A Dental Dilemma

Look at that smile! Could you deny him anything?

Earlier this week, I was at the dentist with my baby. No, he is not yet three (the common age to start children on this relationship); yes, his teeth are full of cavities! Before you think too badly of me, you should know that all of my five children had this problem – though none quite as bad as this little one. Must be genetics from his father :).

The dentist will not, and indeed cannot, fill the teeth in his office. In cases like this, where there are multiple cavities and the child is so young, they fix all the teeth at once under general anesthetic. This way, the child does not retain any negative associations with the dentist experience – and we save the teeth!

Just because I have been through this with each of my four children does not make it any easier…

What concerns me the most is the fasting prior to the procedure. My toddler cannot have any solids, including breast milk, 8 hours before our appointment. That means that if he would get a 7 am appointment, they usually give the first slots to the babies, he would not be able to nurse after 11 pm the night before. Three important facts to be noted: 1) I am sure that he wakes up and nurses between 11 and 7, like at 2 or so every night; 2) he does not give up or get distracted when he wants to nurse (he will scream the house down); andย 3) I am a wimp when it comes to crying babies.

Somehow, I am going to have to get this beautiful, bouncy, baby boy to sleep through the night. And, I am going to have to do it in a way that does not compromise our relationship. Maybe I can convince him he really wants a pacifier? Maybe I should actually read the book I bought before he was born “The No-Cry Sleep Solution”. Ugh. This is not my way!

Needless to say, I have not yet called to schedule the procedure. That will make the whole thing much more real. I would actually have to have a plan.

Any suggestions?


About wottparenting

I am mother to 5 delightful human beings, and hold a B.A. in Literature, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Ph.D. in Listening and Agreeing. This blog invites you to join me as I continue my learning journey with my children.
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8 Responses to A Dental Dilemma

  1. Phew! I have been there with only one child, and for about 3 months before hand I was a complete an utter wreck, I actually went for counselling. Thank G-d we pulled through and all was ok! That part you know. As for the sleeping part – you will NOT compromise your relationship with your baby if you let him cry a few times. He will not hate you, he will not reject you, in fact he will not even remember! It is hard for YOU ! You will feel incredible pangs of guilt, but i can promise you that, those guilty feelings will fade into oblivion, once you savour- again, the sweet sensation of a full night’s sleep. Actually, it may even improve your relationship, because Mommy will be completely rested.

  2. Let him sleep with Big Brother for one night. Sometimes when they’re not with us, they don’t have the same expectations!

    • I thought of that but am scared big brother will ignore him and he will venture into who knows what kind of trouble roaming the house looking for someone to pay attention to him ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. mikki says:

    oiy. i feel your pain.
    i have done this with 3 of my five ka’h and i have a feeling my just two year old will be heading in that direction too.

    how about getting an apt a bit later in the day so his “fasting” time will be late night early morning. so lets say you actually wake baby at latest time for nursing, feed the kid to the limit ๐Ÿ™‚ then in the morning when kids are around and he may want to nurse it will be easier to distract him from nursing…park…bubbles….bath….new toy….so maybe you can nurse him at 2 then have the apt for 9 or 10. then you only have those awake daytime hours to worry about ๐Ÿ™‚

    its hard each time.
    and he has no clue about all the worry all the stress.
    he will be iy’H fine.
    with all our help you will be too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • This is an interesting idea. He actually does sleep in, nursing at 6 or so though. But it is much easier to distract during the day. This morning he awoke as I was debating whether or not I should drive my husband to work. The outing proved enough distraction and now we have moved on to breakfast. Maybe a 9 or 10 am appointment would be smarter…

  4. Karni Goldfield says:

    Why can’t your baby at least nurse (4hrs) before the procedure? This way he can have his middle of the night feeding. Is it because its more convenient for the doctors? or the patient? When I was delivering my baby at the jewish they would tell me I can’t eat anything while i’m in labor! My doula told me its because it’s not convenient for the doctors and she told me the first thing you need to do when you go into labor is sit down for a sandwich because you will need your energy. Find out why your baby can’t eat…I encourage you to look into it further..

    • I will look into it but I was pretty clear that I wanted to nurse him. She seemed to be saying it was dangerous for him to eat after the allocated times and that they would cancel the procedure (and I would still have to pay for it!)

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