I have twin boys who are about to turn three. I have tried to have them seen by two different pediatric dentists, and have been turned away. The boys aren’t bad- just rambunctious and into everything. The last office told me that they would reschedule my kids separately, so that I could work more one-on-one with each, but that’s not realistic. I don’t have anyone to watch the other twin, so I have to take them both with me every time. Is it just the age, is it the atmosphere of the office, or are there things I should be doing to help them settle in more? — Mary
It sounds like you’ve got quite the challenge on your hands. Having a single two-year-old to look after is difficult enough, but parents of multiples deserve a medal of honor.
The general rule of thumb is that kids should start seeing the dentist as soon as they have teeth. Some offices will do a quick check, and then suggest that the child come back in six months to a year, depending on age. So, it’s certainly a good idea to have their teeth checked for signs of decay and to make sure everything is developing normally. It’s incredibly difficult to get a child that young to cooperate for a traditional cleaning, though.
Normally, children have a dramatic shift in maturity after their fourth birthday. Some are cooperative earlier, and others take longer, especially if there are any developmental disabilities involved. How you handle the time in between then and now is truly a personal decision. It’s a good idea to have them checked out on a regular basis, just to make sure they aren’t developing issues, but visits should be fun, fast, and informal.
The type of pediatric dentist you choose will definitely have an impact on how well your children do there. If there wasn’t a major personality conflict, you may be able to chalk it up to age. If they were active with the kids, playing with them, and trying to keep them engaged, that’s about the best you can hope for, given the ages of the kids. On the other hand, if there was a big issue, you may want to shop around and visit a few more places before committing to one. Most offices will arrange a quick tour, if need be.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Alana Macalik. For more information on the services she provides, visit her Arlington cosmetic dentist website.