Today we had our 6-month dentist check with the boys.
Most moms I know don't even take their kids to the dentist until they are three or four years old. We started going at one year old, as recommended by our pediatrician. He mainly recommended it because the boys were preemies, and preemies can have enamel issues, but it is also the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists.
We are lucky that our pediatric dentist has been voted "Best of Cincinnati" too many times to count. He is a rock star -- and if you live anywhere close by, I highly recommend checking out Sea of Smiles.
We have also been lucky that we have always had great news at all of our check-ups. Yes, Noel's got the cross-bite and we will have to start orthodontics for him when he hits six years old. But other than that, no problems!
Until today ...
The dentist told us that Hayden's teeth are "groovy". At first, I was like, "Cool! Far out, man!" Then I realized he did not mean groovy like the way Greg Brady meant it, but he was trying to tell me that Hayden has huge craters in his teeth, especially his back molars.
Well, crap -- that's not "Totally Awesome in a Groovy Far-out Kind of Cool Way".
They laser scanned his teeth to check for decay and his back molars were a "20" -- anything 30 and higher means cavity. So that's pretty close considering all his other teeth were 2s and 3s.
The dentist said there not much we can do about it -- some kids just have more grooves in their teeth than others. For example, Noel and Tanner do not have the grooves that Hayden does. It's just a matter of genetics. (Okay, family, fess up! Who has the groovy teeth?)
Wait, the news gets better ... it really doesn't matter how much or how well you brush. If you've got grooves that deep, you are probably going to get cavities. (Fabulous. So the incentive to get them to brush is what again?)
The one ray of hope and the one thing we can do ... cut out carbs. (Insert slow-clap here.)
No crackers, no chips, no bread, no dry cereal, no raisins = no fun. Seriously? What three year old doesn't love him some Ritz crackers? And you want me to cut that out of his diet completely? Thanks, doc, looking forward to the melt-downs at meal and snack times.
We are very lucky that Hayden is my most diverse eater and will happily snack on apples, carrots, cheese, yogurt, and salad. But he will also not be happy to see his brother chowing down on pretzels while he gets none.
But, we are willing cutting back on the carbs if it helps his groovy teeth.
The dentist agreed to wait on drilling and filling the back molars since Hayden would have to put under general anesthesia since he is still so young. Instead we are putting a high concentration fluoride on his back molars every night after he brushes. We'll go back in three months and hopefully still scan out at a "20" or lower. If it gets worse, then we will have to drill. Ugh ...
My one piece of mind is that since we have been seeing the dentist regularly for so long, we caught any decay early. If we had waited until they were four years old or later, we would have had some serious teeth issues.
Plus, our boys are so used to going to the dentist -- this is our fourth visit -- they all sat very quietly in their chairs as they had their teeth cleaned and counted.
So, to all you moms out there ... get thee children to a pediatric dentist! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! After all, it has been estimated that preventive dentistry can add ten years to a person's lifespan!