Your kids have no cavities… I get it.

silver tooth

James showing off his ‘bling’

So a dreaded trip to the dentist today has inspired me to write for all you moms out there who’s kids have a bit of ‘bling’ in their mouth (this is what my son calls his silver tooth). A while back my son began to complain about one of his teeth hurting whenever he chomped down on anything hard. Naturally, we took him to the dentist to find out that not only did he have tremendous fear and anxiety about the whole visit, but he also had a cavity. As a side note, this incident takes place somewhere between his first swimming lesson and despised soccer season.

As we walk into the office I feel James grab onto my leg. It’s the grip of death, and there’s no way I’m getting him to let go. So, I walk up to the dentist chair with a child attached to my leg, taking each step like I have a full leg cast on. I then have to sit in the chair, hold on to him and try to pry his mouth open for the dentist to see inside.

‘Yup, he’s got a cavity for sure… and you should go to a pediatric dentist from now on’

Okay, so this sound awful right? Well, for anyone who has a child out there with fillings, you know that it doesn’t end there. As I begin to tell people about our terrible appointment and upcoming trip to the pediatric dentist, I get flooded with statements like this:

‘Does he eat a lot of candy?’ Yes, of course, I give him a giant bowl every night before bedtime.

‘Do you let him drink juice?’ Every single ounce of liquid he drinks is filled with sugar. I never water anything down, and I give him a can of pop to start his day.

‘Do you help him brush his teeth?’ No, of course not. I often tell him he doesn’t have to brush at all, as long as he swishes around some juice before bed, it should be fine.

Seriously? Please do not cast judgement in a form of a question, as this is not at all helpful. I think as moms, we all know the do’s and don’ts of dental hygiene, and sometimes despite brushing three times a day and eating healthy, these things just happen.

So the trip to the pediatric dentist was not any better than our first experience. Now the fear about the dentist chair was even more intensified than initially. Right off the bat I’m told that my son will need dental surgery because there is no way that they can even get an x-ray let alone fill a cavity.

Oh, and by the way, sometimes cavities are just caused by the bacteria that kids naturally develop in their mouths. But more often than not, that bacteria is transferred from their mother’s mouth early on. Awesome. So just when I thought perhaps I was not the root of all my son’s dental issues, I find out that in reality he probably has a cavity because of my dirty mouth. Great. I feel awesome. Please ask me if I let my kid eat candy now, it might make me feel good. I will try to put an end to this extremely sarcastic post, but not before I describe what it is like for a child with high anxiety to have dental surgery.

brush teeth

James and Jocelyn brushing their teeth.

James actually does amazing with all the pre-op and really only has an issue with the hospital bed itself. So we walk him down to surgery instead. The nurse looks over at me and says, ‘you walk that way’. So we did. I could hear my son screaming hysterically until they put him out. Waiting for the surgery to be over was the longest hour of my life. He ends up having an abscessed tooth pulled, another one capped (with silver – this is the ‘bling’), and two others filled. I know… parents of the year, right? He woke up from surgery and everything was fine. The tooth fairy came, and left a hefty amount of money under his pillow (to make up for the amount of guilt we were feeling)

So, the point of this story is, don’t assume that when you see a kid with a silver tooth or hear about a child needing a filling, that its the fault of the parents. I can assure you that they already feel bad enough without any judgement, and they probably didn’t do anything wrong to begin with. For us, we’ve done everything the same for my daughter, and her teeth are cavity free. Next time you talk to a mom who has been through any sort of dentistry fiascos, know that they seriously need to hear that they’re doing a good job. And if they have a child with high anxiety, tell them they have the patience of a saint… because trust me, that’s what it takes to make it through with your sanity in tact.


Your kids have no cavities… I get it. — 12 Comments

  1. I agree, people don’t realize that their questions are more like accusations. Especially when we feel guilty (or helpless) for what our kids are going through, it’s like pouring salt in the wound.

    Listening is such a lost art.

    • Pouring salt in the wound is such a perfect saying to go with this post. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. Love the pic of those two beauties brushing their teeth! PS you’re doing a really good job and i do believe you have the patience of a saint!

    • Thanks!! I wish they were always that happy to brush their teeth. What I should have done was had the picture taken with me struggling with them on the floor to scrub their back teeth… LOL

  3. Omg Janet your posts are hillarious and so pure and honest. Loving them! Thought of you today and your tupperware bowl. We showed up at a bday party today and It was so nice out today and I wore ballet flat with no socks and of course big sign in the are wear the jumpy catsles were BIG SIGN that reads SOCKS must be worn. I was like grrrrrrreat! No one mentioned it and IM like great I have to tell my daughter who is much like James into the area without me and her thing is bday parties major anxiety for her! Luckily my van is a disaster also and don’t ask me why or how long they had been there and how long there were there but yessss a pair of socks in my glove box!!!!! how I remembered they were there is beyond me but sometimes being messy and cluttered comes in handy!

    • Thanks Trish. Glad you were able to find some socks in the car. I can guarantee you that I have socks, mittens, and a few changes of clothes in my car. What I couldn’t find today however, was my umbrella! 😉

  4. I need to comment on this statement “I think as moms, we all know the do’s and don’ts of dental hygiene”…I think it is totally obvious the do’s and don’ts of dental hygiene, but in reality not everyone follows this for their children (only themselves) I know first hand a “very well education teacher/mother” That told her 3 and 5 year old children they didn’t have time to brush teeth in the morning as it was way to hectic to get three kids ready and out the door for work (which is 40+ mins from home) so….they did ONLY night time brushing. To top it off, the THREE and FIVE year old would brush their OWN teeth.

    So not every mother (especially those well educated teachers) actually follow the “do’s and don’ts of dental hygiene” Fortunate enough for this mother, she didn’t have to go through the horrible process of seeing their child scared to death about having someone drill a hole into her tooth…nope it was the wonderful step-mother that gets absolutely zero credit for anything she does.

    As for just have “weak” teeth. I have a child that has had many fillings, part of it due to the fact that she HATES tooth paste and actually gags. Second due to medication she was on as a baby that weakened the enamel on her teeth. I too feel totally guilty and couldn’t imagine how I would if I had to go through a surgical procedure. it was hard enough to watch my nearly 10 year old cry last week as she had to get two cavities filled.

    Its never easy watching your child be scared, and to top it off the judgmental perfect mothers out there that know so much more, or are that much better then you.

    You are not alone!

    • Great point Trish. I guess my sarcasm must have been in full force when I wrote this! It’s just unfortunate that for those of us that do take great care of our kids teeth, its assumed that we’re not doing so because our kids have cavities. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with dental issues too.. its a total bummer to have to see you child go through that!

  5. 🙂 You are not alone. But as a question asker, let me tell you… I normally ask questions to understand how at risk I am (or my kids are). I ask questions to find out more… especially when it’s a medical thing or a dental thing… I don’t think I have ever asked “Do you give your kids lots of soda and juice?” Normally I ask “Do you or your hubby have bad teeth” because it seems like it’s hereditary to get a lot of cavities… regardless of how often or how well kids brush their teeth. Just an explanation from a question asker… 🙂

    • Thanks for your thought AJ. I have to say, that a lot has to do with how you ask. To me it is pretty obvious when a mom is just asking a question or placing judgement. Hope you’ll continue to read and share your insights.

  6. haha! Well, we really can blame ourselves for anything bad our kids get huh? If you aren’t transferring your own bacteria, then you are giving him too much crap to eat. Moms just can’t win!!! You are not alone my friend. 🙂

    • You aren’t kidding. Just when I thought my kids natural bacteria was the root of the problem, I find out he probably got it from me… Go figure!! LOL