Teeth and More Teeth

Feeling: Vampire-d, I’m literally being drained

I’m not getting bitten to shreds but teething has really been tough for us this past week.

I had to bring the bubby to the dentist to get his teeth checked out for the very first time because his gums had started bleeding for some reason when we did our routine teeth cleaning in the morning.

To make matters worse, I think the baby’s molars are coming out making his gums doubly raw and sensitive to boot.

It’s not a pretty sight, when you brush and there’s blood and your baby’s whole mouth looks as if teeth have been knocked out.

It’s not fun for the bubby either. The metallic tang of the iron is scary. It’s not a taste that you’ll soon forget. You know your mouth hurts and the taste of blood confirms that fact.

We had to work through a lot of arching and kicking and flailing and we’re super blessed that while all of this was happening that the bubby didn’t start chomping down on our fingers while we were in there trying to get his gums inspected and looked at..

If you’ve ever tried pulling back lips so that you can see lips of a feral animal… Well. Not much difference here.

gator-chomp

To be honest, I’m sure that there are hundreds of parents who used to think like I did – that baby teeth are going to come out anyway, why do we need to worry so much about the milk teeth anyway?

Take it from someone who has never had good teeth in her youth, cavities still hurt, your mouth can still feel terrible and you don’t want to leave your kids teeth rotten to the core until they choose to fall out right.

Who knows when that will happen anyway!

When I was much younger, I used to have a cavity in a molar or premolar right at the back of my mouth filled in almost every other month. It’s really not something to be proud of – my husband reminds me that he has barely any fillings in his mouth and perhaps my brushing technique needs some work or something.

There are also a lot of other factors that cause kids to have bad teeth aside from their lack or ineptitude to brush and floss though. Diet is of course one of them, and their intake of flouride and calcium is another.

eat-sweets

I have to admit that I had a new “addiction” every month too. Normally sparked off by the visit to the dentist whereupon the dentist would tell me to stop eating said flavour of the month.

It would be orange tictacs today, and grape mentos next month and perhaps lollipops through the whole of my JC life which attests to a cute nickname a friend gave me back then that has stuck as some of my user names online to this date.

And needless to say, an unhealthy addiction to sweets is really not a good thing for your teeth.

But unlike other kids, I never had a fear of going to the dentist as much.

I used to hang out with my dental nurse when I was a young kid in primary school.

I made friends with the lovely lady and I’d read her books about going to the dentist, be a bit paranoid once in a while and if there was no one coming to get their teeth checked, I’d asked to have my mouth looked at so that I can catch cavities when they’re starting instead of having to go through the dreaded drill.

little-shop-of-horrors-dentist

When I got older, my mum gifted me with braces so I could straighten out my pretty crappy and misaligned incisors and that meant monthly trips to the orthodontist.

Ah the memories. Rubber bands to pull the teeth back and straight, getting so used to the lay of the land in the dentist chair that you know what buttons do this and what gadgets do that, knowing how to work their lights, fixing on the bibs on on your own, figuring out the best way to get saliva suctioned out of your mouth is by closing your lips and creating a vacuum…

And of course, once you pull out 4 teeth to make way for everything to get aligned properly, you don’t quite have such a big fear of going to the dentist after that for the small things like getting a cavity fixed.

The husband had a similar experience. He went through braces too, so despite his nearly perfect record for not having any fillings of cavities done, he’s pulled out his fair share of porcelain from his mouth too.

Not to mention impacted wisdom teeth on top of it too…

*OUCH*

All that said, I knew better than to let the bleeding gum issue get out of hand and we’re lucky that we found an excellent dentist to go to.

good-dentist

Especially when you’re dealing with a baby who can’t quite understand reason yet, it’s hard to explain what’s going on when they go into the scary chair. All of my experience came at a much later date and that fear of going to the dentist will take years to assuage.

I did my research though and Pediatric dentists are technically the “doctors” that you want to go to – they are supposed to be well trained to handle kids under a certain age – to talk to them calmly and help them to acclimatise to the dentist’s chair.

They’ll also cost you an arm and a leg for consultation.

We were lucky and blessed though.  One of my January mummy friends’ husbands works as a dentist and being a parent himself, he was able to speak to us on a very relatable level and having handled his own son on dental education, we felt that our son couldn’t have been in better hands.

Unfortunately, we still needed to hold him down to get his teeth properly checked out and gosh, the amount of blood, and the crying…

blood-and-tears

He didn’t get hurt of course. It’s just that the nature of cleaning out the plaque that built up near the gums meant that the soft and tender gums would start to feel a bit raw when the dentist brushed the cleaning tool against them.

That’s not something a little kid would understand.

Again, the tang of blood is an unmistakable sign that something is hurting and pain will accompany it shortly.

Moving forward though, the rest of the week, where the husband and I had to ensure that we had proper regime set up to ensure such an issue wouldn’t happen again was hell too. After the trauma of the dentist, having any foreign object put near his mouth isn’t quite the easiest thing to do.

We’re trying out best to make brushing teeth a fun thing and encouraging him to even try and brush his teeth on his own so that he can control the pressure of the brush in his mouth.

Unfortunately, lately he’s just been screaming til he’s hoarse and right now the poor bub really doesn’t have much of a voice from all the protesting that he’s been doing.

So it looks like this teeth and mouth-care is something that we’re going to have to work on for quite a while to come..

patrick-brush-teeth

In the meantime, we’ll just have to watch out for signs that his teeth might need more care and hopefully we’ll be able to address any problems before they warrant another trip to the dentist..

So here’s crossing fingers that we won’t see too many more teeth situations along the years though. It might be the first time we’re teaching a little person to look after their mouth, but I think between my hubs and I, we have the experience enough to tackle any problems before they appear.

We’re praying that in due time, the toothbrush or even a wet cloth near his teeth won’t hold fear for him and he’ll find that brushing teeth can be immensely satisfying act of hygiene.

There’s nothing like rinsing out your mouth after a good brush and feeling all minty-fresh and clean in there, not to mention knowing you’ve got a great set of pearly whites too, right?

Flash them Bling,
Jess

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