I have a confession to make… I love to floss my teeth. I’m kind of addicted to it, but I was not always like that.
When I was 26 years old I got my first cavity. Two of them actually. They were in between my back two molars, where the teeth are very tight together and were the result of not flossing regularly.
Having them filled hurt – even though my dentist gave me laughing gas to help out, so I swore to not let that happen again and started flossing my teeth.
I had containers of dental tape all over the house – and would floss in bed, in the bathroom, in front of the TV… It was never ending.
So I made sure that I got my wife and kids to the dentist as soon as they needed to be there to have their teeth cleaned, get that toy from the toy chest and let the family know that going to the dentist is a positive experience. For the better part of 20+ years, I have been going to Bayview Hill Dental Centre (way up at Major Mackenzie and Bayview Avenue in Richmond Hill) and it’s been a long time since anyone in my family has been nervous going to the dentist.
What I did not know, however, was that my 5-year-old son had tight back molars like I do (he’s lost 3 teeth already and another on the way so his teeth are shifting around) and that he needed to floss his teeth at 5 years old.
But boy, do we all know that now!
His first trip to the dentist in a year had a shocking twist as he has 6 cavities! 6. Of those six, only one is a serious cavity that needs to be filled right away, but there are 3 others which have broken through the enamel and will probably be done too. The last two are to be watched as they are in his back molars which don’t fall out until he is 12 years old.
I wonder how he is going to handle this filling of the cavities as he doesn’t even really understand what it means to have a cavity. At least he will now learn how to floss his teeth, and the importance of brushing twice a day and not eating sweets before bed (not that he does that, like ever).
The hygenist tought him how to floss with this little sticks and with the dento-tape / floss and now he’s a pro. He is scheduled to have his teeth filled next week – 4 of he can handle it and at least 2. He will get laughing gas.
The first thing he did whenever he saw anyone was to tell them about the 6 cavities. Geez. But this is a kid that does not eat sweets in a household where we do not eat sweets. It’s just a result of food getting stuck and rotting…
On the bright side, we now floss as a family every night…
It’s actually quite fun.
And now I know why his breath was slightly off for the better part of a year…
He had 2 teeth filled and the other 2 are on the watch radar for now. We all continue to floss and brush as a family every night.
Watching him in the dentist chair was funny. He asked a TON of questions and even after the nitrous oxide mask was put on his nose, he still took it off to speak. Once the gas was on, he was giggling and laughing, it made me laugh so I had to leave him there with his mummy.
After the dentist him and mummy went out for dinner – just the 2 of them – and she let him order. He LOVED it! They even brought me some leftovers for my dinner (yummy Chinese).
I think this whole experience and the dinner with mummy is a good way to teach him that as he approaches 6-years-old, he needs to be accountable for his actions and if he’s good, he gets special treats like a date with his mummy.