Thursday, December 6, 2007

Adventures at Dr. Barnes' office

  • On Monday, I trekked all three kids to the one and only pediatric dentist here in the Daytona area: Dr. Barnes. My kids love going to the dentist. Dr. Barnes is a magician in his spare time and always entertains the kids after they sit through an exam and a cleaning. They also leave the premises with a goodie bad that includes a new toothbrush and a toy from the treasure chest.
  • We've been faithful with our visits, taking the kids every six months. So imagine how mortified I was when they told me that TWO of the boys have cavities. Alexander didn't surprise me too much. We've been watching some cavities for two years now, hoping the teeth fall out before they need to be fixed. His time has run out, however. Today I took him back and he got four sealants on his permanent molars and two cavity fillings. While they did the work, he was gassed up on nitrous oxide and watched Star Wars on the TV mounted above the chair. He was so engrossed in the movie that he didn't even realize they were giving him the novicane shot. Later, they told him they had "put his tooth to sleep" so Dr. Barnes could work on it. He was quite a trooper, and made it through very well!
  • Now, the other cavity child is NOT Benjamin, the one with braces. It's JONATHAN!!! That's when I was really embarrassed. If it was Benjamin, I could blame it on his poor brushing skills or the braces. But when your four year old has 6 cavities, there's no one to blame but the parents.
  • Why does he have these cavities? They're fast growing, because they've appeared in the past six months. Dr. Barnes blames it on a few things. First of all, Jonathan is a "grazer" when he eats. Nutritionally, it's the best way to eat. For your teeth, however, it's the worst possible scenario. He always has some type of food residue in his mouth, just eating away at his teeth. Another problem is his choice of foods. No, he doesn't eat many sweets or candies. Unfortunately, some of his favorite foods are even worse for teeth than candy: raisins, crackers, goldfish, just to name a few. They all stick to (and between) your teeth. It's not a pretty site.
  • So here's what we're doing in the hope that these cavities stop growing and we don't have to fill them.

  1. Brush his teeth FOR HIM every morning and evening
  2. Floss his teeth every morning and evening
  3. No more raisins unless it's right before a brushing
  4. Give him peanuts and cheese (which nutralize the acid in his mouth)
  5. Let him chew sugarless gum after eating if we're not by a sink for brushing teeth.
  • Yes, you read that right. I'm giving my four year old gum, on the dentist's orders!!!! It stimulates saliva production and helps kill the bacteria in his mouth. He is, of course, thrilled with this prospect, as he's never been allowed to chew it before. We've had stern talks about not swallowing it and throwing it into the waste can. Here's hoping all of these measures help and we have a much better checkup in June.

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