When it comes to raising kids and costly medical services, is there actually an affordable kids dentist in Singapore?
After Leroy turned three, I realised that we had yet to get his teeth checked by a dentist! What blasphemy! #secondchildsyndrome
Oral health is really important especially during their early years. Besides inculcating good habits at home by brushing regularly, or by using an interactive smart app like Brush Monster to encourage kids, I felt like a bad mum for forgetting about bringing him to the dentist. Please tell me I’m not the only one >.<
Back then with younger Vera, we didn’t know who to go to that would be good with kids yet also an affordable kids dentist who doesn’t charge an arm and a leg. More importantly, the dentist would have to interact with her, get her to cooperate for a proper check of her teeth so she could start off with a positive experience.
Hastily, we Googled for pediatric dentists in Singapore around our area. ‘Pediatric’ because we were worried that the regular dentists would not be as experienced when it comes to make a child’s dental visit fun (read: less daunting).
Of course, most of the time, those dental fears stem from the parents’ own experience and any other adults who shape a kids’ idea on what the dentist does, BEFORE he/she actual does anything to the kids :P So, parents, remember to frame a positive picture and dental experience for your kids prior to their first visit.
Read this article for some tips from a dentist on how parents can prepare children for their first dental visit :)
This time round as a second time mum – presumably more resourceful – after speaking with friends with kids, I learned that kids dental services in Singapore could cost as low as SGD$9! WOOHOO! Thank you, mummy Jess and A! :)
I was stunned, shocked and suspicious – yeah, in that order. HAHA!
I mean, we paid SGD$100++ for Vera’s first dental check a couple of years ago at a private dental clinic. Sadly, the session wasn’t quite successful. The pediatric dentist at that clinic was unavailable, so another dentist attended to her but didn’t even manage to get her to lie long enough for a thorough check of all her teeth :(
How can there be an affordable kids dentist in Singapore?
Yes, it’s real! And we managed to bring both kids to have their teeth checked!
The bill came up to SGD$18 for 2 kids, with no GST too!
I really wanted to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to Health Promotion Board (HPB) for the School Dental Centre programme, hence I’m sharing our experience here with fellow parents in Singapore! The AH-HA moment for me was when I realised that it’s the same organisation that takes care of our teeth when we were in primary and secondary school with the dental clinic right within school!
Since both V and L are only in preschool, we would have to take them to the School Dental Centre located at the Health Promotion Board building along Outram Road.
More importantly, the pediatric dentist we met could easily communicate with children, and the entire experience was positive :) Thankfully, our pockets didn’t suffer too :P
Kids’ experience with the pocket-friendly and affordable kids dentist at Health Promotion Board
It’s a public service provided by the government and located near the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
So if you’re expecting some classy clinic like the private ones, it’s not like that at all. Just thought to get that out of the way :)
It just feels like we were at the SGH for an appointment with polite front line staff. No one was there to guide or anything, but it’s straightforward enough.
There were ample seats, even a kid’s corner with interactive activities on the walls.
So how about the dentists? That’s kinda the most important person that would make or break our kids’ first impressions!
I’ve to say that Vera was a super trooper, maybe she’s a little older now too! Albeit her first dental experience was a couple of years ago and it didn’t go very well, she was cool as a cucumber because they gave her fancy shades and were gentle! Also actually speaking to a kid in a warm way was a nice way of making them feel welcomed :)
Further photos were not allowed so we only managed to snap a few to mark our kids’ milestones :)
She managed to check all her teeth, cleaned them and even gave her stickers. However, the dentist told us that two of her teeth had fused during development @.@ There’s nothing we can do, so she gave a heads-up that if those two baby teeth fall off, they might only be replaced with one :( Looks like it’s time to save up for braces in 10 years time!
We couldn’t request to see a specific dentist, nor know who we were going to see, so it’s all random! After Vera was done and the lady dentist shared some oral care tips, we left the big room, and returned to the waiting area to wait for Leroy’s number to be flashed.
Leroy saw how “un-scary” it was for Vera, but he was still a little scared. Perhaps because of those tools and lights? But it’s okay, the dentist and her assistant spotted that immediately and suggested that he sat on my lap.
He wore those sunglasses and I held onto a mirror for him to see his teeth being scrutinised :P
Thankfully, he was pretty cooperative for the most of it. His teeth are okay, and he was offered stickers at the end too. But he asked for planet stickers which the dentist didn’t have, and he got upset -_- The session ended too, with some dental care tips and sharing by the gentle dentist.
Apparently, we should be using kids toothpaste with 1100ppm for both kids. Additionally, now that Leroy is older he should avoid falling asleep with the milk bottle or breastfeed to sleep -_-
How to make an appointment to see the kids dentists at Health Promotion Board?
Call 6435 3782 or use this form to make an appointment.
Personally, I rang that number as I wanted to fix a date where both kids could either be seen concurrently, or one after the other. That definitely made it tougher to secure an appointment date, so naturally, I had to wait longer in that sense.
If you’re not particular about making just one trip, then that’s okay. The very helpful and patience operator assisted me with checking for availability to make the dental appointment with our requirements.
Do have your child’s birth certificate number and know the name of your child’s childcare centre (if they’re already in school) when you call to book the appointment!
Here’s sharing some golden questions that I had prior to making an appointment to see the kids’ dentist. I reckon many parents would have the same thoughts too, so do read on :)
- Are the appointment dates only available for later in the year?
As with our experience, if you’ve certain requests like particular times of the day (e.g. only in the afternoons), and preferring to have your kids go on the same day etc… this would naturally narrow down the available slots for appointments, and push it back till the next possible date, which could be a few months later.
- Do we have to wait for a long time when we arrive for our dental appointment?
Nope, the whole process was pretty fast! Bring along your child’s health booklet, scan the bar code on the machine to indicate that the “patient” (your child) has arrived for the appointment and a queue number would be issued. There were a few kids at the waiting area too but it wasn’t crowded at all. Wait for the queue number to flash and enter another glass door to go to your dentist (look out for the assigned number as dentist names are not flashed).
Yes, there are MANY dentists in the large room, with partitioned cubicles for privacy and to attend to each kid! I think everything was done in about an hour, including payment?
- Can family with multiple kids get an appointment for the same day and consecutive timings?
Yes, but as with our experience, be prepared to be allocated a later date. Definitely not for urgent teeth issues, if so!
- Can we pay with the Baby Bonus card?
Yes! In fact, parents in Singapore can only pay by NETS, CashCard, EZ-Link card or Baby Bonus Card. Cash payment is NOT accepted.
How to get to the Health Promotion Board School Dental Health Centre
- Location: Level 4, Health Promotion Board
- Opening hours:
- Monday to Thursday: 8am to 12.30pm, 1.30pm to 5.30pm
- Friday: 8am to 12.30pm, 1.30pm to 5pm
- Saturday: 8am to 12.30pm
- Closed on Sunday and public holidays
- Contact number: 6435 3782
Do you have a good yet affordable kids dentist to recommend? Please share them below so fellow parents can take their children too!