I write this as I sit in the Orthodontics office while Mr. Hockey is in the back getting fitted for braces. Yesterday I sat in the Dentist office with Elastoboy. 2 Weeks ago, I sat in the Orthodontics office with Mr. Hockey and then a week before that, the Orthodontics office with Electric Lady.
I bet you are thinking of where this post is going – teeth are expensive!
True, they are, especially when you have three kids all getting braces in one year. There goes our “let’s save for Disney World” fund!
However, something more important is on my mind. How easily much of this could be avoided. Electric Lady is dreading the head-gear and braces she has been prescribed – she is scared to death of getting teased. Elastoboy just had 5 baby teeth removed so they can get to fixing the teeth that have started to come through the roof of his mouth because he just wasn’t losing the baby teeth and is in a lot of pain right now. Mr. Hockey, being the smiley boy he is, is actually heading in with a grin on his face and a hopeful attitude of “at least I’ll be done before high school.” Something his older brother doesn’t get the luxury of thinking as he starts high school next year and hasn’t even had molds made of his teeth yet.
Now I know children who have parents who care for their teeth sometimes need orthodontics and extensive dental surgery too, it can be inevitable. However, what I am told by our kids’ dentist and orthodontist is a lot of their problems stem from their teeth not being taken care of in their early childhood – things like using a soother extensively until age 6, soda in baby bottles, NEVER brushing teeth, having rotten teeth removed prematurely and no spacer being used, chewing on metal cans(I know… why?) and drug and alcohol use in utero have all come together to cause the problems my sweet kiddos now face.
If I stop and think of other foster or children adopted from foster care that I know, the vast majority of them have needed heavy duty dental surgery and braces, headgear, the whole sha-bang. It is very saddening that these little ones need to go through so much. Many of them are scared to death of the dentist and with good reason. They view them as the big meanies who hurt their mouth and took away their teeth.
All of the above information, just to remind parents to visit the dentist regularly, take care of your kids teeth, brush them and ask your dentist about drinks in bed, soothers, all that jazz. – I am NOT saying you should avoid sippy cups of milk at bed or never use soothers, just get advice on whats best first. Things may seem harmless now, but as kids get older they can have unforeseen challenges. A common thought my own mother had was “they are just baby teeth, when they fall out the grown up teeth will be fine. We’ll take care of those.” Don’t fall for that one… your child’s mouth is a system and will be affected by the care given to those cute little baby teeth.