Visiting the dentist is not usually high up on the list of fun things to do, and for a child who knows there will be drilling involved, it can be terrifying. Maybe even more so for his mother who feels guilty because her son’s five year old teeth have those cavities in the first place.
My older son was always great about brushing his teeth. He never had a cavity, and I never really had to make sure he was brushing his teeth. He did, and carefully. I assumed my younger son was doing the same, and even when I suspected something off when he spent less than a minute brushing his teeth, I didn’t double check or brush them myself.
And then there was the time they at a lot of sweets at a party, and by the time we arrived home late in the evening, they were asleep in the back of the car. And I didn’t wake them up to brush their teeth. Because I felt tired. And worried they would stay up. So those sugary monsters ate at their baby teeth all night, while I tossed and turned anyway thinking I was a terrible mom.
So you see, this is my fault. Now I brush his teeth after letting him do them first, and I bought a whole bunch of guilt-assuaging Disney stuffed toys to reward him for going to the dentist and sitting while she drilled.
I think it hurt me more than it hurt him, mainly because it didn’t seem to hurt him at all. His dentist assured me filling baby cavities was not nearly as painful as filling a child’s cavities, and before I knew it his cavities were drilled and filled. He wasn’t crying, and there was no pain (except for the part where he apparently moved and her drill cut his tongue… poor thing 😩).
Otherwise, he hopped out of the dentist’s chair, proudly grabbed his rewards, and marched out of their office with me.
By the way, she recommended we get him a spin brush for kids (which we luckily had), as long as the head is small enough to fit into a child’s mouth. Instead of brushing his teeth back and forth with them – which is what I was doing, oops! – we were to hold it over a section while it spun, then move it to the next section after about 15 seconds. It makes it easier for kids who aren’t able to brush back and forth well yet, and instead just bite on the tooth brush and such out the tooth paste and call it a day.
My older son lost both his front top teeth, which he is thrilled about. I love how cute it looks when a kid has two missing front teeth, it reminds me of the Christmas song “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”, which he has of course been singing even though it’s Easter week 😄
He is seven years old, but he’s concerned about his crooked bottom tooth and wants braces for it. I let him know we have to wait for more teeth to come in before we even think about that, and reminded him the tooth fairy pays more for teeth that aren’t pulled out, and they come in straighter if he doesn’t play with his loose teeth.
I know the old wives’ tale about pulling teeth out quickly so the ones behind it don’t come in crooked, but our experience is the opposite. When we let them fall out on their own, the new teeth come in straighter, and since he wants a better reward from the tooth fairy, he listens to us ♥︎