The Pediatric Dentist
My children have notoriously had bad baby teeth. Out of 4 kids, each one of them has had to endure some sort of dental procedure around the age of 5 because of extensive decay or otherwise unhealthy teeth.
With my older children, I spent over $3000 out of pocket and had them sedated to do baby root canals and pull teeth, and fill fillings etc. Within a year or so, those crowns and the majority of that dental work were literally falling out.
I took my child to a dentist one day, and out of sheer disgust he removed the rest of the dental work and metal crowns that were in my child’s mouth. My daughter had been complaining of a foul taste in her mouth for a long time, and apparently it came from the growth of bacteria that was building up underneath her crowns.
My point is that I have had my share of experience with pediatric dentists. One that we visited tried to make me sign a paper that said they could use excessive force, and mouth clamps, and all other sorts of equipment to hold my children still during in office procedures. Needless to say – we didn’t use that dentist.
I have also had a pediatric dentist assistant talk down to me about my children’s teeth, and call me into the office to literally ‘teach’ and show me like I was a five year old how to care for my children’s teeth. Did I understand the importance of doing so, did I know that the health of their baby teeth impacted the health of their adult teeth. Really!? Do I look like an idiot? Of course I know these things – that is WHY I AM HERE!
In today’s world, dentistry is a luxury. And I think that most of us moms know how to care for children’s teeth. Most recently, I found yet another pediatric dentist for my last child, who finally diagnosed the problem. It wasn’t me. It was that my children didn’t have enamel on their baby teeth which meant that their teeth were prone to cavities and decay.
And, instead of asking for thousands of dollars of out of pocket expenses, he advised me to wait until she turned 5, and then to simply PULL (under light sedation so she wouldn’t be traumatized) the baby teeth that could be pulled and fix the rest. Makes sense, right?
The last time I saw the hygienist, BEFORE she could even begin to treat me as though I was the worst parent in the world for having children with bad teeth, I not only explained my daughter’s lack of enamel to her, but also politely explained to her that I would not be made to feel like a bad mother, because my child had cavities. Essentially, I ensured that she wouldn’t ‘go there!’ Because although it may be done with the intent of helpfulness, it always comes across as rude and berating.
My advice to you, because I know you worry about your child’s teeth is this. Do the best you can! Teach them how to brush their teeth and help them take care of their teeth. Find a pediatric dentist that is not solely interested in tapping out your insurance or putting you on a monthly plan that drains your income. And most importantly, remember that THESE ARE BABY TEETH!
The good news is that despite dental issues, all of my older kids now have beautiful, cavity free mouths. As each grown up tooth would come in, the dentist would put a sealant on it, and we have (knock on wood) been cavity free every since. And definitely don’t allow a dentist, hygienist, or doctor to talk down to you when it comes to the health of your child. Demand respect, because quite frankly you deserve it!