Yikes. So horrified by the New York Times item about little kids needing general anesthesia for dental work that I had bad dreams last night. Not those recurring crumbling teeth dreams that combine Tetris and Pepsodent. This dream was calling me to enumerate all the dentists of my life, of my kids, and of my parents. Then dreaming the cellphone alarm has awakened me and I've gone downstairs to turn off the alarm clock bleeping in the other bedroom. Then the real cellphone alarm actually starts bleeping and I am not yet awake.
Here are some excerpts from Preschoolers in Surgery for a Mouthful of Cavities:
- ...because some toddlers dislike tooth-brushing, some parents do not enforce it. “Let’s say a child is 1 ½, and the child screams when they get their teeth cleaned,” said Dr. Jed Best, a pediatric dentist in Manhattan. “Some parents say, ‘I don’t want my little darling to be traumatized.’ The metaphor I give them is, ‘I’d much rather have a kid cry with a soft toothbrush than when I have to drill a cavity.’ ”
- Brushing teeth twice a day used to be nonnegotiable, she said, but not anymore. “Some parents say: ‘He doesn’t want his teeth brushed. We’ll wait until he’s more emotionally mature.’ It’s baffling,” she added.
My grandpuppy gets meat-flavored toothpaste with his daily brushing. Can't wait for the doggie to become more emotionally mature.
Wake up! Some prevention requires brief discomfort. It's part of life. Don't wait until kids need general anesthesia for 12-14 cavities at a time!
© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder