October 19, 2011

The Dentist

My kids love going to the dentist significantly more than I love taking them to the dentist.

While they are rifling through a plastic treasure chest for stickers and jelly bracelets, I am being told things I don't want to hear about cross-bites, impacted teeth, and crowding.

The probability that all of my children will soon have something called a palate extender is, by the dentist's estimate, very high.

I already know that I am going to single-handedly fund some orthodontist's beach house.

Today the dentist saved the best news for last.

"None of your kids are brushing their teeth."

I told the man that he was mistaken. "They brush their teeth twice a day!" I screech. "Plus they use floss and flouride mouthwash!"

The dentist shook his head and described the amount of plaque he scraped off each tooth.

In the car, my brood and I had a little pow wow. "What's going on?" I asked.

It took several minutes, but finally the truth came out.

For the past six months (with very few exceptions), my kids have been brushing their teeth with their fingers.

38 comments

Nikki said...

I mean - I get it. Today I feel like our mom experiences crossed through space and time....*sigh I guess tomorrow is another day

Liz said...

Oh.my.gosh! That is hilarious... Sorry!

Laurie said...

Seriously? Your kids are little geniuses, pulling this off. Have you considered hidden cameras? Might be worth the investment. :) Thanks for the nighttime giggle!

Megan said...

Oh, wow! Guess you'll have to supervise the brushing of teeth now, huh? :)

Yvette said...

At least your kids are trying to put some kind of toothpaste in their mouth, even if it is with their fingers. My 12 year old was bragging after we went to the dentist a few weeks ago that he didnt have any cavities. The best part is that he hadn't been brushing his teeth for about a month.

Lisa H said...

I just couldn't handle supervising and/or brushing all my kids' teeth all the time so we started to bribe them. $10 if they have no cavities when they get their check ups. It has been working great!

Mom of 12 said...

Hey, at least they brush their teeth...that's something! I don't supervise that area of my life nearly as well as I should either. Sounds like we should both try turning over a new leaf.
Sandy

AmandaStretch said...

I did the palate expander thing when I was a kid. Not fun!

Mum on the Run said...

Thank you for the warning.
That's it - I'm onto it!!
:-)

Anonymous said...

Ha! I love how they are partners in crime, it's sweet somehow.
I remember walking in on my brother when he was about 9 and he was supposed to be brushing his teeth, he was actually just letting the water run. I told on him of course because he was a mean older brother and my mom supervised him for the next few weeks. Funny, he has less cavaties than any of us...

vinobaby said...

Busted. I am currently paying for my 8-yr-old's orthodontist's and oral surgeon's BMWs. He has the palate expander now {gulp}. He gets it out next month {halleluiah!} I feel your pain.

Good luck to you--cheers.

elsalgal said...

My son saves 10% of his allowance each month in a "dentist" fund. If he has cavities, that money goes toward his dental bill. If he doesn't, he gets it back all at once. It isn't much to me, and won't really make a dent in the bill, but it's a significant amount to him. He has always had cavities, but in the two visits since we started this, he's had none. There's no bribery, just natural consequences and motivation.

the higgins' said...

Expander coming our way with my youngest too...definitely cross-bite too. Thank goodness for payment plans!!

Robbie K said...

lol...so they have been brushing...just not with dentist approved tools!

Anonymous said...

Ah yes the dentist. I received similar bad news the other day. Maybe we should go to the same ortho and then he could get a pool in his beach house??

Brookes4boys said...

UGH! Took a close look at my 8 year olds mouth the other day and his gum line was literally GREEN! How long do you have to not brush for the plaque to turn green? And if he is not brushing then why is their always toothpaste all over the sink and counter???

Anonymous said...

I was sitting in front of some lady at a swim meet and I heard her say " I have just resigned myself the fact that I will be writting a check to the orthodontist every month for the rest of my life."

kimshepard said...

Oh my gosh! That is too funny! Sorry I know its not for you!

I am beginning to understand things like this though. I said to my son this morning, "let's brush our teeth".

And he looked at me and said (mind you he's 3) "actually.. I dont need to brush my teeth today".

I love how they make their own decisions, and at how young of an age it begins.

Mal said...

Eww. I remember my friends saying, "Just brush with your finger!" and I'd be like, uhh....are you kidding me? Does this look like a bristled phalange to you? How is that supposed to do anything but rub the grime in deeper?!

Anyway...it's still funny. At least they were pretending.

Allison said...

I feel your pain, though mine is on a significantly smaller scale. I just discovered that my oldest, who turns 11 next month (and therefore has no excuse), has been brushing her teeth with her finger for over a month because the last time she went on a sleepover she couldn't be bothered to unpack her toothbrush afterward.

Kim said...

Wow...maybe you can scare them with stories of how much it hurts to get a filling?

Anonymous said...

You could trek through cyberland, Google's images of rotten teeth and scare them that way! My daughter ONCE lied and told me she brushed her teeth. I ran in to feel the toothbrush and the melt down that took hold was ridiculous. I check those tooth-brushes frequently! ;)

I don't remember the dentist being such a huge deal when I was a kid either and all this dental expense that comes in tow, hello! Do they make crap up for more money or what???

They wanted to put a filling into a baby tooth for crying out loud! Eh, NO. We'll tend to the teeth around the naughty one and let nature take it's course.

They get their cleanings & care they need, but some lines just have to be drawn.

Scribble Monster said...

Well, my herberts are mentalists and often I have to send them back up to the bathroom for a do-over. My motto to them is that if they don't shine, I will whine.

I can tell you, that has not worked for any minute of any day.

I am going to wholeheartedly take on the 'money saved goes into their paws' approach now :)

Melanie said...

Oh NO! I can't believe that. I agree with Laurie...your kids are geniuses....truly! Although, their going to be hating life when that little drill starts buzzing in their heads....hahaha!

Lisa said...

My two go on the 25th for their cleaning. Like you, I am always hearing the bad stuff or some huffy assistant is always getting on to me for not brushing or checking my kids teeth(are you kidding me? they are old enough to brush and check their own teeth) while they hey are using there token to get some kind of toy out of the machine. Wonder what I will hear next week?

Anonymous said...

It could be worse. Every once in a while, I discover that one of mine can't be bothered to look for his or her toothbrush and just starts using mine.

Jana said...

Dentist will do anything to your childs teeth for money. My son is 6 and he chipped his cap on his front tooth,the dentist said it wa considerd a cosmetic procedure because the cap was white and insurance may not pay so I would need to give him $500 up front and I MIGHT get $200 back if insurance approves. I said no thanks he will lose that tooth soon.

Anonymous said...

Man!! I love my dentist. No guilt trips and she has given me pros/cons of any treatment she recommends for my kids. A lot of the time she reccomends against them if their baby teeth and going to falling out soon. I was getting annoyed with my 10 yr olds lack of brushing finesse and the dentist said it is common for kids to neeed supervision until 12 esp. for boys. Yeah-now I know i am not alone in this, but that relief was soon gone when I thought of having to check his teeth for 2 mores years.

My kids (all 5) will need the orthodontist for extending their palates and crosbites, but I knew that without the dentist's help. Luckily we found one of those who gave it to us straight too (third one we saw for a consult). Interestingly he didn't suggest one of the treatments the other two said my son needed so badly. When I asked about the condition that the other two were trying to correct, he told us it was a lot of work and expense for very little gain. Saved us a couple thousand dollars.

Diane said...

Last Sunday night I discovered my almost 8 year-old's toothbrush was still in his backpack from his Thursday night sleepover.

Karen said...

I warned my kids about the drill (I just about lived in the dentist's chair growing up) from day 1. Neither of them have ever had a cavity! :-)

Jackie said...

I took my oldest to the dentist & he(9)tells the dentist that I only make him brush his teeth once a week. Even better that then the dentist came out in the waiting room in front of everyone and told me that he really needs to brush more than that. Umm really buddy...you think I only tell him to brush once a week?? It's a good thing I've gotten mean in my old age and I just laughed at him and said he's lying to you. Needless to say we don't frequent that dentist anymore. :)

jeorgee said...

I am sooo glad someone else has kids who hate brushing their teeth. I have to constantly remind my kids to brush their teeth. It is so ridiculous! Just do it for goodness sakes!

Anonymous said...

I have never left a comment before but hearing about the cross bites and a palate extender, get a second opinion! They wanted to do that to me as a 5 year old and again as a teenager. My mom refused to put me through that. I had braces as a teen and no palate extender needed to be done. The orthodontist even called it torture and unnecessary. Good luck with their teeth and getting them to brush!

As a side note, I always enjoy your blog, you crack me up!

Rachel J

Megan B ♥ said...

Ugh. I found out that after my kids' toothpaste got clogged, they just decided that instead of admitting that they left the top off and it dried into a fine mess, they would just brush their teeth with water. For weeks.

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Elizabeth Cull said...

One tip here is that you should try brushing together with your kids. That way, they'll know how you brush your own teeth, and you'll be able to see if they're doing it right.

Emily012473 said...

Our pediatric dentist is also an orthodontist, so, he says he is SURE she needs an palate expander. He also said that in the past, they have just been removing teeth so that the overcrowding doesn't happen, but nowadays it's more common to use the torture device (my words--he LOVES it the expander idea.) I said, "Isn't it cheaper and less painful to pull a couple of molars so all her teeth fit? Just saying... (oh, and she will need YEARS of braces, too, of course!) When did dentists become snake oil salesmen???

Anonymous said...

my 13 year old recently had a dental cavity, and the dentist said that her teeth have not been brushed for 3-8 weeks by the looks of it. they just wet their tooth brushes an dwhen i checked i had no idea. now i hid a camera in their bath room to proge it.