Friday, December 9, 2011

Hao Hao's 1st Visit to Dentist

At 1+ year old, we noticed that Hao Hao's teeth became stained, and as he had more teeth, the stain became more prominent.

Hao Hao likes to brush teeth himself, or rather, biting the toothbrush. And he does not like us to brush his teeth. There was a few times when DaDi tried to brush away the stain on his teeth, and it turned out to be 殺雞 (killing chicken) sessions. It seems that we need help from professional to remove the stain. 

I had wanted to bring Hao Hao to see dentist 3 months ago. I made an appointment with a paediatric dentist, Dr Bernice Chan from Dentalcare @Fajar, who is recommended by my fellow mummies. However, he fell sick a few days before the appointment, so I cancelled it. Last week Hao Hao caught a cold and we brought him to see a general practitioner, that doctor commented that it was rare to see children at such young age to have so much stain on the teeth. She also commented that he may have tooth decay as the depression on the pre-molar teeth seem to be deeper than normal. I was very worried and quickly made the dental appointment.

I was not sure whether the appointment date is a good day for Hao Hao to have dental appointment. Because Dr Chan's schedule is only on Monday and Thursday, then this Monday, Hao Hao started attending school, while Thursday is officially the first day when I do not accompany Hao Hao in school. I was a bit worried whether Hao Hao could take double "traumatisations" in the same day - being in school without me in the morning, and having his teeth checked by a stranger in the afternoon. But we do not want to delay the appointment further, as he is not sick these few days, and the general practitioner's comment gives us the urgency to bring him to see dentist. 

I wonder whether Hao Hao or the dentist would suffer more from this going-to-be-diasasterous-appointment. Before we left home, knowing that a war would be going to take place in the dentist's room, I brought along Hao Hao's favourite toys - Thomas the train, Bear Bear, car, his empty medicine bottle (don't ask me why he likes to play with it, really have no idea) - and his favourite snacks raisins.

Dr Chan is very gentle... and very pretty too! She asked one of us to sit on the dentist chair and carry Hao Hao. DaDi took up this "challenge" to carry him, while I took up the role as the "cheerleader".  

Dr gave Hao Hao a tool to touch, then she started to examine his teeth with the tool. As expected, Hao Hao started to fuss and bite the tool. I took out the weapons - his toys - and tried to encourage him to open his mouth. But this did not work. He opened his mouth only after he saw dentist's Thomas trains next to the dentist chair and we gave him the trains to play. Really 喜新厭舊!

After a quick check, Dr explained to us that the staining is common amongst children, and it is caused by chromogenic bacteria. She told us that the stain is removable, but will come back again. She also explained that the staining would be less as he grows older, and should not be affected by the age of around 9-year-old. She assured me the staining is not harming his health. 

She then took a tool for cleaning and put some strawberry favour powder, and let Hao Hao taste. Initially he was fine to taste the powder, but the moment she started the electric tool, Hao Hao was scared and refused to open his mouth anymore. When Dr tried to use the mirror check for any tooth decay, Hao Hao bit the mirror tightly. Fortunately, Dr told us that he does not have tooth decay.

Then Dr took a glove, used the tool to blow air into it to make a balloon for Hao Hao, but Hao Hao rejected this balloon. He must be very scared of the sound made by the tool, which is quite expected as he is scared of the sound made by vacuum machine.

Dr advised us not to force him to do cleaning today, to prevent him from developing phobia against visiting dentist. She also advised us not to force to brush his teeth, and get an electric toothbrush for him to be familiarise with the sound. Dr also advised us to bring him back for cleaning a few months later, and she believed that he would be more cooperative next time.

The consultation fee is not cheap, $30! But at least we are relieved that Hao Hao does not have tooth decay and the stain is just a aesthetic issue.  

We shall wait till Hao Hao is older, and hopefully more cooperative, then will bring him to visit the dentist again.

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