September 29th, 2013

planet

toddler to the dentist

I've ruined my child's teeth. We have a dentist appointment Tuesday to find out just how bad the situation is, but at least one molar just looks like it's rotting out of her face and I swear the one on the other side looks a little weird too. I'm making this confessional entry to see if it helps with my guilt at all, because so far I'm pretty sure I'm the worst mother in the world.

Here is where I went wrong:

1) I was quite aware that wichita did not have flouride in city water, too many tin-foil-hat types have voted it down too many times. This is the first place I've lived that didn't have flouride in the water. I never had a cavity until I was 24, and living here. Seems like that should have been a sign.

2) We bought Josie whatever silly cartoon character "training toothpaste" she wanted, or all-natural hippie stuff, either way, no flouride. As soon as that child could understand how to spit I should have had her on the real stuff.

3) We let her brush her own teeth for like a year, sometimes I'd take a turn but I'll admit, we were lazy about it. I brush my own teeth twice a day and floss at least once, but in the busy-ness, I was not pressuring her enough to let me brush her teeth.

4) Our dentist said he doesn't see kids until they're three and a half, so I didn't put her on our dental insurance plan. Just kept it cheap.

5) When I did notice a mark or stain on her teeth, I didn't take it seriously. And if I did want to, what the hell, she wasn't insured anyway so I figured she could make it until 2014.

6) In the last few weeks, under close inspection, I've realized she can't. That's when I called the dentist and they agreed to take a peak for no charge, but told me that most parents overreact to stains, surely my child doesn't have a cavity.

7) She ate way too much sugar until we started really fighting it. When we noticed the first mark on her teeth, I started noticing how much sugar was in her diet... it was awful. So I had to get the WORLD on board, ask the gym not to have candy out at the front desk, ask her grandma not to give her suckers every time they meet up. Yes, you can get excited toddler hugs for ten cents... but the cost is soooo much more than you know!

The only good things I can say is that 1) at least I only ruined her baby teeth and 2) at least I only ruined my first child's teeth. I'm just worried sick now about what the dentist will say, because dental procedures are traumatic and sometimes require having kids this age knocked out, I've been exchanging stories with coworkers and a number of people told me they were caught offgaurd too, and it was a BIG deal. Shit. And we have no insurance for her for three more months, just medical, not dental.

so it's all just great, huh. I'm awful.