Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Branden and Noah's dental visit last Friday (cleaning, check-up and sealants)

Last Friday, November 14th, was the boys every 6 month, dental exam. While there are many dentists around where we live. Quite a handful in our town and a ton in the city nearest us. And probably a bazillion in Narita. We choose to go to a dentist in Ibaraki prefecture instead. It's an hours drive away from our house, this particular dentist, so while it is quite far to drive for a dental exam... our dentist is actually totally worth the drive! He's a dentist but I'd almost call him a cosmetic dentist...which is so rare in Japan. Let me explain myself here a little bit. Also, while I hate to generalize, or make broad sweeping generalizations. As a whole...Americans have beautiful gorgeous white straight teeth. You ever hear the term...."that Hollywood smile" Sure, I am sure there could be Americans with bad teeth, but again as a whole we do tend to have very good teeth and great dental care. My parents age they had silver colored fillings. While I was born in the 70's, fillings had really changed. I do have cavities in my back molar area however, all my fillings in my mouth look like that bottom pic...all my fillings are white/tooth colored. And now days in America gee, I don't know of any place in America still using those old outdated silver colored fillings like in this upper pics in this pic. In the before and after pictures in this pic. It's just not very cosmetically appealing to have silver colored fillings. To be blunt, it looks bad! Also in America even if you are little, if they think your teeth will be too crowded, a dentist will not hesitate to pull a wisdom tooth, if it is to save your bite and whatnot. Where as in Japan it is too common to see shark teeth, badly overcrowded teeth. I recall, my wisdom teeth or back teeth, my dentist growing up pulled them because he said...he didn't want future problems of crowding. My teeth are straight as an arrow. I have no silver fillings. And if the dentist in America couldn't pull teeth to prevent overcrowded teeth, it would be braces for you! Hahaha. And even now...silver braces...kids really aren't doing that in America anymore either...it's all about the clear plastic Invisalign braces. Again cosmetically appealing dental straightening. So long story short...not to generalize, but I do find Americans as a whole... really care or concentrate and make it a top priority to have a gorgeous mouth of nice pearly whites! Now for me...coming from America me and my tooth colored fillings for my back teeth. Hahaha. I was shocked...surprised that kids now days in Japan have those old outdated silver colored fillings. @.@ That's such an old style. To be honest...in Japan they don't pull kids teeth or a wisdom tooth to ensure nice straight teeth. I see many kids with massively crooked teeth, shark like teeth on kids and adults with overcrowded mouths. Many people with silver or gold teeth walking around like pirates (aye matey! lol) I knew when we moved to Japan and after seeing all the outdated dental work in Japan, we would have to find a dentist who cares and concentrates more on healthy teeth...and also cares about the look of the teeth. And yeah...we found this dentist years ago and he's good. A lot of people in our town drive to the famous dentist in Narita and we had seen her a few times and I wasn't so impressed with her at all, found her pretty average but with an ego the size of a football field. Which is why we found this dentist and he's awesome and amazing. He really cares about the look of teeth...overcrowding...he doesn't want any of his patients to have overcrowded teeth or shark rows and rows of teeth. And which is why this picture he is showing the work he has personally performed on patients..he takes out peoples old outdated silver looking fillings and replaces them with modern tooth colored fillings. He also has invisalign braces, not the old looking silver train track type ones. He's very modern..very VERY up to date. So for us...yes he is worth the trek and hours drive! And he's so humble and nice, he has no receptionist, he answers his own phone, makes the appointments himself, he's a 1 man operation. : )  He's a good guy, our dentist! He listens and he has absolutely no ego, he answers all and every question. He simply just cares about the smile of his patients. Bottom line. 

Noah watching the flat screen TV on the wall, while waiting his turn. Branden went in to see the dentist first. He got a thorough cleaning...flavored teeth treatment. Branden has zero/0 cavities! Neither of my kids has EVER had a cavity, not ever! Considering at least 80% of Noah's class, if not more, have pure silver molars all back in their mouths or silver colored fillings! And 1 kid in Noah's class has a straight up fake tooth and he's 9, for crying out loud!!! @-@ I am quite proud to say...both of my kids have NEVER had a single cavity! Good job mom...good job me! I must have done something right, I tell you that!  Noah went in afterwards and got a thorough cleaning, sealants and he also has zero cavities. 

Branden has all 6 sealants for his back molars (top and bottom). He had the last 2 put on... on Friday. But the dentist told us...sealants wear out! And he will keep his eye on them and replace when he feels they need replacing. Sealants protect the back molars from getting cavities. Branden has all adult teeth. Noah has many kids teeth mixed with adult teeth so his sealants can come only as fast... as his adult teeth come in/grow. Branden's teeth are as straight as can be. And the dentist cares a lot about cosmetic looks, as I already said. He said Noah has a small space in the front as of right now...*however* the dentist says...that's actually a VERY good thing... because as his adult teeth grow and switch from small kid teeth to big adult teeth that space will be gone! So he said that space will NOT be there for long! And again if this dentist sees any signs of crowding which he doesn't and he takes dental x-rays...he is not above taking out a wisdom tooth or two for cosmetic purposes at the back...same as how they do in America. Again...is it a freaking long 1 hour drive there and 1 hour drive back. But if it's, to see the best gosh darned dentist... who totally cares about how the teeth in my child's mouth looks... so be it! And by the way when the dentist first met Noboru with the kids first appointment ever years ago (which I didn't go to)...the dentist said...by looking at your kids I can see their mom is a foreigner..but can I guess...she has to be American. Noboru said...@_@ yes she is, how did you guess that. The dentist said and I am not kidding you...he said..."because Americans REALLY care about the look of their teeth." @_@ Umm okay. : ) Anyway he's since met me many times. And he's lovely and nice and kind. Best dentist ever!
This and the next couple pics I borrowed from the internet, but it shows those of you in the states a picture of an overcrowded set of teeth. I see overcrowded teeth on a daily basis here. And I just would never want that for my kids, no offense. 

Many girls, have overcrowded teeth too. Some even think it looks cute and get the vampire fangs on purpose that stick out here. Yikes. Don't think this will ever catch on in America! Hahaha. 
See these black teeth? When I was working as an English teacher at a couple yochiens in Japan a few years back. While the kids were lovely adorable kids. If I am to be 100% honest..I'd say about 85-90% of the kids all had mouthfuls of silver fillings. Not sure if kids eat candy by the sacks full here or they don't brush at night. I don't know. However there was 1 little girl with pure black teeth just like this, that was in one of my classes! She was a very kind nice little girl and boy oh boy she loved me to bits, she'd always jump on me and want to hold my hand. But while I tried to pretend like her teeth weren't shocking for me, they were. Honestly I am a human being and it was very shocking to see such a beautiful little girl with a mouthful of jet black teeth. I did get "used" to seeing her with black teeth after a while. But yeah...just very different dental techniques used in Japan versus America. I did ask Noboru about the girls teeth and he showed me online that dentists in Japan in the old days (read outdated dentist in the year 2012 still are using these techniques, is mind boggling to a person like me coming from America) they cover the teeth with that black stuff to protect the teeth from further cavities. However in my opinion it's so unsightly. And yes I have since seen other kids with black teeth around as well. Between black teeth and unsightly silver colored filings and badly overcrowded teeth. I'm just glad #1 my kids have never had a cavity and #2 we have the most up to date and modern dentist! So yes worth the long drive. : ) It is peace of mind knowing, my kids have their teeth in good hands!
After the dentist last Friday we went to Costco, also in Ibaraki. And no they didn't have my pots and pan set : (  Eating at Costco is a super cheap dinner. We each had a slice of pizza or hot dog and took 1 for the road to eat at home for later. We also bought 2 softcreams/icecream cups and shared. Then we hopped in the car and took and hour long drive all the way home. The dentist always thanks us and says...thank you for making such a long drive to see me...and we *always say* oh no..."you are so worth it!" : ) He's really worth it, he's just the absolute best!

Branden and Noah. Also, after we left the doctors office both the kids were looking in my compact mirror because not sure why but... their teeth always comes out so super white every time they leave the dentist. I mean they have white teeth anyways but they always leave the dentist with sparkling white teeth...he really is a fantastic dentist! We drove home...Noah showered first and brushed his teeth, then into jammies. He crashed immediately on the couch and Noboru carried him upstairs to bed. Branden stayed up a bit longer Friday night after he took his shower. And Noboru showered and I showered afterwards. Anyway...it was really nice to get their every 6 month dental visit scratched off the list. : )