Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
There's more to parenting than not caring (in theory)
Published on December 22, 2004 By Draginol In Home & Family

So there I am, at the dentist to get my tooth looked at (it was fine) when the dentist says to me "I heard you decided not to have your son's cavity filled."

"Yes," I said. "I don't see the point in putting my 8 year old son through the drill to deal with a cavity that is on a baby tooth."

"Still you should really make sure he gets taken care of, your son needs to have that filled." he responded.

Rather than debate it I responded, "Hey look, if social services can't get me to listen to reasoning when they visit me, what chance do you think you have?"

To which he said "but there's a chance it could damage his permanent tooth."

To which I responded "That's a chance I'm willing for him to take."

Sometimes, absurd responses can side-step debates, especially when you're natural inclination is to be a goof off anyway.

I definitely agree to keep an eye on the baby tooth that has a cavity to make sure it doesn't hurt or get serious. But growing up I knew kids whose baby teeth literally were rotting out. I'm not subjecting my 8 year old to a dentist's drill unless I have no other choice. The mere fear of the dentist's drill has been enough to get my son to start taking brushing his teeth more seriously.

"Besides," I told my son, "I read on the Internet how to drill onto teeth myself so if you don't brush your teeth, I'll drill the cavity out myself."

He's upstairs brushing his teeth again as I write this.


Comments
on Dec 22, 2004

As I child I had some pretty rotten baby teeth (my biological mother had complete kidney failure when she was pregnant with me and the meds she had to take resulted in not too pretty baby teeth for me), and our family dentist insisted on filling some of them.  Consequently, I was terrified of going to the dentist.

My daughter had a baby tooth with a cavity, and we adopted the same approach to it as you have.  We didn't fill it, we just kept an eye on it...in fact, it became an incentive for her to take better care of her teeth because she didn't want the cavity to get any bigger. 

I don't want my kids to be afraid of the dentist like I was.  I know it's not always going to be a pleasant experience for them, but I don't want it to be a nighmare inducing event either.

Oh, and my adult teeth all turned out fine.  So have Shea's.

(I'll have to remember that line about learning DIY drilling on the internet...that was good!)

 

on Dec 22, 2004
Perhaps this scare will lead to him taking care of this teeth for the rest of his life
on Dec 22, 2004
I completely agree with you on this.. From what I know, there is only a tiny of things escalating with a baby tooth cavity, but its quite rare from what i've heard/read. My wife has a Masters in Biology, a Bachelors in Chemistry, and a Bachelors in Nursing (RN), and she tends to agree with me on this as well, so you have some backing.. !

This brings to mind a recent article I read about how Doctors are over prescribing CT Scans in children. The radiation from a CT scan is massive - roughly 500 times a normal Xray. In adults its not so bad, but in children, it can lead to long term problems because of the accumulative effects of radiation. Plus, there are very very specific settings a CT Scan must be set at to reduce radiation risks to children, and FEW hospitals bother to change their settings. Bottom line, only under the worst possible conditions should something like a CT scan be used on a child, yet they do them for simple falls and basic head injuries all of the time!

I had a doctor prescribe a CT scan for me last week just as a "Precaution".. They found a small spot on my lung that one doctor said was probably there for years. So they decided to wait 6 months, and re-xray it to be sure it hasn't grown - because statistics show that in about 99% of the cases, cancer grows within 30-90 days. Chances are, if its unchanged, its not cancer. So I had the Xray, the spot was unchanged for over 6 months, everything appears fine. But out of the blue, the doctor says "Lets do a CT Scan anyway.."... Huh? Why would I want to bombard my body with the equivelent of 500-600 xrays for no major reason other than to "Be safe"? No thanks, i'll get an xray in another year, and see how that looks, sooner if I develop any symptoms. I've already had 2 CT Scans in my life, I don't want another one unless its absolutely 100% necessary, thank you.

I think people are in error to always blindly follow a doctors (or in your case dentists) orders without regard to common sense and knowledge. How about all of those people that took Vioxx under doctors orders, and had heart attacks? When your children are involved, I always error on the side of logic, data, and caution.. When a tooth is going to fall out in a few months anyway, why fret over it, pay to have proceedures, and have your child endure the pain and suffering?

You did a good thing IMHO.
on Dec 22, 2004

Brad, I got you finally!

But yea you are right. The babies are ok, the real ones are the ones to worry about.

But then I did know that!  You only guessed! (right of course).

on Dec 22, 2004
If it's a baby tooth I wouldn't be to concerned either. My daughter had one and after it came out an the adult tooth came in that tooth was fine. I might have to tell her the same thing however that you told him about reading on the internet. She seems to think brushing is boring. Anyway, good luck with getting him to like brushing and doing it without dad telling him to.

PS~ Merry Christmas
on Dec 22, 2004
I REALLY hate it when they think they know what's best for *your* children. Why, oh why can't they keep their nose *out* of our business!
on Dec 23, 2004
I REALLY hate it when they think they know what's best for *your* children. Why, oh why can't they keep their nose *out* of our business!


Well, he is a dentist ... you do go to dentists for advice about teeth, so when he offers his professional opinion it's hardly unsolicited.

As for not having it drilled, I can't really understand why you don't want to do it. If you're worried about the kid getting scared of the dentist, that's not really a big deal. Chances are you're going to have to force them to go as they get older anyway because other kids will tell them. At least if the tooth is filled or removed there's no real chance of the nerve damage and jaw deformities you can get from damaged teeth.
on Dec 23, 2004

"Hey look, if social services can't get me to listen to reasoning when they visit me, what chance do you think you have?"

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhahahahahaah who needs nitrous oxide with a line like that?

on Dec 23, 2004
When I took my daughter in and the dentist recommended the same thing, my question to him was, "If she was your child what would you do?" He thought about and said he would fill one, use a temp filling in another, and leave another be. (Yes, she had 3). So that's what we did.

She handled it beautifully with no fear, and no pain killers of any kind. In fact, now she gets excited to go the dentist because they always give her stickers and a coupon for a milk shake (hhahahaha, isn't that messed up?). She does better than I do even, because I won't go without a prior agreement that they'll meet me outside with the nitrous. Well, no, I'm not THAT bad...well, yeah, maybe I am.

on Dec 23, 2004

As for not having it drilled, I can't really understand why you don't want to do it. If you're worried about the kid getting scared of the dentist, that's not really a big deal. Chances are you're going to have to force them to go as they get older anyway because other kids will tell them. At least if the tooth is filled or removed there's no real chance of the nerve damage and jaw deformities you can get from damaged teeth.

1) Do you have kids?

2) I generally go by the view that there has to be a compelling reason to do something. Not the other way around. His teeth aren't damaged. He has a cavity in one baby tooth. I would say there's more chance of damaging a tooth by drilling it and filling it with some heavy metal than leaving it alone and waiting for it to naturally fall out in another year or so.

 

on Dec 24, 2004
The den-tist has to make a living somehow.....haha. I hate den-tists, except for Hermie on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. My parents had my cavities filled when I was little. I have dreaded going to the den-tist ever since!
on Dec 24, 2004
Reply By: cactoblastaPosted: Thursday, December 23, 2004I REALLY hate it when they think they know what's best for *your* children. Why, oh why can't they keep their nose *out* of our business!Well, he is a dentist ... you do go to dentists for advice about teeth, so when he offers his professional opinion it's hardly unsolicited.As for not having it drilled, I can't really understand why you don't want to do it. If you're worried about the kid getting scared of the dentist, that's not really a big deal. Chances are you're going to have to force them to go as they get older anyway because other kids will tell them. At least if the tooth is filled or removed there's no real chance of the nerve damage and jaw deformities you can get from damaged teeth


Draginol listened the first time the dentist spoke. When he said no thank you on the first go that should have been it. But no the jerk has to say more. Uncalled for and unsolicated advice. Also why bother to have *baby teeth* filled? At 8 years of age he'll be losing it real soon anyway.
on Dec 24, 2004
I can see his point if shes still is going to have those teeth for a few years more. Pretty much every tooth I lost growing up I got a cavity in it a few months before I lost it and I have pretty good teeth. (only issue I've have is a gap which they hounded me for years to get braces for. its not really noticeable at all) Hell, as I remember my dentist had a chuckle about after the 3rd or 4th time it happened.
on Dec 24, 2004
I didn't get two of my adult teeth - my baby teeth are still there (although now built up). You should make sure you attend to those teeth unless you're sure he's going to get his adult teeth. Thankfully, mine are still intact, and usable some 40-something years later.

My youngest daughter also has the same - two adult teeth not there in the same locale I'm missing my two adult teeth.

Just something to think about.

Merry Christmas

JW
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