Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun with Fillings; Plus Bonus! Dadz Calls with Wise Words

Wow. This poor blog has been more neglected than my own children. And that's saying something. ("Dinner? Didn't I just make you guys dinner last night? Eat a yogurt.")

Dadz and I had the following meaningful conversation today:

Me: Hi Dadz.
Dadz: So, does like everyone who makes aliyah have a blog?
Me: Um, yeah, pretty much.
Dadz: Oh. So you're not special.
Me: Not really, Dadz.
Dadz: Well, I mean, you're special to us, of course.
Me: Thanks, Dadz.

So I finally took Yaakov to the dentist. I know this should be the "nesting" month but instead of cooking and cleaning I'm running errands and pretty much moving in to the dentist's office. Those chairs become beds, you know; plus, there's free water.

Anyway for a while now I've tried, unsuccessfully, to get Yaakov to sit in the dentist's chair and at least let the dentist look in his mouth. To no avail. (I would like to visit"avail" some day. And bring all those unsuccessful ventures with me.) But now I figured he's now a big boy of 4 (at least Jewishly; the English birthday is still 2 weeks away), and we really can't push it off any longer. So I made an appointment at MaccabiDent, because dental care is COMPLETELY FREE until age 6. We went last Thursday, two days after Pesach.

He was totally amazing at the appointment, which was very surprising. He let the dentist count his teeth, clean them, and put some fluoride stuff between them. I was looking foward to checking "take Yaakov to dentist" off my to-do list. Unfortunately, instead I had to add "take Yaakov to the dentist. Again. And again. And again."

"Well," said the nice lady pediatric dentist, "he has 2 cavities. You'll have to bring him back to get them filled." She wanted to fill them in 2 separate appointments. (Oy.)

We went back this past Monday. She took x-rays, and though she did fill both the cavities at the same appointment (which I had begged her to do) it was only because he has so many other cavities that we now need THREE more appointments. Basically, each quadrant of this poor child's mouth is riddled with more holes than a can of pitted olives. So she wants to see him 3 more times, and each time she'll do another section. I didn't even know it was possible to have this many cavities in such a small mouth.

But she was amazing with him. She was like the horse whisperer, in which Yaakov plays the part of the horse. She put the laughing gas thingy over his nose and spoke to him in calm, soothing tones the whole time, a steady patter of explanation sprinkled liberally with "kol hakavod"s. I was down by his feet, so I couldn't see what was going on, but in the middle of the filling I heard snoring. Yep. Yaakov had fallen asleep during his cavity filling! "Relaxing" and "dental work" are usually not two concepts which go hand in hand, but apparently laughing gas + Dr. Horse Whisperer does the trick.

Of course, when he woke up, he was groggy and disoriented and drooly, but a trip to get an artik (under doctor's orders, mind you) helped get rid of that.

We are now also quickly becoming the Craplastic Capital of the World. Each dental visit culminates in the choosing of a "hafta'ah" (literally "surprise," but it is synonomous with crappy toy your child will lose/break/cry over within 12 minutes of receiving it). So now we have two Craplastic toys, which broke in the car on the way home and are lying forlornly on the floor, waiting until next Pesach's car cleaning. I hope MaccabiDent has put in a fresh order, because the Roses are not finished yet!

Today I went to buy Yaakov a smaller toothbrush head for his electric toothbrush. These heads are not cheap, and the irony was not lost on me that it is cheaper to fill his cavities than it is to buy him a good toothbrush.

I suggest, dear readers, that you take your children to the dentist as soon as possible. The younger the better. Before they even have teeth is preferable. Just to be on the safe side.

"I'd like you to check for any cavities or decay."
"Um, ma'am, this is an ultrasound picture."
"Yes, but see? There's the mouth."

It's never too early to begin good oral hygiene.


tinablue87 said...

Lindsey is a second year dental student and every time she has a lecture on pediatric dentistry I get the lecture later that day. Apparently I am supposed to take Liel to the dentist at 1 year old and brush her teeth daily. She does like to use her toothbrush as a teething toy so perhaps we're off to a good start.

Gila Rose said...

I would suggest adding a little listerine to her sippy cup. Ask Lindsey what she thinks about that.

OneTiredEma said...

My life resembles a SHOCKING amount of this post.

We are going for tipul #7 next week.

Risa said...

Congrats, Gila. This is the first blog that made me nervous, rather than laugh. (I recently had a lot of dental work done, long story, but I think that it's due to my recent pregnancy. That's right, blame it on the kids. Aren't you proud?) I am thinking of ensuring that Eliyahu gets a lot of milk. Calcium builds strong teeth and bones, right? (The only problem is that milk also has a lot of sugar, which rots teeth.) By the way, yogurt is one of his favorite foods and he often eats it for dinner/Seudat Shlisheet. Okay, time to make a dental appointment for Eliyahu!

LeahGG said...

Gila - I would get a second opinion. Something sounds wrong here. Was he complaining of pain in his teeth?

I would recommend Jonny Lange
08-973-3335 or Dr. Teicher 08-976-1427 (in Hashmonaim)
Explain the situation, and ask (one of) them to look and tell you if they see all of these cavities. Better yet, see if you can get the x-rays and show them to another dentist.

I'm really suspicious here. Not all dentists are created equal.

OneTiredEma said...

@ Leah, why suspicious? What is the motivation to misread the xrays?

Miss M also had a ton of cavities and did not complain of pain. (She didn't have an xray until her 5 1/2 yr old appt here--I think her dentist in NY totally missed the boat.)

I think there is a large genetic component to cavity-prone teeth; I also had many, many cavities as a small child and don't recall having pain.

For everyone's information, I heard that the water here in the holy land is very lightly chlorinated when compared to tap water in the US.

LeahGG said...

I'm just suspicious by nature. I would get a second opinion before subjecting a kid to that much dental work.

Rachel said...

Awwww... Yaakov misses me so much that he's decided to channel my teeth, and my relationship with the dentist!

OneTiredEma said...


See what sleep will do? Make everything fall into place.

Gila Rose said...

Yeah, I'm also inclined to think he just has bad teeth. Clearly he's not drinking enough pool water. :)

Rachel, couldn't you have left him something else as your legacy?????

Risa - oh no! I didn't make you laugh? This is terrible. Almost as terrible as 5 trips to the dentist.

Commenter Abbi said...

Gila, I'm with Leah- the maccabi dentist my daughter first saw wanted to do three fillings and possibly a ROOT CANAL (on a six year old). We got a second opp at a private dentist and ended up with 3 fillings and a slight fixing up of the 4th molar. While the Maccabi dentist assumed i'm a neglectful dati mother with too many kids to know how to brush her teeth and included a condescending session on how to brush my child's teeth, the private one explained that the cavities aren't my fault, they were somehow damaged during development and came in rotten.

So, in short, i also encourage a second opp.
And btw, yogurt and cheese sticks with crackers are the top two dinners in my house. :)

Anonymous said...

ok, so my sister works for a private dentist, and she says that in maccabi (and other kupat cholim) they tend to do far more than really needs to be done, because it's all a question of money!!! whereas in a private dentist they care about what you really think and don't over treat. My husband was also told he needed 4-5 fillings and when he went to get checked privately he was told that maybe he needed 1!! So I definitely recommend getting a second opinion.

kathleen said...

This is making me think that I REALLY need to get the 3 year old in for his first cleaning! I didn't really think that he'd cooperate and open his mouth but maybe we'd better try anyway!

Gila Rose said...

Wow I had no idea this was such a hot topic. As per your advice, I am currently trying to get a 2nd opinion. Hopefully before Monday, when the next appointment is scheduled....

Wish me luck!

sbad said...

I've heard stories about Kupat Cholim sponsored cavities here in BS too. They get paid for filling cavities, therefore they fill cavities. I would take him to a private dentist who you trust.

Dadz said...