Interview With Rosie Pope & Caring For Your Child’s Dental Health
When my eldest boy was one, he woke up one morning with swollen gums. I, of course, freaked out, wondering why on earth his gums of all things would be swollen? Was it something he ate? Why was it showing up in his mouth of all places?
At that point, I had never been to a pediatric dentist. I searched locally and found my nearest one (open on a Saturday) in my local mall. Since it was in a mall, I was a little skeptical but I had no other choice. We got down there, waited an hour to be seen and the doctor was so nice and gentle with my boy. Turns out that he had a 24hour virus that included hives and swollen gums.
Did you know that you should be taking your kids to the dentist by age one? Taking them to the pediatric dentist as soon as they get teeth is the easiest way to prevent tooth decay in kids. Taking the kids early to the dentist can prevent so many dental problems including the need for braces. As parents we are so good about taking the kids to the doctor, but do we place the same importance on the dentist? Remember, everything may look fine but it is incredibly important to get your kids checked out.
Tooth decay, while nearly 100 percent preventable, remains the number one chronic infectious disease among children in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While studies show delaying the first dental exam until the age of 2 or 3 can negatively impact a child’s oral health, an AAPD survey found 40 percent of parents and caregivers surveyed wait to take their child to the dentist until after age 2.
Parents and caregivers can go to mychildrensteeth.org to find tips and tools to teach their children about their teeth in a fun way, including the whimsical Mouth Monsters characters – Tartar the Terrible, Tooth D.K. and Ginger Bite-Us. The site also provides educational resources and guidance geared to help parents and caregivers better understand the importance of children’s oral health, as well as a pediatric dentist finder tool to locate a nearby primary dental care provider for their child.
I got a chance to speak with parenting expert Rosie Pope about her role in advocating for pediatric dental health. You may remember that I saw Rosie speak a few months ago at Fashion Forward.
Q1) Have you taken your children to the pediatric dentist yet? What was your experience?
Rosie has 3 kids and one more on the way. She found out about the need for children to visit the dentist with her 2nd son. She panicked and took him right away, and all though everything was fine she now knew she had to take her kids much earlier. Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of additional training. When she took her son there were TVs, prizes and they had a great experience.
Q2) Advocating for children to get to the pediatric dentist is such a great cause. How did you become involved?
As a parenting expert Rosie Pope knows a lot about babies and she realized that an awful lot of people were in the same boat when it came to their children’s dental care. A lot of parents only go when there is an infection, not many go for wellness visits. 60% of kids enter Kindergarten with tooth decay. Parents should be taking their children to the dentist just like they take their kids to the doctors, it should be for wellness visits several times a year.
Q3) When it comes to your children, how do you get them excited to go to their checkups whether its for the dentist or the doctor?
Rosie says that it really depends on the age. With older children you explain the benefits of going to the doctor for your health. With younger kids it is an opportunity to to do fun things like decorate your own toothbrush! (How cool is that?!)
Q4) As a parent do you have anxiety when you are taking your young ones to be treated? I personally have a rough time and my husband has to take the reigns. Are you the same way?
Rosie also has a ton of anxiety (just like me!) It hasn’t always been a pain free experience for her kids. Sometimes she has some guilt about not being in the room but she just has to remember that it really is the best thing for your child. It is better to take the kids to the dentist now for preventative visits so that in the future they can have great dental health!