Princess teeth

Elizabeth had her operation today. She was scheduled for 7am this morning so we left home at 6:30am thinking that we’d miss the Auckland traffic but no, the traffic was already thick. A journey which would normally only take about 15 minutes, took 35 minutes. 

Elizabeth was in good spirits and quite excited about the whole thing. She knew what to expect and she knew a mask would put her to sleep. However the minute the anaesthetist put the mask on her face, she starting kicking and screaming. It was awful. We had to pin her down until she fell asleep. This had me in tears. 

It was a short procedure and she woke up happy and has been full of beans all day. She now has three stainless steel caps (or crowns) on her back teeth. She calls them Princess teeth.

One surprising thing is that the nurse in recovery gave her an ice block when she woke up. A red, sticky, sugary thing. I mean, what was she thinking? Here’s a little girl with three cavities requiring crowns and the nurse gives her a sugary ice block. I didn’t say anything but I wish I had. 

I have never, ever bought fizzy drinks for my kids. I know I’ve said this before but I can’t emphasise enough how much I hate that stuff. I feel the same way about cordial. Orange juice now too. 

There is a stigma attached to crowns and fillings in children and the stigma is that of poverty and neglect. I don’t know whether there are more dental problems in children from poorer backgrounds but there is a perception in society that this is the case. The perception is that children with preventable dental problems have been neglected and have poor diets. This is why I have really struggled with this. Elizabeth is certainly not neglected and she has a good diet.

All three of her cavities entered the tooth from between the teeth and so could have been prevented by regular flossing. 

The moral of the story is as soon as your baby has two or more teeth side-by-side, start flossing. 

9 thoughts on “Princess teeth

  1. Nature/evolution does not seem to have given anything else quite so vulnerable. It must be something we do that is the cause of the problem. Or something we don’t do. Or farmed out land that no longer contains as much minerals. Perhaps foods are short on calcium too. Belt and braces seems a good idea.

    Good luck to Elizabeth. ⭐

    1. I think people in the past just managed with lots of missing teeth as teeth were much more likely to fall out. If we hadn’t done anything about this for Elizabeth, she would have eventually got some kind of infection. This in itself might not have been bad as they don’t cause as much discomfort for children as for adults. The dentist mentioned something about the bone being softer and the pus draining in their mouths. However over the long term it’s not a good idea to let this happen as it can interfere with the jaw and the adult teeth yet to come through. There’s also this link between mouth infections and heart disease.

  2. Glad Elizabeth is doing well now. Reminds me of when my daughter fell over (slipped on ice) when she was about 18 months old and refused to walk for about 2 weeks. We had to take her to have her hips x-rayed (which I hated having to do) in case of some damage and she screamed bloody murder and writhed manically when we tried to get her to lie down beneath the machine. It took me, her dad and a nurse to hold her down, tiny thing that she was, to keep still and she was madder than a wet hen let me tell you. That made me so sad, but she was fine afterwards. Then again, she also used to scream every time I had to take her to see the doctor. She told me years later that it was because she hated men…but then she is an aspie, so go figure 😉

    1. Daniel had his teeth x-rayed last week and the fuss he kicked up about having the pointy things in his mouth was incredible. Yet he’s fine with needles and lots of other things most children are afraid of. Yet a piece of cardboard that has to sit in the mouth for 5 seconds was a huge drama. It took us at least half-an-hour to get his x-rays. He’s on the spectrum as well.

  3. The class thing really got to me when we had our teeth problems. Because before it happened to us, I’d been just as judgmental as the next middle class mum about children who had bad teeth.

    Some people do react like that to anaesthetic – I remember my husband had in his medical notes that it would make him restless. But he never remembered a thing about it afterwards.

    I’m glad Elizabeth made it through in good spirits.

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