Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Ok, I debated whether to write this post or not b/c I'm embarassed mortified although it's mostly family and close friends who read it and you probably already know. Besides, this blog is like my journal... Ok so, Parker had his first dentist appointment on Monday. He's 3 years, 3 months (almost). I have been preparing him for a few months now. I'd tell him that he will be going to the dentist (we had a separate convo where I explained a dentist is a doctor who looks at teeth), he will sit then lay down in a big chair, there will be a bright light, the dentist will count and tickle his teeth with a brush. I didn't tell him this every night, but I'd tell him maybe once or twice a week...if I remembered. Then on Sunday night as I was shopping for Xmas gifts, I had a moment of panic when I remembered his dentist appointment was the next morning. I wanted to prep him myself (call me OCD). I couldn't make it back home before bed time so I texted Kevin and told him to really clean his teeth, to prep him and gave him detailed instructions on what to tell Parker about what will happen at the dentist. Kevin probably rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath, but after being married for almost 5 years (wait, what?!? already?!?) and together for over 8 years, he knows my quirks and likely just gave Parker the abbreviated version. lol

right outside of the dentist office - we got there early so that I could take pics

Anyway, when Parker woke up yesterday, I hyped up going to the dentist and sitting on the big chair with the lights and having the dentist count and tickle his teeth. His reply: "Oh yeah, I go dentist" then continued to watch cartoons while he ate his breakfast. Before we left the house he told me a couple of times: "I not feel better. I go see dentist". I think he thought that we were going to see his regular doctor and he knows we go see the doctor when we're not feeling good. I told him that he's not sick, they're just going to look at your teeth. I reminded him again of what was going to happen during the short car ride.

The staff at the office was amazing! They entertained Avery while I filled out paperwork and a questionnaire on the computer. Parker loved the playroom, which had a huge fish tank, a big tv and a few video game consoles with their own tv. Avery even made friends with a 7-8 year old girl who had Avery sitting on her lap on a bean bag and watching TV. When we got called back, our hygienist told Parker she was going to show him all of her cool tools and he was going to sit in her chair. He hopped right up on the chair, but stayed sitting upright when the seat started reclining.

After she comforted him and told him to lay down, she put sunglasses on him. At first he didn't want to put them on, but she told him the light would be bright so he took his glasses off and put the sunglasses on.

He tried to pick a tropical fruit teeth scrubber (like how technical I am?!?), but I vetoed and said watermelon - something he was more familiar with! She asked if I flossed his teeth and I guiltily looked at her and said only a few times a week. After she fluoridated his teeth she asked if I would be ok with getting X-rays done. I said sure. Parker calmly walked away with her and came back all happy and just wanting to play with the Legos that Avery had been playing with. I had expected complete chaos - similar to how his eye doctor appointments go. He proved me wrong and did great FANTASTIC!!! No crying, no screaming. He tried to sit up a few times, but would lean back each time he was asked - I think he just wanted to play b/c Avery was playing.

showing Parker the brush she will use to tickle his teeth - I love that she also said she was going to tickle his teeth b/c that's what he "knows" and understands - he def does a lot better when you explain things first. Maybe that's what she always says or maybe it's b/c she overheard me telling Parker.

water and suction - the scary tool sometimes freaks me out when it starts sucking my tongue or cheek. I'm surprised Parker didn't get scared.

the ever curious little sister...

she always wants to copy her Bubba!

of course she had to wear the sunglasses too! lol

Then the dentist came, chatted with Parker and Avery, counted Parker's teeth...

and dropped the bombshell: Parker has SIX cavities!!!! WHAAAAAT?!? I don't understand...SIX?!? I almost started crying in the office.

I think I must have given a similar expression after hearing the news.

They probably thought I fed my kid juice and candy all day and never brushed his teeth. In truth, I've only ever bought a few bottles of juice for Parker - I just prefer my kids to drink either milk or water. They eat plenty of fruit and veggies. He does drink juice at school, but that's only on Tues and Thur mornings and they do half water, half juice. Their snacks are not sugary - usually pretzels, crackers, unsweetened applesauce, etc. Parker only really gets juice and/or sweets (candy, chocolate, cookies, etc) during special occasions like birthday parties. If he does have a special treat at home, it's maybe once a week - that's a rare maybe and possibly twice a week if he's really lucky. I can't even remember the last time I gave him a "special treat" at home! He doesn't go to bed with milk/juice. In fact we only give him water if he asks for something to drink after he has brushed his teeth. He has never gone to bed with milk/juice, even as a baby, and he was weaned from his bottle at 12 months. He doesn't eat all day long (unless he is going through a growth spurt and is hungry all the time) so it's not like he's getting all the bacteria worked up in his mouth by eating all day. We used to drink bottled water only, but we switched to tap water about 6 months ago when Avery was weaned from the bottle. But our county doesn't fluoridate the water supply. I remember reading about it months ago - they said it cost too much money.

But here's where the bad mommy award comes into play. I usually only brush his teeth at night (I know you are rolling your eyes). Why you ask? Tues and Thur mornings are crazy enough trying to get him to finish eating and he is usually still eating as we walk out the door to go to school. The other days, I just forget as we get on with our day - lame excuse I know! We just switched to fluoridated toothpaste about 6 months ago. I thought they couldn't have fluoridated toothpaste until they were older b/c the baby toothpaste we have says for 2 and under so I figured he wasn't allowed to use "real" toothpaste yet. And call me dumb, but I didn't know I was supposed to be flossing his teeth. Duh! I went to college and I consider myself fairly intelligent so why did I never think to floss my kid's teeth?!? We started this around the same time as the new toothpaste. Ok, so you're probably thinking that's why he has cavities! But really...six?!? I was still am torn up about this! My husband says "bad teeth" runs in his family. I'm not throwing him or his family under the bus, but I think quite a few of them have had root canals and other major work done and I think their dental hygiene is good. Kevin brushes his teeth twice a day, flosses and uses mouthwash daily and I think he had a cavity last year and had to get some major work done a couple of years ago.

One of my sorority sisters who is a dentist looked at Parker's X-rays that I emailed to her - she confirmed the cavities (I was hoping praying that the dentist was just trying to sucker me out of money). She suggested giving him water between meals b/c sometimes I give him milk (only b/c sometimes he can't even finish a small 11 oz cup of milk in 1 day and he needs calcium, right?!?). My brother in law (who used to work for a dental lab) also confirmed the cavities. Sigh! BAD MOMMY!!!

So our new plan of action is: 
1) brush teeth 2x a day

2) floss teeth every night

3. buy fluoridated water (Babies R Us sells them - I bought them a few times when the kids were drinking formula)
4. milk only for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and water in between meals.

In the meantime, I'll be over $700 poorer to pay for the fillings...and yes that is with insurance. I'm just hoping that the experience of getting his cavities filled won't make him fear going to the dentist!

He did so great and I was so proud of him, but at the same time I wanted to cry.

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