Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adventures in Dentistry

The kids had their dentist check-ups and cleanings this morning.

I DREAD taking the kids to the dentist. I have vivid memories of my childhood dentist. He was a horrible, wretched man. He had no bedside manner. He wouldn’t let my mom stay with me when I needed fillings- and I needed a number of them before turning 6. I remember biting his latex covered fingers-hard. It was my only defense. He died a few years later, at a pretty young age, in a horrific speedboat accident.

Luckily, my kids love their dentist’s office. The staff is patient, calm, and kind. The kids all sit lined up in their chairs, in the same room where they can see each other and me. They watch cartoons while their teeth are being cleaned. They get to pick out a toy when it is all over.

Sweet, sweet Vincent. He is such a trooper! He has already had some extensive dental work done- most of it before he turned four years old. I felt terrible and cried for days when I learned the state of his teeth. I brushed and flossed him everyday since the time those teeth had come in. I never put him to bed with a bottle- in fact he stopped using a bottle when he was 16 months old. Juice was an occasional treat. Where had we gone wrong?

It turns out that it is a combination of genetics (my contribution, not Patrick’s) and a compromised immune system his first year of life (due to his bad kidney) that left his teeth weaker than most. It couldn’t happen to a nicer kid, who still remains cooperative at night when we brush- and we brush a lot... with prescription toothpaste. We had a good report today. Nothing needs to be done. I feel like we have dodged a bullet.

Then there is Franklin. While Vinny tells me when it is my turn to brush and wants his teeth flossed, Frank turns and runs the other way. I struggle with him every night. Of course, his teeth are perfect. Go figure.

And Colette. We are still waiting on her last molars to come in, which is fine because there is lots of room in there. Her teeth are looking more like Franklin’s than Vincent’s, without Franklin’s overbite. Third times the charm, I guess.

We have a really fantastic dentist, but I’m happy not to see him for another 6 months.

I hope he is not a boater.


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