All that I have to say is…NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER (under any circumstances whatsoever) FORGET TO BRUSH YOUR CHILD’S TEETH!
I swear, if I would have learned that lesson, really learned it, when Lizzie was a 1-year-old, it would have saved me a lot of guilt, agony, and tears.
I am a stickler when it comes to brushing my teeth. I brush, at the very least, 3 times a day. Most days, it’s a lot more. I floss daily. I use mouth wash once or twice on a daily basis. And where do you think all of this obsession gets me? Absolutely no where. I still get lectured when I go to the dentist that I need to improve my dental hygiene. I still have to get deep cleanings whenever my insurance will cover it (usually every other year). All of this really bothers me.
Because Jon doesn’t brush his teeth nearly as much as I do and he rarely flosses. He drinks juice and soda on a regular basis (which I rarely partake of). And he has never, ever, ever gotten a cavity. Not once. When he goes to the dentist, he gets praised and honored for taking such wonderful care of his teeth. His teeth, according to the dentist, are the healthiest looking teeth that he has seen in his entire time practicing as a dentist. One day, I’m sure, I will go to the dentist and see a picture of Jon’s perfect mouth on a poster for everyone to admire and covet.
If only Lizzie was blessed enough to inherit Jon’s perfect teeth. Instead, she was stuck with mine (well, she has her own…but you know what I mean!). 🙂
The poor girl. I truly feel for her! When she was 1, 2, and even 3, I had a seriously hard time brushing her teeth. She would fight it like nothing else. She would clench her jaw shut. She would kick and scream and thrash around to the point that in order for me to brush her teeth, I would have to literally sit on top of her and try to jam the brush in her mouth. Honestly, I hated doing it. I thought that I was going to harm her! Sometimes her mouth would even bleed. 😦 Although it pains me to admit this, I gave up on her. It was too much of a fight. I tried every night but when she got really bad, I just stopped trying. It just wasn’t worth it to me. Was it really going to make that much of a difference, anyway? If only I could have foreseen the future!
Since Lizzie is the oldest, we didn’t even take her to the dentist until she was nearly four. I feel so awful about it. Incredibly guilty. By this point, however, she was allowing us to brush her teeth. And because we were actually able to look in her mouth…we could see a few cavities. 😦
She had to get a few cavities filled. She survived the procedure just fine (according to Jon…he was with her), but she ended up biting her numb lip pretty badly on the way home. When I first saw her I started freaking out because she looked like this:
Oh my goodness. Talk about a broken heart! I immediately called the dentist (ready to get very upset with her!), but I calmed down when the Dentist explained to me that it happens quite often. Lizzie was prescribed some antibiotics and everything turned out just fine (well, as far as her lip is concerned).
Fast forward to this past summer. Lizzie went to the dentist again and she found out that she had 4 more cavities. I was absolutely devastated! I was trying so hard to brush her teeth consistently! I really thought that I was doing a pretty good job too. I told the dentist that and she looked at me like I was crazy. Obviously, if I was taking good care of my daughters teeth, then she wouldn’t have dental decay.
I wanted another dentist for my daughter!
We went to a dentist in L.A. (the one that Jon went to as a child) for a second opinion. Unfortunately, his opinion was the same as the other one…she needed work done on her teeth.
We found another dentist for her that specializes in pediatric dentistry. I truly love this dentist! He did a wonderful job of making Lizzie feel comfortable and getting the necessary work done quickly. A small portion of my guilt vanished away when I realized that I, at least, was able to find a good dentist for Lizzie.
Well, over Christmas break, it was time for us to take another trip to the dentist. This time, however, I was very confident that Lizzie would be cavity free. I had brushed her teeth twice a day, every day. I didn’t even let her do it herself…I DID IT FOR HER JUST TO MAKE SURE THAT IT WAS DONE THOROUGHLY. I flossed her teeth daily. I thought for sure that we would be getting a big thumbs up from the dentist this time around.
I was simply devastated when they told us that Lizzie had four more cavities. WHAT?!!! I just couldn’t believe it. I told them how often I brushed and flossed her teeth. He responded by telling me that I need to brush and floss more. Are you kidding me? I can’t go to school with her. I can’t be following her around every second of the day and shoving a toothbrush into her mouth every time she consumes a morsel of food. It’s just ridiculous.
But, apparently, it’s not ridiculous. Whatever I was doing was simply not enough. I just felt so incredibly guilty. When a child that young has so many cavities, who’s really to blame? The mother…right?
Lizzie already had 2 completely silver teeth. Over Christmas break, she added 3 more silver teeth to the mix. I just feel so bad for her. She sees those teeth and wonders why they’re silver. She tells me that kids at school ask her why her teeth are silver (I know that it makes her feel uncomfortable). She stresses about brushing her teeth so that she doesn’t get cavities. That’s what breaks my heart more than anything. For the whole 6 months prior to this last dentist appointment she was very aware of the fact that if she didn’t brush her teeth, then she would get cavities. She was on top of things. She was even proud of herself because she always made sure to brush her teeth before school and before bed. Seriously…shouldn’t she be rewarded (with no cavities) when such behavior occurs? It just saddens me so much. 😦
It’s all my fault.
A few weeks ago, I saw this on the news. It’s about a little girl who had so many cavities that every single one of her teeth had to be capped. She had a mouth completely full of silver teeth. My stomach turned to knots when I saw this. Poor Lizzie. What if, despite all of our efforts, she ends up having all silver teeth?
Anyway, I had better stop rambling. I just feel so guilty about her teeth and so wish that I could turn back the clock and take better care of them when she was a baby.
That being said, I am redeeming myself with Bryce and Mason. Mason is another one that refuses to let me in his mouth! I told Jon, however, that I am going to brush his teeth no matter what. I’m going to brush and floss and be obsessive about it. I don’t want him (or Bryce) to have to go through the trauma that Lizzie has had to endure.
Okay, my rant is complete.