Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Will There Be Anything Left For Under The Pillow?

So, apparently Jarrah's blindingly white, stunningly gorgeous teeth are as crapcake as ever. And I'm all frustrated with myself, feeling like a bad mom. One of those days. You know those days?

Dentist this morning. A routine cleaning. I went over the procedure with Jarrah several times in the car. It's not that she's never been before; it's just that her anxiety level is through the roof because of what they did to her when she had six (!) cavities last year. My speech went kind of like this:

First, we play in the waiting room. We're in there forever. Finally, when we feel like we can't wait another second, they call us back. They put you in a chair with a big tube next to it and shove some little cards in your mouth. It's uncomfortable; I won't lie. But it's quick. After that, they lead us to a pink chair. You lie down and they make it go all the way back. The lady scrapes your teeth with a little metal tool. It's uncomfortable. [they didn't actually do this part.] Then they polish your teeth with a little tool that goes "Zzzzzzzz!" It doesn't hurt. Then they squirt water in your mouth. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO CHOKE. [she's very anxious about that part.] They suck the water out with a tube. It doesn't hurt. Then they sit you up, and the dentist comes over to take a look. And then you're done!

And that's pretty much what happened. And she was so brave. For the first time ever, she submitted to ALL the x-rays with total cooperation. It would have been so nice to reward her with a big sticker and a place on the No Cavities Club wall, but instead we got FIVE MORE CAVITIES.

Hello? Who is not even five years old and has ELEVEN cavities? I mean, what kind of parents does that kid have? Ones who think toothbrushes are luxury items, not appropriate for a recession? Ones who think floss is mostly good for stringing beads? Ones who think teeth get about as dirty as hair, more or less? Ones who feed their child a steady diet of fruit leather, sprinkles, Halloween candy, strawberry milk and the occasional bowl of mac and cheese?

Just ignore that last question. Look away, I tell you. Move it along. We never had this conversation.

I am crushed. CRUSHED. We've been so diligent about the flossing and brushing. Her teeth look amazing. But apparently they're just a collection of tiny time bombs.

I was so disappointed in myself, so of course I took it out on Jarrah. I sulked all the way to the car, and said "I'm sorry, Jarrah, but no more fruit leather. NO MORE. EVER. Do you understand me? And no candy. EVER. In fact, you can't eat food at all anymore."

And on top of my evidently jaw-dropping negligence, I am a "difficult" parent, because the dentist started talking more crowns (she has two) and I flat out refused.

No. She is not a rapper. There is enough silver in her mouth already. Absolutely not. I'm getting a second opinion.

They threatened me with malpractice, infection, and fates more horrifying still. But there's nothing they could say to make me feel worse than I already do. I feel like I've totally failed my kid, or rather, that I'm busy failing her every day.

Failure as an ongoing project. Great.

And then while we were waiting to hear the damage for our "treatment plan," her purple balloon popped and everyone in the waiting room screamed.


Myrnie said...

Oh no...that stinks! BBJ has a bunch of cavities too- we thought maybe because she's on an un-treated well? Poor Jarrah :(

Chinazhoumom said...

if you have teeth with no cavities in them..then get can google it...remember it is all food/drink that can do - but sticky food really gets in teh cracks and stays there...also get some disclosing drops (red dye) shows where you missed brushing - gives you a good idea...Good Luck
Carol in FL

Suzy said...

I would also check into other dentists who might not put the silver/mercury in her dentist said that they use "other stuff" now that works better and lasts I just learned that I have to have my silver fillings replaced! Perhaps if you can have her current fillings be non-silver, she will at least avoid future dental work? Just a thought and question to look into, as I'm just learning about it myself. Poor Jarrah! She's a tough cookie--my daughter freaked about the nasal flu vaccine!!

DrSpouse said...

.... one who was left with a bottle when she was a baby? possibly even a bottle with juice?

Stephanie said...

Listen don't feel so bad. Some people just don't have strong teeth. I know. I am one of those people. I swear, i have cavaties EVERY SINGLE TIME i go to the dentist. And it sucks. I have also had two root canals now. They suck too.

But the fact is, I just have bad teeth. I have taken very good care of them. My parents always took me to the dentist. I floss, brush, use mouth wash. My teeth just arent strong. Is Jarrah old enough to use things with fluoride in them? This might help if she can. Does she still have baby teeth? My baby teeth were TERRIBLE. My adult teeth are a little better, but not much. But seriously, dont worry. Just make sure you keep doing what you are doing, keep going to the dentist. It stinks, but her teeth won't fall out. All mine are still here and look good...just not necessarily on x ray!

Hmm..probably not much help. But seriously, dont beat yourself up. Or Jarrah, let the girl have some fruit leather. :)

Marlene said...

I'm so sorry, dear friend. It's these moments that make us feel like we're responsible for everything that's happening--like we control the strength of our child's teeth. Look, if we *could* choose, no one would choose for their kids to have soft teeth, like mine. My sister never got a single cavity; I'm the maniac toothbrusher and I had one in every tooth. Same parents. It's the teeth she has, not you.

It's so hard, though, and that's the part people don't talk about: to feel like somehow, if you only did it right, it wouldn't be this way. But it's out of your control. I have the kid I have and he's him--it's not me or my choices. It's hard to live with the fact that he's severely dyslexic, that he struggles emotionally because he has to struggle so hard everywhere else.

But it's not you. It's her teeth. And you can take your time to decide what to do. And you can soothe yourself by knowing that you're an amazing, amazing, amazing mom. And Jarrah will be ok. Maybe she'll have lots of fillings like me. I'm ok.

Sorry you have to go through this. Love to you and the girl.

Stephanie said...

I know those days...years...So disappointing...Poor thing, she must be in a fair amount of pain, no? Annoyingly, I have only ever had one cavity, so don't really know (but today I've got the gum disease of a 70 year old, grandma had no teeth by 35!)!


Aunt LoLo said...

Yeah...BBJ had two cavities before she was 3. No new far. I took her in this week to have four of her molars "sealed", so...hopefully we can avoid the Weak Teeth thing until she gets her big girl teeth. at least in the molars.

(I'd blame Lo Gung, but...seeing as I've got 4 cavities, and he's got N.O.N.E....that wouldn't really be fair, eh? Now, when she needs glasses or braces...THEN we'll start pointing fingers. ;-))

Yea for being a brave girl!!!!!

MelADramatic Mommy said...

We're having issues too. Cavities #3 and #4 last time. We took all his Halloween candy away after I caught him I gave him brushing with no toothpaste. I gave him my old Sonicare thinking the toothbrush should would be doing all the work that he isn't. I'm about ready to start Googling tooth decay pictures hoping it might scare him straight!

The woman who does my hair goes to a dentist in RB. They use a laser to clean the teeth. It supposedly kills all the bacteria in the mouth. My stylists teeth are beautiful.

Don't feel bad. Good luck!

Mary said...

Oh no!

Biggest Hugs to you both!

I have horrible teeth, too. But, my parents did not keep watch over me as far as teeth.

Hang in there. We love our new dentist, if you want to see her.



The Wades said...

My children eat plenty of crap and brush their own teeth. We practically never floss. Three of the four have never had a cavity. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with my good parenting. Trust me on that. They literally brush their teeth twice a day with minimal supervision. YOU do a better job with teeth than I by a mile!!!

There is no way eleven cavities is your fault. That has to be genetic or something in her early formative months. Just think how blessed she is to have parents who took her in to their lives, love her to pieces, and care enough about her teeth to do something about it!!!! I mean that. Jarrah is a lucky, rotten-toothed girl! ;)