Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A delayed visit to the Dentist

We procrastinated and finally made it for our dentist appointment which was supposed to have been at the end of last year!

My girl had another permanent teeth growing behind her milk teeth. This one was the tooth next to the two front teeth. The permanent tooth had fully grown and there was no more space for it to be pushed forward. The dentist said we should have brought her in earlier to have the milk tooth extracted. Now she probably will have to wear braces later on to straighten out the teeth. :(

We learned a lesson here. When the milk teeth grew behind her two front teeth, it was OK not to extract it at the time because eventually the teeth dropped off on its own and the permanent teeth made its way to the front in a developing mouth and jawline. However, now that the two front permanent teeth are firmly in place, there was no space for a third permanent tooth to be pushed forward the way the two front ones were earlier. It is all a bit complicated.

I guess the lesson is don't procrastinate. In case of doubt, always consult the professionals early.

Eventually, my dentist decided not to extract the milk tooth since it no longer makes any difference now. She said she did not want to frighten my girl by the painful procedure, my girl was already scared enough. She said that we can wait till the tooth drop off by itself eventually.

The dentist mentioned that her molars were very rough. She said that in the next visit, she should get them filled up as they will eventually decay. Almost everyone has this problem said the dentist. If it is filled up then it won't decay in future.

My boy was very brave and steady according to the dentist. It was not his first visit to the dentist since he had come to watch his sister on the dentist chair before. However this was his first time on the dentist chair. The dentist said he was very steady and could take instructions very well. He sat very still and "endured" the process with a big frown on his face but he did not move or complain. He had his teeth polished. The dentist said decay was forming on his two front milk teeth.

She said that children should be introduced to the process of going to the dentist gradually and in a very friendly manner. That is why she prefers not to do extractions or anything that will frighten the child during their first visit. The first visit is to familiarise themselves with the environment and process and then to slowly ease into it. She gives them reward stickers and special toothpaste and toothbrushes as gifts. The gifts are probably sponsored by the toothpaste companies but the point is she wants to make their visit fun, enjoyable and not at all scary. When she does the polishing process, she talks to them all the time about the "special" brushes that she is going to use. She takes pictures of their teeth and shows it to them.

She says that if children get introduced to going to the dentist in this manner, eventually when they grow up they will not treat going to the dentist as something fearful but will accept it as just another thing to do like going to the hair salon to get their hair cut.

I like her approach. I hope my kids will eventually treat dentist visits in that manner and will not fear it the way mummy and daddy does. lol.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Motion Sickness Bags

I didn't know there was such a thing as Motion Sickness Bags till I came across an article about them. I know most aircrafts provide a barf bag for passengers but I didn't know you could buy them. I wish I had known about this, especially during the early days of my pregnancy for both babies I had.

I had very bad morning sickness. I wouldn't call it morning sickness. It was more like all day sickness. My morning sickness continued well over my first trimester of pregnancy. It was very tiring. I was working then and travelling quite a lot. I remember pulling up at the roadsides to vomit. I usually carry a plastic bag with me when I drive. Once I even had to vomit at a traffic lights. Thank goodness it was red lights at the time.

I would have loved it very much if someone had bought me a morning sickness bag to keep in my car. I hear it even comes with a sanitizing wipe and an easy to close tab for safe and clean disposal. Perfect! I think this bag would be very useful for my sister too, who has bad motion sickness during travel. She gets motion sickness everytime she travels long distance in a car, boat, airplane, you name it. She usually takes a motion sickness pill but it does not help her very much. Some people are just more prone to motion sickness than others. This bag would be very useful for them.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Talking to your child about sexual abuse

Sexual Abuse. You may think that this is a very difficult topic to discuss with your child. However, it isn't really all that difficult and I think that it is very important to talk to your child about personal safety and their bodies.

If you have a daughter, you may be even more worried about her in this aspect but in this day and age, you should be just as worried about your son.

I believe that inappropriate touching by adults are more common than one realises. Quite often people just don't talk about it at all, unless they open up in a very close sharing. I, personally, have had the very unpleasant experience in childhood. When I spoke to a few relatives and close friends, each could name an unpleasant incident as well. That led me to believe that it is even more common than you realise, it is just not talked or spoken about. It also increases my determinance to talk to my children about it.

This is how I did it. I spoke to them about personal safety in general. Things like not accepting gifts from strangers, what to do when they get lost at the mall etc. At the same time I spoke to them about their bodies.

Since they are still young, about 5 and 7, I used terms and examples that they are familiar with. It is also best to keep it very simple.

"Imagine how you hate to share your toys and how you think that your toys are yours and yours alone? Well, it is that way with your bodies. Your bodies are your private property. "Private" means it belongs to you. No one can touch your body without your permission accept mummy when mummy is bathing you. No one. Even if the person is not a stranger and someone you know.

Remember those signs we see when there is a land with a house and a fence around it? It says "No tresspassing!" Well, that means you cannot go into that land because it is private property. It belongs to someone. It is the same with your bodies. No one can tresspass. It belongs to you. It is YOUR private property.

If any adult tells you they want to touch your body and they will buy you toys and gifts and you should not tell your parents, tell them "NO." and run away. You don't have to say anything more to them. Just say "NO". Even if they don't say anything and just touch, you can push their hand away and run away. Then tell mummy and daddy about it."

Of course the kids had a lot of questions but none of them were embarrassing. At this age, their questions are usually very innocent and more cute than embarrassing.

Later, I heard the boy asking the girl. Cheh Cheh (Elder sister), which part is private? and Cheh Cheh replied. "All the parts that is covered by your clothes." :) (They do know all the terms for all the body parts like penis, vagina, breasts etc so we can use them freely in our discussions with no embarrassment).

I think they got the message and it wasn't that hard at all to talk to them about it.

Next: How and when to talk to your child about sex.

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