Oh man. Today is one of those days. I feel like such a failure in regards to my son’s health. Just when I thought things were under control – the allergies, intolerances, asthma, eczema (on top of the attitude and aggression that comes with being a six-year-old boy) – now we have something new to add to our every growing list of issues to manage…dental health.
Tristan, now at six years old, walked away from a dental appointment today with eight cavities. EIGHT!!! Yes, you heard that right. EIGHT!!! Ugh. How did this happen? He doesn’t eat much sugar, and when he does eat something on the sugary side, it’s a healthier version – dried fruit, maple syrup or honey usually. But I suppose all sugar is created equal when it comes to teeth, so fine, there’s that, but he really doesn’t eat much at all. He brushes his teeth twice a day and I help him as well, just to be sure he covers all the bases. But we neglected to floss. That’s probably one of the main issues here. My husband (I’m about to throw him under the bus – sorry honey) took Tristan to his last dental appointment and I vaguely remember him telling me that Tristan should start flossing. But I wasn’t there at the actual appointment, so the message didn’t stick. And let’s be honest, I’m the director of health in this house, so my husband completely let the floss thing slide. Neither of us are big flossers, so it was easy to forget – giving us both credit here – kind of. I know, I know, flossing is essential – trust me, I know that now. But I have never in my 30+ years had a cavity and I was never a regular flosser and I definitely never flossed as a child. Flossing didn’t really become part of my life until I was older and then I became a binge flosser, only using the dental tape right before a scheduled dentist appointment, always hoping the dentist wouldn’t call me out. But other than that I was lazy and forgetful in the floss department. So, to me, flossing was never a big deal. Until now.
So, anyway, we have these eight ugly cavities we have to deal with. And I’m torn. I know we have to do something about them because a couple of the cavities are a smidge away from the nerve. And even though they are baby teeth, there are possible complications with his adult teeth and overall structure of the mouth if we don’t take care of these guys now. BUT, we’ll be adding fillings to his mouth and although we’ll be going with the safer route (composite resin), it’s still something foreign in his body that could possibly leech over time, who really knows that it won’t? Will it create additional health problems down the road? And I hate to put Tristan through this emotionally as well. Will it forever alter his perception of the dentist? I have never feared the dentist because I’ve had perfect dental health all my life – never had braces either. But with Tristan starting off his dental history with eight fillings over four appointments – oh and composite sealants too just to ensure cavities don’t take over all his teeth – will Tristan begin to have white knuckled nightmares about the dentist?
Honestly, I feel so horrible about this. I started tearing up when discussing it with our dentist, who is holistic by the way. He knows a little bit about all that I’ve gone through trying to heal Tristan and he really gets it. And he was trying to make me feel better by mentioning that Tristan’s excess of plague (worse than most adults the dentist has seen) and the cavities and all are likely related to his overall health issues – but it just made me so sad. My poor little boy. Why is all this happening to him? Why haven’t I been able to fix it? How long will this continue? Sometimes I feel terrible for thinking these thoughts. I should be grateful that he doesn’t have a terminal illness, and believe me – I am, but this is still hard to deal with. It’s not just the cavities, but all the other health issues we’ve been dealing with for so long. I know it’s not the same (and I feel selfish even mentioning any other more serious health condition here – but I did, so now it’s out on the table), but wow, I was not prepared for all this when I signed up to be a mother. I have no clue how to do all this. I’m just learning as I go, like most of you I suppose. And I struggle with balancing it all on most days. Some are more rough than others, but today was especially hard.
So, that’s it. I just needed to pour my heart out. I know I’m not the only one dealing with these emotions and conditions and in an odd way, it helps to know that. Obviously I wouldn’t want anyone or anyone’s child to go through any of this, much less anything worse, but still – I’m grateful for all of you. I’m grateful for your support and for reminding me that I’m not alone in facing these challenges. Somehow we’ll pull through and all will be well. One day. I know this because my heart tells me so.