Our daughter has one very annoying trait. When she eats, she can hold the food in her mouth for a ridiculous amount of time. It’s almost as though she forgets the food is there. Some of this is our fault because my wife and I both work, so our schedules are crazy and we don’t have regular sit down family meals. We are often feeding Danielle by herself and so we often let her do something else while she’s eating.
But honestly, it just seems gross to be holding food in your mouth that long. Meals are the primary source of stress between me and my daughter, simply because I spend most of the time saying “Danielle, chew your food” or “swallow, please”. It’s just crazy.
This has just been an annoyance for the most part. Every child has some crazy trait so we just figured this was Danielle’s. She is, for the most part, a fun, sweet, wonderful child.
Unfortunately we’ve recently discovered that her eating habits have dental implications. She doesn’t do many sweets and she’s good about brushing. But ultimately she’s holding food in her mouth for a couple hours a day. Not good for the teeth.
So she has a couple of cavities. At four. That’s just wrong. And we’re bad parents because we didn’t get her to a children’s dentist early enough. She saw my dentist at 2 and at 3 but he’s an adult dentist and really didn’t ask the right questions.
So today I took her to have a cavity filled. No fun. She was pretty much a trooper all things considered. She did cry during the Novocain injection (they don’t like laughing gas at 4 because kids that young tend to knock the mask off – so the gas ends up in the air and you end up with a loopy dentist). And she was nervous and had to hold both my hands during the whole procedure (think about getting a filling from a four year old perspective – it’s quite terrifying).
The part where she was the least nervous was actually the drilling part. She didn’t know what was happening (children’s dentists are good at hiding the equipment) and the sound was actually interesting to her. And it clearly didn’t hurt. And the part where they bake on the filling was fascinating (the thing puts out a blue light and the dentist gave Danielle a mirror to watch it). And she got stickers at the end so that was a big plus (I don’t recall stickers being such a big deal when I was a kid – to Danielle they are awesome).
The whole being numb part afterwards was also strange. The dentist warned us that four year olds have no concept of being numb and sure enough an hour later she was complaining that her lips and tongue “hurt”. They didn’t really hurt but they felt so weird that she had no other way of explaining it (and she didn’t like it).
Overall it went as well as could be expected. They only do one cavity at a time at this age so we have to go back for the other one next week. At least she’ll have a clue what to expect this time.