced himself and orientated Dana to the dental chair. After doing a visual check, he recommended the option to extract the bottom baby front teeth as they may obstruct the growth of the half-emerged adult teeth. Because the teeth were still very sturdy, he told Dana he had to use a ‘magic wand’ to put some ‘sleepy juice’ (inject some anesthesia) so that the teeth can go to sleep. Dana seemed a little hesitant but Dr. Terry Teo was very assuring and patient each step of the way. Before he proceeded further, he passed Dana a toy burger to squeeze should she feel scared.
An experienced Dentist knows how to ease the kids’ anxieties while the treatments are underway…
With that, the extraction was done in 10 minutes. Dana was relieved. She was presented with a necklace with a tooth pendant (to store her extracted teeth) for her bravery. That made her very pleased. She later commented that she likes the dentist because he was ‘patient, careful and friendly’.
Since we had brought Buddy along, we asked the dentist to check on his teeth too. To our shock, Dr. Terry Teo revealed to us that Buddy’s teeth has started de-mineralizing, largely due to his dream milk feeds. He applied some fluoride varnish (re-mineralisation therapy), which will help strengthen the teeth. He also advised us to start using fluoride toothpaste for Buddy. We raised the concern that Buddy does not know how to spit yet but Dr. Terry Teo says the amount of toothpaste (pea-sized) used is too little to cause harm, so we need not worry.
Before we left, Dr. Terry Teo demonstrated to Dana the correct way of brushing teeth, paying special attention to the molars. It has been a pleasant visit to this dental clinic. They are one of the few baby bonuses accredited children dentistry specialist clinics. For any queries on tooth trauma, tooth injury, and toothache, email firstname.lastname@example.org and the appointment can be quickly set up for you!
The kids with the affable Dr. Terry Teo
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary dental session for the kids. No monetary compensation was received. All photos and opinions are, as usual, ours.