I grew up with crooked teeth and needed braces. I had my first filling when I was about 18 years old. From my personal experience, I was adamant that Cara learnt how to brush her teeth correctly and visited the dentist regularly. This would create good habits while increasing her trust and confidence in the dentist at each appointment. Hopefully, this will help when she’s older when the trusty drill comes out.
With access to sugary items readily available and reports of increased tooth decay in children, it’s always interesting to hear the feedback from the dentist. Yes, a visit to a private dentist can be expensive if you do not have dental cover, and waiting times for a NHS dentist can be quite long. But, unlike a shark, we only have two, natural sets of teeth. Perhaps in time, the cost of veneers will reduce and become more accessible for us, non-celebrities.
Like Father, Like Daughter
If you zoom in closely on a photo of Cara and I, you may notice that we both have a chipped front tooth. Mine was chipped after getting my legs knocked out from under me whilst jumping off some monkey bars, causing me to land on the concrete on my face. Unfortunately I was about already about 9 years old and had my adult teeth. I remember being told by the dentist that the tooth may ‘die’ depending on how damaged the nerve was. Luckily, the tooth stayed alive and after a few wobbly days, settled back in and was filed down.
Cara’s tooth was chipped when she was only 2 years of age. While on holiday, she was jumping on the bed and bounced off onto the tiled floor. At first, we didn’t realise the chip as we were more concerned about her bloodied mouth. It wasn’t until an hour later when she smiled that we noticed. Upon returning from holidays, we visited the dentist who said it will fall out in a few years. A quick file down to smooth any sharp bits and she was good to go.
Cara has been brushing her teeth twice a day since she developed her milk teeth. We recently purchased an electric princess-themed toothbrush for her which she loves. We do limit Cara’s intake of processed sugar. It mainly comes from apple or other fruit juices, Haribo treats and ice cream in Summer. She has now visited the dentist a few times and looks forward to each visit as she gets to sit in the funky chair and gets a sticker afterwards. Given her teeth are all healthy and in order so far, each visit literally takes less than 10 minutes.
- If your little one is a bit anxious, take a comforter or something familiar to help calm the nerves.
- Prior to visiting the dentist, read some books or watch some YouTube clips to help your child become familiar with the dentist. We read Peppa Pig’s Dentist Trip book to Cara a few times. She questioned why she didn’t get to drink the pink water. [Note: Affiliate link provided to book on Amazon].
- Treats and bribery may work. Cara’s dentist said that she is allowed to eat some treats, as long as she brushes her teeth twice a day.
Cara visits Smilepod, which has various locations in London. It is fairly pricey, at £60 for a brief 10-minute check up. However, staff are very friendly and try to make the experience as fun and comfortable as possible. We’re fortunate enough that Cara’s Mum has dental cover via her employer with DenPlan. If you don’t have dental cover, you can visit the dentist for free via NHS, so there’s no excuse!
Share your dentist stories, nightmares or tips on surviving the chair in the comments section below.