Rafa's First Dental Visit

January 14, 2016

Two months ago, Rafa had his first ever dental appointment in The Medical City, Ortigas under the care of Dra. Carina Mabanta.  Perhaps you were wondering why we had to do Rafa's dental visit in the Philippines instead of having it done in our country of residence, which is UAE.  Well, that was because our previous health insurance policy, unfortunately, did not provide coverage for dental cleaning.

I do not have any idea how much it would cost us to consult a pediatric dentist in the UAE, but as far as I know, a regular scaling and polishing procedure for adults done by a GP Dentist would cost around AED 400 or USD 109.  (That's around PHP 5,163 as of today's exchange rate.) Yeah, it's very expensive!  So we thought it would be more practical to just have Rafa's teeth checked in the Philippines because I'm pretty certain it would be a lot more affordable.

Rafa with his pediatric dentist, Dra Carina Mabanta of The Medical City Ortigas

I do not personally know Dra. Carina Mabanta.  I only learned about her when I searched online for a list of pediatric dentists near Pasig City.  Actually, my search result only left me with two options -- either Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan or The Medical City in Pasig.  The latter was more accessible from our place, so without thinking twice, I immediately booked an appointment with Dra. Mabanta through her secretary, Bernadette.  

Her dental clinic was located on the 12th floor of the Medical City's Medical Arts Tower.  We arrived there early, hence Rafa still got the chance to play for a few minutes in their mini play area.  It was indeed a great idea to have a space like this in the clinic where kids can just  have fun while waiting -- it kept them occupied and at ease, thus minimizing the stress of having to undergo a dental procedure.

Anyway, my son's first dental appointment had been an informal one.  The goal of the visit was more about getting Rafa comfortable with the environment (dental clinic) and for us, parents, to be taught how to properly care for our son's teeth.

Here are some of the important things Dra Carina Mabanta told us and what parents should also keep in mind when caring for their child's teeth:

1.  A child's first dental appointment must be made as soon as his/her first tooth erupts.  (That means, we were kinda late for this appointment since Rafa was already almost 2 years old then.)  I know most parents would say those are just baby teeth and they would eventually fall off.  But parents must also understand that these baby teeth actually serve as placeholders for their child's adult teeth.  If they lose these teeth too early, the chances of having a crooked adult teeth are greatly increased.  Nobody wants to have crooked teeth, right?

2.  Baby bottle tooth decay is common among toddlers, especially when sweetened liquids, like formula, are left in the child's mouth for a long time, such as during sleep.  Thus make sure not to give your child a bottle of sweetened liquids when going to bed.  (Good thing Rafa is breastfed, so this is not going to be an issue for us anymore.)

3.  Brushing of teeth needs to be done AT LEAST two times a day, preferably after breakfast and before bedtime. And your child must no longer eat or drink anything after brushing his/her teeth at night.

4.  Use a toothpaste with at least 1000ppm fluoride content.  Anything less than that is actually not effective against cavities.  In addition, do not rinse or gargle with water when brushing because doing so would just flush all those fluoride down the drain.

5.  Gum bleeding while brushing indicates presence of bacteria.  Continue to brush thoroughly and the bleeding will eventually subside in 3 days.

6.  The best way to brush your child's teeth is by practicing the "knee-to-knee technique" wherein the parents would sit facing each other, with their knees touching and the child lying across their laps.  One parent would then do the brushing while the other holds the child's hands and knees.  To better understand how this technique is done, you may watch the video by clicking here. 

After the procedure, Dra Mabanta told us that Rafa's front teeth actually have that white opaque line along the gums, which might lead to cavities if not given proper attention. In addition, his baby teeth also didn't have enough space in between, which could possibly indicate crowding once his permanent teeth come out.  Thus, as early as now, we were already advised that Rafa might need braces in the future.  (Oh! Hello gastos!)

Rafa did cry a lot during the procedure, which was already expected.  Actually, until now (two months later), he still cries each time we have to brush his teeth.  But we don't have any other choice!  So no matter how heartbreaking it is for us to see him crying and screaming, we still make sure to brush his teeth properly using the knee-to-knee technique. He might hate us for being so cruel with this thing, but I know in the future, he'll eventually appreciate it too.


Dentistry for Infants, Children, Adolescents & Persons with Medical, Physical & Mental Disabilities:
Carina Mabanta - de los Reyes, DMD, MS

Medical Arts Tower
12th Floor Room 1211 Ortigas Ave., Pasig City
MWThS from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Cathedral Heights Bldg. Complex, South Tower
11th Floor Room 1114, E. Rodriguez, Sr. Blvd, QC
Tuesday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

33 Sta. Catalina St. Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Friday from 8:30 am - 6:00pm

***To book an appointment call 09208492299 or 4010335

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