I hate teeth. You know how some people hate feet or elbows?
Well, I hate teeth.
I would rather talk about my period than talk about my teeth. (This post really is about teeth, not periods. You're welcome.)
My own teeth are lousy, and they have always been lousy. I remember going to a pediatric dentist when I was little, sitting in the chair through drilling after drilling. I remember capped teeth and caps falling off and being put back on. I remember my molars flaking apart when I was in college.
Once, I tried to convince an oral surgeon to remove all of my teeth, just so I could be done with them.
I'm not kidding.
I really hate teeth.
And yet. I keep saying yes to these dental-health-related sponsored post campaigns.
There's something wrong with me.
I'm always looking for a way to improve our dental health, our routines, our results - new products, new habits, new challenges. I want to protect my kids from their genetics.
Poor Gracie inherited my lousy teeth. At the ripe old age of five, she's had 6 root canals and 4 fillings. I hate that for her.
You want to feel like a parenting failure? Walk away from the dentist after hearing that news.
Grace's vulnerable teeth became a calamity partly because I followed everyone's advice not to take her to the dentist until she was 3 or 4. At 3, she wouldn't even sit in the chair. At 3 ½, she still wouldn't sit in the chair. At 4, she sat in the chair but wouldn't open her mouth.
She kept seeing the dentist, but he never saw her teeth.
We eventually found and visited a pediatric dentist who got her teeth cleaned up and now sees her twice a year.
Any guesses when Allie had her first dental appointment?
And! Her dentist told me that we need to be flossing between her teeth because they touch each other. Brushing and flossing the teeth of a toddler is not easy. It is the opposite of easy, a struggle of mammoth proportions. We do it anyway.
Especially if dental problems are in your family history, please take your kids to the dentist way before they're 3. If they have more than a couple of teeth in their mouths, make them an appointment and get those teeth checked out.
According to Americas Tooth Fairy, oral disease is the #1 chronic childhood disease. A whopping 44% of American kids suffer from dental problems before entering kindergarten, and as many of 43% of our kids lack dental insurance.
I'm not alone in my wow, I'm the worst parent on the planet feelings. 44% of American children!
Brushing Grace's teeth was a thorn in my side for many months. I can't tell you how many times we pushed, pulled, begged, cajoled, and forced Grace to open up. Fortunately, it's gotten easier over the last year. Most nights these days, she brushes by herself, and either Joe or I give her teeth a once-over just to be sure she got them all.
Then I learn that brushing alone isn't good enough. Dr. Kaneta Lott, a pediatric dentist, says the best way to prevent cavities is to brush, floss, and use a post-brushing rinse like Listerine Smart Rinse.
My dentist recommended I start using a post-brushing rinse at my last appointment.
You know, the one last week where I had to have two cavities drilled and filled.
With no dental insurance.
Yes, that appointment.
Let's change the subject, shall we?
Gracie is excited about her Barbie and Phineas and Ferb Smart Rinses, if you couldn't tell from the hamming in the above photos. She's looking forward to participating in the Sweet Smart Challenge.
For this project, I committed us to brush, floss, and rinse with Listerine Smart Rinse twice a day for 21 days in a row. The idea is that, after doing it consistently for 21 days in a row, we will have formed a habit that will protect my girls (as well as Joe and me) from the assault of Halloween candy, the holiday season, and other tooth-pounding occasions.
We have a little calendar to mark off the days. I'll let you know how it goes at the end of the month.