My poor baby girl had to get her teeth worked on this Saturday. Seeing her in such pain makes me feel helpless, sad, mad, and a whole bunch of other emotions wrapped up in one little ball. I’m glad she is better now (at least almost all the way better)….but the journey there was not a pleasant one.
When her teeth first came in she had white lines along the top of the two incisors. To me…it looked like a cavity. All I kept thinking was “How can you be born with a cavity.” I mean….she had to be born with it. Her teeth were under the gums and came out with a stain. I felt the stain and it was like a small divot in the tooth. This did not sit well with me. I tried to research as much as I could online. And to be honest…I didn’t find much. The only causes I could find was Celiac Disease and bottle feeding milk. But that didn’t really answer my questions. If it were Celiac Disease then my daughter wouldn’t just have an enamel defect….she would have other symptoms. But there was nothing. She was healthy. And then it couldn’t really be the bottle feeding milk because her teeth weren’t even out of the gums yet. This had to be something she was born with. So I continued to research to no avail.
Then I took her to the dentist. It was earlier than you would normally take your child to the dentist. Most kids have their first visit when they are 12 months old. But not my baby. We had to see the dentist when she was only 10 months old. I tried to explain it too him. I told him my concerns and that I thought it was decay or maybe a defect she was born with….but all he did was put some fluoride on her teeth and said “no bottles at night time. And brush her teeth.” I continued to plead my case and explain that we brush and floss her teeth everyday along with her brother. But that seemed to go in one ear and out the other. He just stated that its normal and its nothing to worry about.
By the time it was her 12 month visit the white marks turned to a light brown. I knew they were cavities but I felt like there was nothing I could do about it. I felt bad for my beautiful little girl. She had no clue. But I knew. So I took her again….but to a different dentist. This new dentist said the same thing. He advised that we brush her teeth. So I explained to him like I did the other dentist…..we brush her teeth 2x a day. He then asked if we bottle feed at night or put her to bed with a bottle. I admitted that we put her to bed with a bottle and also gave her one more in the middle of the night when she woke up and he explained how the milk turns to sugar and eats at the teeth all night long. He told us to stop bottle feeding at night. He added more fluoride and we were on our way. He also said to come back in another 3 months to see how her teeth are doing.
Well 3 months go by…..she is 15 months and her teeth are worse. One tooth was so bad that it basically cracked in 1/2. We went in the dentist. Explained that we cut the bottles down to 1 a night but its a process. Its only been a few months….and the tooth just disintegrated. It doesn’t make sense. I fed my son the same way until he was 18 months old and nothing was wrong with his teeth. He is 4 years old and he has never had a cavity….let a long a tooth disintegrating. The dentist was just stuck on the fact that it was the bottle feeding at night. So he added more fluoride and we were on our way. He also said to come back in another 3 months to see how her teeth are doing.
Well another 3 months go by…..she is 18 months and her teeth are still getting a little worse. The tooth that was cracked in half was now a nub. And the 3 other front teeth look like they are following suit. And again he stresses the “no bottle feeding at night”. I explained that we cut out all bottle feeding at night and her teeth were still falling apart. So he said, “ok….it looks like we need to set an appt for your daughter and sometime soon.” He also says the appt will most likely cost about $2000. WHAT!?!?! $2000 for something that I have been mentioning to them since she was 10 months old. And still I have yet to get a straight answer about the initial cause.
So I decided to ask around. I work with doctors and dentists all day long so I thought I would ask one of them. I gave her my daughter’s history and explained my initial concern (which I have to say – she did not blow off). She explained to me that when her teeth came out with the white calcifications on them….they came out with a defect. This enamel defect could be caused by all types of things…it could be hereditary, it could be not enough calcium while you were pregnant…it could just be her fate. But that enamel defect made her more susceptible to getting cavities. That and the bottle feedings were just a bad mix. Her teeth had no chance. She helped to put it in perspective that ….this is the reason I can’t compare my son to my daughter.
So I know and understand that feeding baby’s milk in a bottle at night and not brushing their teeth after (or even just giving them a little water to rinse their mouths with) is a bad thing. I get that. I know it was my responsibility and I made a mistake. And my daughter paid for it. But I think if I would have known that I needed to be “extra” careful with her than I was with my son….then I think maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad.
But I have to say….the procedure was worse than all of that….
So because of her age she had to be put under. And because of that there are rules. No fever, no cough, etc. Well the first 2 appt’s we set had to be rescheduled because she was either getting over a cold or she had a bad cough. So finally this weekend we were able to get her teeth worked on. She ended up needing two root canals, a couple fillings and 4 crowns. My baby was in there for 1 hour. We were able to look in the window but we couldn’t stay there. Then when it was over we had to sit and watch her sleep until she woke up. She slept longer than they thought she would. Finally she woke up and we were able to go home. They told us that she can be moody and to watch out for vomiting or any other serious problems. They told us that she will probably sleep all day. BUT…..that didn’t happen. She did not sleep at all. She tried to walk and couldn’t. She was SOOOO MOODY Very irritable. Everything made her mad. She was throwing tantrums…which she didn’t really do before. She was having nightmares when she did go to sleep. Her mouth hurt but refused to eat anything and only wanted milk. She wouldn’t even take medicine. She was in such pain. It broke my heart. And her tummy hurt. She had to go to the bathroom but couldn’t. She was not doing well. I cried with her a few times.
My poor baby still isn’t 100%…and it’s going on 2 days now…man I can’t wait until this is over.