Today Ada had a check up with her dentist. She is 2 1/2 now, but before she turned two she had extensive dental work. There are other posts discussing those details and her surgery to be put under.
Let me just say that it is not my favorite experience in life to hold her and stare at her teeth while the dentist uses her scraper-pick-thing that scrapes away plaque, normally. On Ada, it just scrapes away what should be the hard enamel of her teeth like chalk.
On a positive note, she sat amazingly still and poised this time. I’d say her dentist scraped away decaying enamel for a good 5 minutes or so, and if you’ve ever held down a two year old, that translates into what feels like 30 minutes.
The dentist was quite impressed, and I was surprised. The last visit she squirmed and cried and screamed. But there is a lot of new awareness and maturity and understanding that comes when a kid hits 2 1/2, at least in my experiance.
I told the dentist that it was very discouraging. Since her last visit, we have brushed and scrubbed those two teeth that give her the most problems, and to watch the dentist just chip away at all the decay that is still appearing, just kind of sucks. I told her if this was my first child I would feel like a negligent mother. But I know from Azita, whose teeth we treated the same way, that most of this is just that Ada is a special case.
She was more reassuring than she has been at any other appointment, saying that it isn’t that uncommon for a kid’s teeth to decay this way. And she seemed assured that we had really been trying to do everything we can to keep Ada’s teeth from eroding like a sand dune, whereas before she might have been wondering if we tried hard enough. Ada’s damage was so extensive… few kids have four silver crowns, three root canals and two fillings before age two.
She still doesn’t seem to deem the gluten connection much, but her other doctor at Duke– the celiac specialist– does. That seems to be the trend from other gluten intolerants I’ve heard from– that the dentists don’t know much about it, but the celiac people do.
Ada then threw up all over me. I have mentioned this several times before to this doctor– that she throws up at least once a week, and threw up extensively in her first 18 months of life, again due to her gluten issues or something related. She asked this time, after seeing it happen, if she does it when she is nervous. It seems like I remember someone else mentioning that a kid threw up for attention or because she was upset or something. Sigh. No, people. Kids throw up because something is wrong with their tummies or the food they are being fed! And there may be a few that do it for some emotional reasons, but I’m sure, the VAST majority are health related. Having a over-working gag reflex is something that several people I’ve met with food intolerances cope with.
I used to gag to even brush my teeth, each and every day. It went away in the past two years since being off gluten, along with my back pains while sleeping, majority of headaches and razor burn.
So I wonder.. is there some other food causing her gag reflex and weak teeth? Or would I be reading too much into it? I know it’s not normal to throw up once a week.
Then the dentist, now that she is actually paying attention to the vomiting that I’ve mentioned several times, says that sure, it could make the teeth weaker, and asks me if I’ve mentioned it to her pediatrician. YES I have LADY! You know, the other Duke specialist that was there the day of the dental surgery you performed sticking cameras down her throat and into her stomach?
Sigh. I don’t know why I feel so antagonistic towards some of her health professionals. They are all really pretty nice. It’s probably just an outgrowth of frustration when you can’t seem to control something that pains you about your kid. Atleast in another 2 1/2 years she’ll start losing these teeth. Maybe we’ll have better luck with her adult teeth, but if her dad is any indicator, I might not want to get my hopes up on that. He flosses and brushes and obssesses and has still had several root canals recently.
I had my first professional cleaning in 8 years last month and the dentist said I had less plaque than many people have at their 6 month cleaning. I’ll just be happy for me and Azita. And take her advice to scrub Ada’s teeth with dry gauze after brushing. And maybe between meals. Blah.