February is National Children’s Dental Health Month; a month dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of oral health in kids. This happens to be very convenient timing in our house. Our daughter, who is 5 ½ years old, has had a very eventful month when it comes to her teeth.
We started taking our daughter to the dentist when she was two years old. The first visit was a very simple visit; basically just getting her comfortable with the chair, the tools, and the idea of having a complete stranger poke around in her mouth. We’ve gone back every six months since then. Each time was better than the one before and it was obvious she grew more comfortable with age. Today she has no fears when it comes to the dentist and has a positive attitude about her dental health.
Her most recent dentist visit took place at the end of January. This was just another routine dental visit but she would also be getting X-rays, which our office does when they turn five years old. The X-rays were the first thing they did. Once they were done they went about her cleaning as usual and everything looked good. Then the dentist came back, X-rays in hand, and told me something I was absolutely, positively, not at all expecting to hear.
They found 6 cavities between her molars. SIX!
I didn’t even know what to say. I was speechless. We help her brush twice a day, and either myself or my husband check them every time. She rarely drinks juice or eats candy and we limit the sugary snacks she gets to have. All I kept thinking was, ‘How is this possible?!’
Her dentist went on to say that they wouldn’t have known they were there had they not done the X-rays because everything from a visual standpoint looks great. She also said the spacing between her molars is tight so she asked us if we floss her teeth on a consistent basis.
The answer? No, we don’t.
Then she asked us if we have her use a fluoride mouthwash at night before bed.
The answer? Again, no, we don’t.
We have our daughter brush her teeth twice a day, but we don’t floss consistently and we don’t use mouthwash. These are two things I honestly never even thought about having my 5 ½ year old daughter do.
Now we have a consultation coming up with another pediatric dentist to see what needs to be done about these cavities. Will she need them all filled? Or, because they are baby teeth, is that necessary? Will she need a cap on them (which is another word for a crown, but on a child’s tooth). Are they going to put sealants on them?
Needless to say, I’ve learned just how complex children’s teeth can be.
Adventures in children’s teeth aren’t all negative, though.
A few weeks before her appointment an exciting thing happened. On January 13th she lost her very first tooth! It was the bottom right tooth and the very first tooth she ever grew as a baby. Many of her friends had started losing teeth so she’d been waiting for it to happen to her.
And when it finally came out there was only one thing I could think of…time for the Tooth Fairy.
She couldn’t wait for the Tooth Fairy to come that night. She even wrote her a letter. We had the pillow that her Grammi made for her all ready to go so she gently placed her precious little baby tooth into the pocket of the pillow and hung it on the door. This is a trick I learned from a friend of mine. You put a ribbon on the tooth pillow and hang it on the door so the Tooth Fairy doesn’t have to sneak in and retrieve the tooth while the child sleeps. Genius
That night the Tooth Fairy came, took her baby tooth from the pocket of the pillow and replaced it with a one dollar bill. Our daughter woke up that next morning, opened up her door and was so excited when she saw that her baby tooth was gone and in its place was a one dollar bill. She didn’t care about the amount of money in her pillow. All she cared about was that the Tooth Fairy came and she was happy.
Share your dental adventures! Have you had a fun, scary, or crazy experience with your children’s teeth? Share in the comments below!
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