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); and 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.