I have never had a problem going to the dentist. In fact, I would rather go to the dentist that the doctors. I mean, you have a sore bit, you go to the dentist, and while it might be painful for a short time while he is working on it, you come out – most of the time, pain-free. You go to the doctors with a pain, and he either tells you to go away and feel rubbish until it heals itself, or gives you pills that might, or might not do anything for you! For me its a no brainer as to which I prefer!
I do have terrible teeth, and therefore have spent a long time sitting in dentist waiting rooms reading out of date magazines. The money I have spent over the years, I probably could have bought myself a luxury cruise! I have never enjoyed cleaning my teeth, but I have done my 2 minutes every morning and evening, like clockwork. Nothing seemed to make a difference. My teeth just seemed to fall apart! When I was little, I was given fluoride tablets to take to try to strengthen my teeth. They didn’t! Whenever a new tooth paste appeared on the market, I have tried it to see if it helps – my unscientific view is they all seem to be much of a muchness! I have tried every difference shape of toothbrush head known to man, both electrical, and manual. All to no avail. Everytime I got a new dentist, I was made to feel like that child being chastised for not scrubbing hard enough. It was impossible to make my point heard.
The dentist I have at the moment is brilliant. He has basically rebuilt my mouth, and bought all of the one-off repairs from over the years up to an acceptable standard. I have a dentures plate for the teeth he couldn’t save – although I am a bad person and only wear it when I really need to as it’s not the most comfortable thing! I do however still feel like I have done something wrong whenever I have to go because a lump of tooth has broken off.
I have crumbly teeth and that’s that.
The boys are not good at cleaning their teeth. That’s really an understatement. Both of them are terrible if they are not supervised. M has the attitude that if he puts toothpaste on his brush puts it in his mouth then spits it out he has cleaned, and D is a brush sucker. I use my dental nightmare stories to try to convince them that spending hours in the dentist’s chair is not the most productive way to spend their life. Its doesn’t really work with them.
M has been lucky so far, and other than having to have one tooth removed because he broke it – luckily a baby tooth, he has never has to have work done.
D on the other hand had already had fillings by the time he way 7. He has several teeth that have had to have treatment, and has them coated regularly to help seal fissures. It’s not a good thing.
The last few days D has been complaining of a sore tooth. I immediately start with the lecture about if he looked after them etc. Last night it got so bad, he was in screaming pain, and even giving him paracetamol wasn’t taking the edge off it. This morning, before school, we were sitting in the dentist waiting room. Our usual dentist is on holiday, but he was fitted in with someone else. She was really nice, and reassuring towards D. He didn’t want to tell her how much pain he was in, so I explained what had been going on. When she got inside his mouth, he pointed to where the pain was coming from, and she took a good look. She said there was a huge hole in the tooth, so no wonder he was in pain. D was brilliant, only having to be reminded a couple of times to keep his mouth wide. She cleaned it out and packed it with an antiseptic dressing. While he was rinsing and spitting – his favourite part of the trip to the dentist, she asked me if our regular dentist had explained about the demineralization of D’s teeth. I looked at her as if to say, “speak English!” She said he had soft teeth because the minerals in them weren’t dense enough and it means his teeth are prone to basically falling apart! She thinks the best thing might be to remove the tooth and allow the new ones to push over. She will leave notes for our regular dentist about what she had said. D left the surgery looking a lovely shade of grey. He had done really well, but I don’t think it had been a good experience for him.
Luckily the dentist is just across the car park at the school, so he was only ten minutes late to class.
Thinking about D’s teeth, has made me wonder if this problem is hereditary as what she is describing is exactly the way my teeth have been. This problem was never explained to me, and if it had of been, I don’t think I would have been so hard on myself about poor dental care. I am hoping for D’s sake our regular dentist can think of a plan of care that will help my wee man not have to suffer the way I have.