You better believe that the minute I read this New York Times piece, “Preschoolers in Surgery for a Mouthful of Cavities”, I ran to the phone and made that overdue dentist appointment for Diego. I also brushed his teeth myself this morning (although he does it twice on his own everyday) and I will let Santi stand on that bathroom stool he loves, climb up to the counter and brush away. I hope Diego has made it to five without any cavities, his last visit (shown in the above picture) was a year ago and I blame our move, my pregnancy, and having baby Santi for the missed appointment six months ago. I’m not going to be to hard on myself but the thought of a small child having to be treated for 12 cavities…they only have 20 teeth!!!
Some interesting quotes gathered by Catherine Saint Louis’ piece:
It can be hard sometimes but we have to hold our ground:
“I’d much rather have a kid cry with a soft toothbrush than when I have to drill a cavity.” says Dr. Best in the article.
What we should all know:
“Endless snacking and juice or other sweet drinks at bedtime, parents who choose bottled water rather than fluoridated tap water for their children, and a lack of awareness that infants should, according to pediatric experts, visit a dentist by age 1 to be assessed for future cavity risk, even though they may have only a few teeth.” They suggest only four ounces of juice a day for older children and nothing more.
My friend Venus (married to a pediatric dentist!) once reminded me of a “healthy snack” that is horrible for teeth: raisins and all dried fruit. Kids shouldn’t be prohibited all snacks but they should be brushing after they eat them.
The bottom line: If surgery is needed…
“Using general anesthesia on healthy children has risks, including vomiting and nausea, and, in very rare cases, brain damage or death. Using anti-anxiety drugs to relax a child coupled with local anesthesia for pain has risks, too, including an overdose that could suppress breathing.”
Scary stuff huh?
I love Raffi’s Brush Your Teeth Song! It is cheesy and doesn’t make a lot of sense but the brushing sound is the hook and my boys go nuts over it! You can get it on iTunes or YouTube the video.
Brushing and flossing should be part of your routine. Every morning is exactly the same for us and every night too. We brush when we change our clothes, I put on our Brush Your Teeth anthem, we wash our faces…
I say no to a lot of things. Only four ounces of juice for Diego in the morning. Totally ok to have extra at birthday parties. No soda pop. No hard candy (including lolly-pops), not many sweets besides fruit really. I have to say that I am lucky because Diego doesn’t have a sweet tooth…I MUST watch out for Santi though and really monitor his sugar intake.
Any more tips? Has it been easy for you to establish healthy tooth care with your kiddies? Please share!