I was three months late for Jackson’s dental check up. Every time I brushed his teeth, the guilt grew.
Finally, I made an appointment. I decided to not bother going to the pediatric dentist who Jackson had been seeing since he almost knocked out his front tooth at three years old and just took him to the family dentist up the street.
I had been worried about one of his six year old molars that grew in last fall. It seemed to have brown spots and I have to brush it like crazy to get it clean. I was sure he had a cavity. So I went in expecting bad news.
But the news was far worse than just a cavity.
Jackson’s six year old molars are damaged and malformed. These new grown up teeth of his do not have sufficient enamel to protect them. Even though they are less than six months old, he already has four cavities! And more to come!!!
The dentist said that it will be a constant battle. All four will constantly have cavities and the fillings will have to be replaced regularly. It will be struggle to keep the teeth until he is old enough to have crowns.
Mother guilt time!
But guess what?!?
Apparently the poor state of his molars has nothing to do with us or how well we have or haven’t brushed and flossed. The dentist asked me if he Jackson had had any major fevers or illnesses when we was very young.
“Was he sick between six and nine months old?” he wondered.
And yes, Jackson was! At eight months old, Jackson had a high fever for about a week. We never found the cause of it – but I suspect he might have picked up something off the rock he was sucking on at the beach. (It was a cute photo, so I let him suck on it for only a minute!)
And now, that fever is coming back to haunt us!
Not only will Jackson have to have multiple fillings, we will have to wait until his front teeth come in to see how badly they have been affected since they formed at the same time as the six year old molars.
I was devastated to hear that his front two teeth might be mottled or discolored. (But then again – he will probably knock those two teeth out at some point anyway!)
Next week, we will be heading back to the pediatric dentist for a further assessment about how to proceed and what sort of procedure they will do to fill four cavities in a monkey like Jackson.
This is isn’t going to be easy. I feel so bad for the little guy (and for how much it is going to cost us!)
I was so lucky with my teeth. As a kid, I got to leave every dentist appointment beaming with my “no cavity” news, while Susan, whose enamel wasn’t as good as mine, always had cavities. No matter how well Susan looked after her teeth, she constantly had cavities. (I didn’t have my first cavity until I was an adult.)
I had hoped that Jackson would have strong healthy teeth and that as long as we took care of them, we could avoid cavities. I had no idea that early fevers could cause dental problems!
Have you ever heard of children’s teeth being damaged with childhood illnesses?