I like going to the Dentists. Well, when I can afford it I like going to the Dentists. I worked a couple of summers as a Dental Assistant and learnt so much about teeth, cleaning them, repairing them, how to use that sucky thingy that really hurts if you get it caught on your tongue and just what those numbers and letters mean when they call them out (it's just a shorthand way of referencing your teeth without having to say third one on the left on the top), so I like to think I know a bit about teeth. Then of course I was told by my dentist that I had good teeth and so I have always believed that. This is in stark contrast to my Sister (and 12% of the adult population) who has an extreme fear of the dentist since a dentist accidentally drilled into her nerve when she was about ten.
Colgate know though that there are some times when going to the Dentist is a little confusing and so created the Healthy Mouth Challenge, where you can go and identify any areas of concern and help you feel like I do when I go to the dentist (eg already know what the problem is and the possible solution). The toothpaste they sent was the Colgate Total Advance toothpaste, which is actually Daddy's favourite toothpaste (mine is the Colgate sensitive whitening) and it protects your teeth for 12 hours from bacteria which is pretty smart. They also sent a Colgate 360 surround toothbrush which was great because I needed a new toothbrush and this one has bristles which clean both sides of the teeth at once and a cheek and tongue cleaner.
It was with a little surprise though that I looked at Big Boy's teeth the other day and realised that he has a cavity. My son is three years old and has a hole in his tooth. I was shocked. I mean yes, I had a filling in a tooth when I was five or six but that was different he is three years old! All of a sudden that information that Colgate sent me about 40% of children suffering from tooth decay in their baby teeth by the time they are five came flooding back. We are part of that 40% now. We are a statistic.
So an appointment was made at the dentist to assess the damage and to put a plan of action in place for a filling. I knew that Big Boy was going to need a filling as the cavity is just too big to leave alone until he reacts to it. As she was checking his teeth though she found another small hole on the opposite side of his mouth! My baby has two cavities and he is only three! I was standing in the dentist office looking at my baby sitting in the huge dental chair thinking what a terrible mother I am.
I mean I know about cleaning teeth, I know about how important it is to have a routine and how scary it is to have a filling when the needle they put into numb your mouth is bigger than your hand (I had a filling when I was five or six and refused to close my eyes when he asked me to and so saw a HUGE needle being put into my mouth to numb the area) and still somehow I have let down Big Boy by not taking care of his teeth as well as I should do.
After a few minutes of interrogation about what Big Boy eats and drinks, his dental hygiene routine and a short Paddington Bear Stare to see if I was telling the truth I was let out to the reception area to book the two appointments to work on Big Boy's teeth. We went soon home and I was quickly opening my email to find the leaflets that Colgate had sent over about helping children brush their teeth and now I am religiously following the information contained within! Just in case you want to check that you are doing what you should and aren't making your name in your local Dentists synonymous with bad parenting here is the leaflet they sent me.
Make me feel better and tell me your bad parenting dental stories... please!