Thursday, March 26, 2015

First Trip to the Dentist -or Feeling Like a Failure of a Parent

Today I took both kids to their first dentist appointment.

Jen and I knew that at age four we were late getting The Bean in for his first appointment.  We were also pretty sure that we'd discovered a cavity in one of his molars.  He absolutely refused every fluoride toothpaste we'd tried to have him brush with, but we started flossing more vigilantly and prepped him that the dentist was likely going to tell him that he needed to start using new toothpaste.

Sprout loves brushing her teeth with any kind of toothpaste, but she still nurses before bed which I know isn't great for dental hygiene. She sometimes seems to have spots on her front teeth, so I was concerned about what the dentist might say about that too.

We managed to get to our appointment on time.  Sprout was dressed in an Anna (Frozen) dress and Chuck Taylors, and The Bean decided today was the day to break in his new boots by stepping in every mud puddle on the way to to the office, but hey, we got there.  

I was sure that The Bean would hop right into the chair and that Sprout would cling to me, but he was actually the one who acted a bit nervous and Sprout called out "Me! Me!" when the hygienist asked who would go first.  Go figure.

Overall, I was impressed with the hygienist.  She playfully explained what she was going to do each step of the way, demonstrating with the tools on the kids' fingernails before asking them to open wide.  She complemented them on being super-cooperative and having beautiful teeth.  She was good.

She said that she could see a few spots on The Beans teeth and wanted to take x-rays.  Sprout and I left the room.  

The dentist came in to look at the kids' teeth and review the x-rays.  She was also very personable, if slightly less playful.  And while I wouldn't say she guilt-tripped me, I felt like a complete failure of a parent when she said that The Bean's x-rays showed SEVEN cavities.  SEVEN.  (Three on biting surfaces, and two shared between two teeth.)  She asked about his eating habits, snacks, and dental hygiene.  She pointed out the things that we should change.  I didn't tell her that his preferred beverage is chocolate almond milk.  I figured admitting to his raisin habit was enough.  

So, we now have to schedule him in for dental work.  We've decided that we'll do one appointment under general anesthetic rather than two or three with local.  Less chance for traumatization. (I hope!)  Poor kiddo.  

Poor Sprout too.  No more chocolate milk for her either. 


  1. Firstly, don't beat yourself up. My friend's kid also had 7 cavities at his first appointment and he had his front teeth pulled. It happens. Jackson has horrible teeth and has 7 cavities now at the age of 6: 4 with root canal/silver caps in his pitted molars at age 2, 2 filling sin the pitted molars after that at age 4 I believe and 1 between a cap and his molar at age 5. Some teeth are like that. Riley has perfect teeth.

    I recommend getting a mouth rinse too. My kids love the berry Crest one. At age 4 Jackson understood not to swallow it. I figure it helps add to the fight against cavities.

    Jackson was knocked out for the 4 caps at age 2 and it wasn't bad at all. For the others, I went with being awake with laughing gas.

    Quinn had one cavity in his molar and we used laughing gas but it was one visit. Since there are so many and on different sides, you'd need to go there repeatedly and trust me, getting it over in one visit is definitely worth it.

    Are you waiting for a hospital spot so the anaesthesia is covered? I know we had the option but went with the one we paid for right in the clinic but it was pricey.

    Also, Jackson really hated brushing the most. I used to hold him down and do it. Their favourite fluoride toothpastes have been the blue berry one or the watermelon flavour. They hate the bubblegum or the spicy/mint ones. Maybe he'd like the same.

    And you really have to brush their teeth well for them for a while. I only let Riley at age 8 do it totally unsupervised. I always start at the back with the toothpaste so the problem teeth (molars) get the most toothpaste for the longest period of time.

    I know how you feel all too well but you are not alone.

  2. Same thing happened to Erik a couple of years ago. It's because his teeth at the back are super tight, so much so that we can barely get floss in between them. He had 7 too, I think, and had the fillings done in one shot under general anesthetic. I'm so nervous every time we go to the dentist now, but so far he hasn't had any other problems, although they are keeping an eye on one tooth.

    Will he use a rinse? We use Listerine for kids and they love it. It helps when flossing isn't great.

    And come on now. Chocolate almond milk and raisins? If that's the worst they're eating, I think you're doing okay! I wouldn't make them stop eating anything. Sugar is a part of life. :)

    Don't be hard on yourself. These things happen. I felt pretty awful about Erik too, even though they assured us that it was really his teeth that were the problem and not the brushing or anything.

  3. My boys have appointments with the dentist next week and I'm expecting much the same. We already know S had a cavity when he was last at the denstist (~8 months ago), but they couldn't get it filled as he fought so hard. F has stains on his front teeth that the pediatrician we saw recently told me were cavities. So. I will join you in the dental guild corner next week. At least these are baby teeth?

  4. Poor Kiddos. Don't feel like a failure though. Little ones and brushing can be hard. Our little one is ok at brushing, but we have to work at getting him to let us look at his teeth.

  5. Aw, poor kids! Try not to feel responsible for this. My nephews have fantastic diets and had to get sedated for cavities. It's hard work getting them to brush!

    I haven't gotten F in for a cleaning yet...I need to get on that!

  6. I'm with everyone else, if chocolate milk and raisins are your only failings as a parent then you are a heck of a lot better than most parents I know!

    We've been very lucky with Little Monster and teeth, he's a rockstar dentist patient and brushes quite well. Boo on the other hand worries me as she refuses to give up nighttime milk. I can only imagine what her first dental appointment will entail.

    Hang in there, Mama! Try a rinse, they really work. Good luck!

  7. Oh my goodness, I can just imagine how terrible you felt hearing that! Evelyn hates brushing her teeth - she gags and screams and causes a huge fight. It's a really stressful point in the day for both of us. And I will admit - some days I just don't have it in me to fight it, so I don't do it. I'm scared of something like this happening to her, too.

    Some children are just born with a propensity for cavities and "bad" teeth, no matter how much brushing you do.

  8. Ohh I feel sorry for Bean.
    My Son turned two yesterday and his doctor recommended that we should take him to the dentist to be checked ..I doubt he will stay calm while there, I am impressed of Sprout's reaction though.

    Hope both get used to healthy food and eliminate doctor visits :)