I know, I know, not very profound today.
But then, I spent my second hour long session holding my 5 year old's arms down and saying, "Wiggle your toes, don't move your head. Hold your head still so the dentist can work quick so we don't have to come back. Breathe through your nose. Its okay. Hold still. They're almost done with the drill."
Before we got into our first appointment with the dentist (a pediatric one we had to wait to see and drive two hours to get to), my son was having trouble chewing meat and uncooked vegetables because his teeth were sore. He was choking down bigger pieces of meat and having stomach problems because he wasn't chewing properly. He stopped eating salad, carrot sticks, crusts on bread, seeds and nuts, and numerous other crunchy foods he had previously loved last winter. I can imagine it will take us a few months to get to the place where he is comfortable eating those foods again.
We have brushed our older child's teeth every night. But he is very sensitive and intense and has a killer choking reflex. So for about a year, to really get in there you had to hold him down with your leg, hold his mouth open with one hand and brush with the other to get those back teeth clean. Needless to say, we didn't always brush the back teeth as thoroughly as we should have.
And we gave him milk in bed after his teeth were brushed. Soy milk, since he's allergic to cow's milk. About 2 months ago (after the first session with the dentist) it occurred to me that soy milk has a lot more sugar than cow's milk. So now he gets water. As does my 2 year old. I certainly don't want to have to go through this with a second child, if I can help it.
So that is my very practical clever thought this week. Take care of your child's teeth, even if they make a big fuss about it every night for a year or two (or three . . . ). Later on you will both be glad that you did.