Eli has never really been a teeth brusher. I am going to be honest when I say, a good portion of that is the parent’s fault. A lot of times at the end of the day it’s the last thing on my mind to get done before bed (horrible, I know). Another part of it was the challenge of the task; kicking screaming and protesting for the 3-minute task seemed dreadful. If I could go back and look at the big picture and make myself suffer through it I would because maybe it wouldn’t have gotten as bad as it has.
Aside from my fault in this, Eli also showed a lot of signs of sensory issues with his mouth. He doesn’t really care to be touched in general, especially in the face. Trying to get a toothbrush in his mouth was next to impossible. He often times would cringe or gag at the feel of the bristles on his teeth or gums and push me away. Most attempts would end with him begging me to stop. I do feel, though, that if I had kept pushing on we could have gotten over this issue.
With all these issues I had getting in his mouth, imagine how our dentist visits have gone… First attempt was everything I expected; Eli crying, me holding him in my lap while he screamed as the dentist wiped fluoride on his teeth, and then we went on our way. The second attempt was much worse. As soon as the dentist walked in, Eli took off down the hall screaming and ended up sprawled out on the floor in hysteria. The next time I made dad accompany me, and wouldn’t you know it, it was the best visit so far (go figure!) Eli sat in dads lap and let the hygentist and dentist do their thing with minimal crying! I’m sure the toys and video games in the office didn’t hurt.
We were slowly getting into the habit of brushing our teeth more consistently, trying at least. Eli generally doesn’t like any sweets or juice so I figured everything was going good in teeth town… until I saw it. We were brushing one night and I was having a hell of a time getting some popcorn out from Eli’s teeth. After intense brushing, I realized it wasn’t popcorn; it was a black hole in his tooth. Two to be exact. How the hell did that get there?!? It honestly came out of nowhere. I didn’t think you’d be able to overlook something like that, but alas, I did. I spent the next couple day’s trying to get in to see the dentist and religiously scrubbing those teeth to keep debris out. I will say that since I’ve noticed those we have been brushing religiously and Eli isn’t even putting up a fight anymore. He still seems to have occasional issues with the bristles and asks me to stop, but for the most part he’s doing great!
We finally made it to the dentist and it was a pretty good time! There were toys EVERYWHERE and the staff was so friendly. Eli sat and played with toys basically the whole appointment. The only time he got upset was when he laid in my lap to get teeth counted and brushed. Overall it was a really great experience. Our next step to fixing his teeth is a little more dark. Because of Eli’s issues, he will be getting his dental work done at the hospital’s operating room under anesthesia. They will take x-rays and depending on what they show, put on some steel caps and maybe a baby root canal if the decay caused any damage to the root. I am extremely nervous how Eli will handle the hospital and having to be in the OR alone. I’m really hoping they let me in until he is under anesthesia. This will be his first “major” procedure (I’m using the word “major” rather loosely because I know there are so many worse things he could have to go through, but I’m pregnant and hormonal so to me, it’s major.) Until now, the most Eli has ever had was some X-rays. Here’s to hoping everything goes smoothly!!!
Moral of the story- Be vigilant when it comes to your kids. Don’t let them win these small battles thinking “It’s fine, we will start brushing eventually…” Because, let me tell ya, ‘eventually’ doesn’t come fast enough and your kid will end up with a mouth full of stainless steel!!