Saturday

elliot and the dentist

Elliot is scared of the dentist and has really needed some dental work (all my kids have worse-than-they-should-be teeth). The last dentist we saw was very abrupt with him and wouldn't let me sit with him while he was being worked on. He got hysterical.

So I went looking for a dentist on my dental insurance who would at the very least let me stay with him and at best, would offer gas for anxious patients.

I found out that there were NO pediodontists on my insurance and that most only see kids six and under anyway. Elliot is 8.

So we finally settled on Dr. Dugger in Fountain City. She was recommended by several people (including Jon).

Right away I liked her. She was patient and communicative with Elliot. She never acted like his fears were silly or overblown. She lets me be with him at every step and she let Elliot watch while she cleaned Jane's teeth the other day. He liked that a lot. She also never talks down to him.

Today he had to have the first of two decaying baby teeth extracted. He was so frightened that he tried to cling to the porch railing at her office and at first, refused to go inside. I peeled him off and we went in, with the assurance that if he really couldn't deal, we would leave (Our pediatrician had already told me that we would have to send him to an oral surgeon who could put him under if he couldn't deal with having this done in the dentist's office).

H e was literally shaking throughout the procedure, but she helped him through it. Elliot's dad and I stayed in the room with him.

Dr. Dugger's assistants were just as good. She took it very slow and encouraged Elliot to tell her when he was uncomfortable.

He made it through and the tooth came out. I was so, so proud of him. I could tell he was proud of himself.

22 comments:

Laura said...

my daughter jodie has the same issues. she is 10. her last visit was oh so traumatic....a couple gnarly fillings and even with the gas and valium she still was freaking out. i had to hold her down. we are shopping for a new dentist now because our pediatric dentist was so annoyed with her behavior telling her and me that this pain was all in her head. well, duh!
he and i had a major discussion about pain and a patient's perception and since he doesn't get what i know and believe in my nursing practice i decided my 4 y/o with major oral medical issues won't be seeing him. we just found a new one based on many recommenddations and we shall see after i interview her.
oh, why is jodie so afraid?
her 19 y/o sister told her a story from some teen slasher flick she saw of how one kid met his untimely end in a dnetist chair while getting laughing gas.
she is precious!
i reminded her that karma is a bitch and it will get her back.

Stefaneener said...

That's GREAT. We love our dentist partially because she's so patient and sweet with the kids. I'm glad you found one you could work with.

sajmom said...

Not a dentist story, but similar-When my daughter turned 4 she suddenly became VERY afraid of the doctor's office. Partially because she was more aware of what was going on, but also because it was our first time on the free insurance program. So we were in the same building but in an office next door. The difference was night/day though-no toys or books, overcrowded waiting room, rushed rude and impatient staff. And she saw an older child having a fit while being weighed-it was enough to freak her out. I understand that they have a lot of people to see and it's all routine to the staff-but geez! She tried to get the staff to explain what they would be doing to her, but they refused. They think it's quicker to just force the child to comply but it stalls the entire visit that way. I mean, if two strangers came in to hold me down for a shot I'd be terrified too! After the first time they tried to force her to do something (I think it was just to stand and get height and weight taken)reason just completely left. And then the entire visit was a struggle. She was just terrified of everyone and everything they tried to do to her. She didn't want to be touched or talk to them. The staff wouldn't listen to me either. Taking the time to explain what they were doing before touching her would have made all the difference.

Anonymous said...

Just the other day, while I was nursing my 16 months boy, my friends started going on about how extended breastfeeding causes tooth decay, according to some dentists they had apparently spoken with or read about. They even gave the example of a teenage girl we all know and who has to clean her teeth quite often as she was breastfed til her 4th year! They said it was because breastmilk is so sweet.
I said I thought that was a load of crap, that breastmilk sugar is better than any other sugar, so why should it precisely go wrong with teeth, plus the dirty teeth on this girl are definitive teeth, not baby teeth, so I cannot see the connection...

My 3 children seem to have white, strong teeth. They all teethed very early (the 6 year old at 3 months, with first 4 definitive teeth before his sixth birthday!; the 4 year old at 4 months and the 16 months at 5 months - he now has eight teeth). I do hope they will never need to have serious dental work!

Have you read or heard about this before?


Marta

Anonymous said...

oh yes. I have heard lots of folks say that breast milk is no different from any other milk as far as the decay. I have heard dentists totally connect the same type of baby bottle mouth that formula babies who go to sleep with the bottle with breastfed babies who go to sleep with the breast in their mouth. that said some people have better teeth than otheres no matter what. my husband never brushes or flosses and has perfect teeth. however if people in your family have not so great teeth I would abide by the same rules they make for formula feeding parents.

Anonymous said...

Just a small correction to my previous post: my 16 months baby has 16 teeth!

As for "bottle mouth". Well, I guess that depends a LOT. Me and my middle brother breastfed for only 3 to 4 months, thumbsucked for 4 (me ) and 7/8 years (him) and we have a regular jaw/dental line. My younger brother, who breasted for 6 months and never wore bottle, thumb nor pacifier (wonder how my mom would put him to sleep!) had to have braces due to "bunny teeth"...


Marta

Anonymous said...

Katie,
I think you did the right thing. Not to be an alarmist, but in this day and age, I am a bit suspicious of dentists/doctors who insist that parents of child patients be out of the room.
becky
P.S. Willie is BACK from his summer dad visit!

Anonymous said...

as for the braces, except for extreme thumb sucking, a lot of its genetics.
going to bed with any liquid (besides water) pooling in your mouth is gonna rot your teeth. some moreso than others. I believe they recommend sitting up while you are nursing if your child is going to fall asleep at the breast so at the very least they will (hopefully) swallow whats in their mouth. that of course means no nipping at the breast while they doze off and on lying down.
probably what is happening with Katies kid is a direct result of her nursing habits when he was an infant. I have honestly never heard of a kid with teeth that bad. at least not ones that can afford a dentist and who brush even semi regularly and get fluoride in their water or otherwise. a few cavities here and there maybe but the kids teeth practicaly rotting out of his head???? only adults who didnt have the money for dental care and lost their teeth in mid adulthood. this isnt a very good commercial for attachment parenting practices. if anything it reinforces my belief that there is a lot of ignoring the obvious among attachment parent types.

Anonymous said...

as for the braces, except for extreme thumb sucking, a lot of its genetics.
going to bed with any liquid (besides water) pooling in your mouth is gonna rot your teeth. some moreso than others. I believe they recommend sitting up while you are nursing if your child is going to fall asleep at the breast so at the very least they will (hopefully) swallow whats in their mouth. that of course means no nipping at the breast while they doze off and on lying down.
probably what is happening with Katies kid is a direct result of her nursing habits when he was an infant. I have honestly never heard of a kid with teeth that bad. at least not ones that can afford a dentist and who brush even semi regularly and get fluoride in their water or otherwise. a few cavities here and there maybe but the kids teeth practicaly rotting out of his head???? only adults who didnt have the money for dental care and lost their teeth in mid adulthood. this isnt a very good commercial for attachment parenting practices. if anything it reinforces my belief that there is a lot of ignoring the obvious among attachment parent types.

Jamie said...

Hey, anonymous, spiteful and ignorant is never a good combination. Human milk is not cariogenic and breastfeeding may even protect against cavities. It also protects against malocclusion.

Early childhood caries can happen when kids' mouths are colonized by streptococcus mutans through cup-sharing, kissing, etc. Katie's kids may have heavy colonization, or stickier plaque than average, or enamel defects. The family's diet may play a role: nutritious but sticky foods like raisins can be hard on vulnerable teeth. There are many factors other than cue-feeding that determine whether a child develops cavities.

For some children predisposed to dental caries, long-term night-nursing can be an issue. But I've known many co-sleeping cue-feeding families whose children have perfect teeth. Attachment parenting isn't the issue.

Katie, try xylitol gum -- xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar that can raise the pH of the mouth and decrease the incidence of cavities.

Anonymous said...

um this is not what I have read. unless it comes from le leche lactonazis the general consensus does in fact seem to be that nursing can cause cavities.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, titty-sucking makes you immortal!

Fitzhugh Family said...

Its less common because the nipple goes further back into the throat of the baby but if they fall asleep while eating and not just SUCKING then the milk can drool out like and stay on the teeth. But the percentages are lower.

Anonymous said...

the percentages may be lower among breastfed babies in general but I bet they are not lower among breastfed babies whose parents think they are doing their kids this huge favor by letting them suck away all night long when they are barely awake enough to completely swallow. exact same effect as going to bed with a bottle.

Katharine said...

Those who think breastfeeding causes cavities, please read "Big Bad Cavities: Breastfeeding Is Not the Cause," an article in the July-August 2002 issue of Mothering magazine. Please note, at the end of the article, the long list of references. Those that are from medical journals, you can look up at MEDLINE, a extensive database of medical journal articles maintained by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. You can find even more recent research by searching MEDLINE for the terms caries and breastfeeding.

Unfortunately, many American dentists do not keep up on the latest research on caries (cavities) and breastfeeding because they have absorbed the harmful American bias against extended breastfeeding.

Anonymous said...

well yes, of course mothering magazine majors in promoting untruths and half truths as long as they further their various agendas. please: saying that mainstream dentists have "absorbed the bias against extended breastfeeding" and so are therefore telling people to not let breast milk sit in the mouth, like any milk is bunk. I dont trust a thing coming out of mothering magazine.

katie allison granju said...

The problem with your thesis, anonymous (about breastmilk being the problem) is that ALL THREE of my kids have bad teeth...including the bottle-fed oldest kid.

dedanaan said...

You might want to have your kids use a fluoride rinse, like Act. I've had two dental practioners recommend it; I use it and haven't had a cavity in years.

Anonymous said...

If breastfeeding causes caries, how come ancient humans didn't all have bad teeth? And many modern societies where women breastfeed extensively have children with beautiful teeth? Processed starches and sugars, plus heredity, is what gives us so many cavities.

Anonymous said...

We are such puritans
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060804/ts_afp/afplifestyleussocialbreastfeeding_060804023916;_ylt=AmygWqbkvkf7WfrWG6xT.3UFO7gF;_ylu=X3oDMTA5bGVna3NhBHNlYwNzc3JlbA--

Anonymous said...

Let's try again:
http://tinyurl.com/gyyet

Anonymous said...

perhaps these people were not letting their babies nip at them all night long. a lot of primitive societies ALSO have rotten teeth. or no teeth. it makes sense that ANY milk sitting in your mouth, at night, all night, is going to be a problem. if you have sturdy teeth maybe it wont affect them taht much. I used to sleep with a cough drop in my mouth and had no problems but I bet if decay ran in my family it would have rotted my tteth