Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On a Chocolate Diet

Patty Blount wrote recently about how chocolate spurred her to new word count heights, and I would dearly like to engage in a study to see if that would help me, too. However, it appears that I'm on a Chocolate Diet for the foreseeable future.

The Kiddo has a cavity. In a practically brand new permanent tooth. And a cavity that sprouted in the past six months since her last check-up.

I spotted it quite by accident, and it can’t be good that it’s big enough that I spotted it with an un-aided eye.

We brush twice daily, and we eat good and nutritious meals at home (okay, so my mom is spinning in her grave like a rotisserie chicken and saying we don’t have greens every week, but still. No Mickey D’s every week, either.)

I don’t buy her junk food. The Husband does, but not as much as he COULD buy, and since sugar and the acid in many candies contribute to the painful canker sores The Kiddo gets, he’s cut way down on enabling The Kiddo's sweet-tooth.

Still, I groaned when I saw that cavity.

I did what a good parent is supposed to do in situations like this: reduce the candy flow to practically nil, tell her that from now on she gets no more Dr. Peppers or Mr. Pibb or Cokes unless she is eating out (we don’t eat out that much), tell her that she has to brush after EVERY meal and snack unless she’s in school or out of the house.

I’ve threatened The Husband with making him go with The Kiddo to get this cavity filled should I catch them sneaking sugary drinks and snacks again. Since he is deathly afraid of needles, I think that will be enough of a deterrent.

The problem is, I have teeth that are practically as hard as diamonds. Even without using fluoride toothpaste (my mom believed in the benefits of baking soda), I wound up with just two cavities by the time I was 18, and that record has stretched on into the current. My solid teeth tend to enjoy chocolate and the rare Coca Cola (you couldn’t force Dr. Pepper down me even with a nasal-gastric tube.)

The Kiddo, on the other hand, was apparently not so blessed. Even with careful brushing from the time she sported teeth, even with my harping on how certain foods may taste good but are bad, bad, bad on your teeth, her teeth are resembling Swiss cheese.

And that means that, in order to be a good Mommy Role Model, I have to do without chocolate, too. Which makes me cranky. VERY cranky. And inhibits writing word counts, I'm certain.

It’s not that we keep a lot of candy in the house. Still, on the bad days, it’s so nice to go nibble on one chocolate chip cookie, or one tiny little miniature Hershey’s Special Dark.

But how do you explain to a kid that it’s okay for YOU to eat chocolate and candy because you won the genetic sweepstakes, and she can’t, because her teeth genes were sub-par? The pain of that would wipe out any calming benefits I might derive out of say, oh, an Almond Joy.

Oh, man. Suddenly I so want that Almond Joy.


Piedmont Writer said...

Monster Baby isn't allowed any candy. We don't do Easter, we don't do Halloween. Thankfully, she has never missed it. The only thing she does want are M&M's and she only gets them once a week after I go grocery shopping. I can't deny her, if I buy the big bag for myself. Can I? (I know MB is still only 5 so I can get away with it. Take heart school starts in a few months.)

Summer said...

Hi, new follower...but wow, that sucks. :-) I've evidently won the tooth lottery too--I've never had a cavity (knock on wood).

Like Anne said--school starts soon! And hey, M&Ms are really small...you know, for emergency situations.

Karla Nellenbach said...

I'm like you, have brilliant teeth and never had a cavity...unlike the others in my family that weren't so blessed, so I feel you on the whole 'do as I say, not as I do' thing. It kind of sucks.

Linda G. said...

Awww. Poor kiddo. :(

My hubs has teeth of steel--he has never had a cavity. I, OTOH, have a mouthful of fillings. BUT I haven't had a cavity in the past 10 years or so. The secret? An electric toothbrush.

Also (and please pardon the plugs--I don't work for Colgate OR Listerine) I use Colgate Total toothpaste, and rinse with that new purple Listerine. Amazing how good my 6-month checkups have been since starting this regimen.

Have you discussed sealants with your dentist? "Sealing" the new molars as they come in can really help, too.

Jamie D. said...

Sounds like at least you aren't cutting her off completely...which I think would be a mistake. I have genetically soft tooth enamel, which means even as an adult, I have more than two fillings *every time* I go to the dentist (normally more like 6), and at the moment I have several teeth that need crowns, plus a bridge (tooth that abscessed and had to be pulled...I've had three adult teeth pulled). My mouth is a nightmare.

Still, there's no way I'd give up all pop/candy, and had my mom made me when I was young, I would have suffered serious backlash when I left home. As it is, I just don't have that much of a sweet tooth for candy...my personal vice is soda, and I limit that for the most part. I can completely stay away from it though and still get cavities - it's just my stupid enamel.

Do consider an electric toothbrush for her. That helped me a *lot* when I started using one, and made my gums healthier too. Sealants definitely help.

My condolences to your daughter...it really does suck to have soft enamel and deal with it for life. Thank God dental procedures are getting better and faster.

Anonymous said...

My 7yo has spaced out teeth, lots of room in there. Flossing feels almost pointless as they are that spacious. My 6yo does not. They are tight in there, floss often gets stuck. Even so, the 7yo just recently had two cavities filled. They told me the cavities were in between the teeth. The 6yo has never had one.

My dentist told me that it is due to different habits. I informed her that I home school. They eat the same things, at the same times, with the exact dental hygiene. I then informed her that my brother and I had no dental hygiene (love my mother but she failed at this). I only remembering being at a dentist once before I started taking myself at 18. He has perfect teeth. I've lost more than I'm willing to publicly state. She went back to her paper word. I wasn't rude, she just didn't have an answer.

I'm a firm believer that it is not all habits. I believe that the absolute best that anyone can do is to keep up your six month visits, do precautions such as sealants, get an electric or battery operated tooth brush, and brush after every meal w/ water in between. Even a carrot has sugar. I don't believe it's what you eat but it's how long what you eat sits on your teeth, and with work/school it's a hard battle.

And no, even home schooling and being a stay at home mom, I do not follow through with all I've said. Four kids 7 and under... yeah, I don't always get it done. O_o

You working moms with kids in public school AMAZE me. You are all wonderful. And this is all just my humble opinion, of course. :)

Elizabeth Ryann said...

Weird! This was my stressful adventure for the last week. I haven't had a "cavity" since I was eight, and I use the quotes since I'm not sure I did then. I'm pretty sure it was a result of this weird struggle between my (divorced) parents, since I'd been to the dentist with my mom the week before, and was told I had nothing. And then this dentist said I had a tiny one, hidden, in the back, and then she apologized after she filled it.

So I haven't had a "cavity" in almost 20 years. Last year when I went to the dentist, they told me that due to my hatred of flossing, I was in the early stages of gum disease, that they could fix it for $3800, and that if I didn't do something immediately, I'd have mouth cancer really soon and would also lose all my teeth. I agreed to a $150 "temporary measure," to clean my gums, and apparently that worked miracles b/c when I went back the next year, it turns out my mouth cancer had miraculously healed itself, but apparently I now have 8 cavities that need to be filled and they took the liberty of preapplying for care credit for me.

My trust is no longer on the table with this totally sketch dentist. So I would just say that on top of practicing good dental hygiene and regular check ups, always take great care in choosing your dentist. Some will actually do more harm than good.

Guinevere said...

That is so rough! Poor kid. It's crazy how much of enamel strength is genetic. I have friends who have never had a cavity who have bad diets, drink lots of soda and are lax about the whole brushing/flossing routine, and that just makes me crazy!

Very sorry for you and your chocolate lack! I'd sneak it after her bedtime, if I were you. :p

Tawna Fenske said...

Ouch on the cavity! Hugs to the kiddo.

And hey, at least she doesn't share the hubby's needle phobia. That's my issue, which means my first cavity was drilled/repaired without any Novocaine at all. Ouch indeed!


Lickety Splitter said...

Dang that tooth fairy for trying to come twice!

Just a thought, but are yall on well water? That could be the culprit instead of an insatiable tooth fairy.

Cynthia Reese said...

Anne, I am so ROFL now, b/c I remember a time when I offered The Kiddo ONE M&M as a treat, and my mother, the sugar nazi, looked at me as though I were horrid.

Hi, Summer! Thanks for following! And congrats on your pearly whites ... it is SO hard not to take teeth for granted.

Karla, you're right ... kids just don't get that do as I say biz, do they?

Linda G, this cavity is in a canine, I think. She has the classic Asian scoop-back tooth, so it's hard to really brush. Her molars are sealed. I've been trying to get The Kiddo to change from Crest Kids toothpaste (yes, it has fluoride) to something else ... and listerine? Ai-yi-yi. She has to use that for her canker sores, and you'd think I was killing her. I'll try -- and what brand of electric toothbrush do you use?

Jamie, my condolences on your not-so-great enamel. I worried about The Kiddo's b/c a lot of Chinese adopted babies have grown up to have this problem -- not really great pre-natal care, I guess.

Posey, aaargh on that dentist! Same way here -- except for the forbidden Dr. Peppers, The Kiddo doesn't eat THAT much more candy than I do or her father does. As far as working moms and public school -- we're crazy in our own unique and loveable way -- me? I can't imagine home-schooling. It seems way too hard, and my hat's off to you.

Elizabeth, my mom had a similar experience -- a dentist told her a tooth HAD to come out. She went for a second opinion AFTER she had to practically arm-wrestle her records from him, and the second dentist said, "Huh? Nah, it's just a little bit of tartar stuck in your gum and exposing a bit of the nerve."

Guinevere, The Kiddo says she has friends whose parents don't make such a fuss over a cavity, and THAT's not fair. ;-) Seriously, though, it isn't fair, and teeth ARE important.

Tawna, she doesn't like needles, but she hates pain of ANY sort. Plus, she doesn't actually know that needles are involved.

Lickety Splitter, we ARE on well water. Should I talk to my dentist about putting her back on the fluoride drops she was on as a baby?

Anonymous said...

Is this a baby tooth or a permanent one?

I have one filling, which I got as an adult. I was hoping to never get a cavity, but one crept up on me.


Yes, you're right--sometimes it has nothing to do with diet, and just the kind you teeth you have. (I've asked my dentist about it.) Although I do think it gets better with age. I personally used to have a ton of cavities and that changed over time.

Linda G. said...

Cynthia -- we use the Braun Oral B, which is what my DD's orthodontist recommended when she first got braces. I started using it then, too, since we had it. (Haven't had a cavity since, and my gums are healthier than ever.) I've heard good things about Sonicare, too.

The purple Listerine (Total Care) doesn't taste nearly as bad as the amber stuff, I've found.

Sounds like your DD will always have to be extra-vigilant with her dental hygiene, so she may as well get in the habit early, eh? :)

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Linda! I just started using Listerine. That stuff is awesome!

Thank you for the hats off, C. It is hard work. In two years I'll have a third one enter in... O_o

prashant said...

I can get away with it. Take heart school starts in a few months
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