Birthdays and Bad Teeth

2:26 PM

On February 18, Brooklyn turned 8.


The fact that I am the mother of an 8 year old is utterly mind-boggling to me.
I remember turning 8 myself and feeling like it was the best age to be because writing the number 8 was the coolest number to write. So loopy and fun and you could just keep writing it and writing it without lifting your pencil. It was the perfect age.  I remember being a little sad when I turned 9 a year later. No more 8's to write.

Hopefully Brooklyn will enjoy being 8 as much as I did. 

To celebrate her day, we did it our usual way with the all day family party. Kyle took the day off work and we invited her best friend, Hollis, to spend the day with us. It being Brooklyn's day, she chose everything.

Breakfast: Monkey Bread

Activities: Trampoline Park

Lunch: Mellow mushroom

Afternoon activities: Dress-up, Legos, Polly Pockets, Barbies and then tennis
Dinner: Mexican Lasagna, salad and a Brownie Trifle for dessert with the rest of Hollis' family as our dinner guests.

Gift: Lego's Heartlake Horse Show set....she was so unsubtle about REALLY REALLY wanting this. She screamed with delight when she opened her present. My ears are still ringing.

It was a very very good day. All day long she kept saying, "This is the BEST day of my WHOLE LIFE!"

I love hearing things like that.

And I'm glad her birthday was wonderful because the very next day she woke up and had to spend 2 hours in the dentist chair. Sigh. To bring you, my dear reader, up to speed on why that would be necessary, I say to you this:

Bad Teeth. Heredity.

A Birthday Sweets Exception
 Bless her little heart, it is not her fault. It has nothing to do with what she eats (except that we did discover that Craisins are cavity-inducing due to stickiness and sugar content. Out they go). It seems my children got some wonky teeth from my genetics.

The crazy thing about all this is that it seems to have come from nowhere. She cried one day about a tooth that hurt and I look at the spot and there's a giant HOLE in her molar! WHAT????
Our regular dentist patched it temporarily and sent us to a pediodontist. Fortunately I am friends with one from church (and high school), so we just moved all our kids over there and are now making regular trips across town to get our teeth fixed up.  

She (and really, August and Dorien, too) needed a mouthful of help.
The dentist seemed genuinely puzzled by the extent of what he was seeing. He must have thought we lived on cokes and candy.  Interestingly, we don't at all. Very few juices ever...very very little candy...NO sodas...we eat really really healthy. It has to be genetics. My mom says she passed down her wonky teeth genes to all her kids who had more than the average share of cavities and teeth pulled, so I'm pretty sure that's the underlying cause.

This is further validated to me as Dorien also has 3 cavities which he just had filled, and his teeth aren't that old at all! Plus Brooklyn's cousins are finding themselves with lots of cavities out of the blue too...

Thank heavens for dental insurance.

Brooklyn had several fillings put in this morning and a crown put on and a molar pulled and a spacer put in. And the whole time she breathed her Goofy Gas (I really hate that stuff) and watched Finding Nemo. The whole movie. That tells you how long she was there. And she did really amazing. Not a peep out of her.

I'm really relieved that she only had to have one crown put on, because as Kyle will tell you, I threw a little hissy fit the day we found out how bad her teeth were and what interventions might be necessary. 

Back story: I grew up spending a week or so every summer in Monticello at our Farm going to a VBS at the small country church my Grandma attends. All the little country kids (hicks to us "city" kids) had mouths of silver crowns. Due primarily to just bad diets and poor dental care. But all I saw was silver teeth = poverty and rednecks. So, when Dr. Kitchens said she might need 4 crowns, I thought, oh ok, these days they surely are white - tooth colored. No way have they not advanced beyond those ghastly silver crowns. 

Ah. Rude awakening. As he described to Brooklyn what a crown was, including its SILVER color, I almost passed out. "What??!! Are you kidding me? In the last 20 years, with all our modern technological advancements, dentistry still hasn't come up with anything better than SILVER TEETH?!!! What is going on here??!!!!" (Kyle was with me at this appointment and he was a little surprised and amused at my outburst).

Dr. Kitchens calmly said, "I know...we can put a man on the moon, but we can't find anything better for crowns than silver." He went on to explain why silver was necessary, but all I could think was, "Oh my gosh. My sweet little girl is gonna look like one of those rednecks. No stinking way."

I then proceeded to negotiate. We talked through every possible scenario and option and finally settled on just 2 crowns and the rest fillings. Sigh of relief. Then, today, when she was there to get her stuff done, turns out the root on one of the molars to be crowned was dead, so he pulled the tooth and just put a spacer in so her permanent tooth can grow in. She only ended up with 1 crown. This pleased me immensely.

When we got in the car to go home after that first appointment, Kyle looked over at me and said wryly, "So you have a thing about silver teeth, do ya?" 

Molar and Dirty Grout
Call me crazy. Call me shallow. I get it. But those images from my childhood run deep and I feel very strongly about them. I realize the most important thing is to keep her mouth workable till these sad baby teeth fall out and then hopefully we'll just be dealing with braces, but I am so grateful that at least fillings can be done in white. 

I should add here that Brooklyn happens to be really excited about having a silver tooth. I think she feels glamorous. I guess that's ok. I'm thankful for dental insurance. And that I have an 8 year old. Regardless of the state of her teeth. And I really will be ok with silver teeth. It'll just take time.

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  1. I know what you mean about the silver teeth. My 3year old had to have 2 caps put on right before Christmas--on molars he had less than 3 months. . He also had to get 3 fillings. I was very thankful for both medical and dental insurance that day. It sounds like your daughter is a trouper though--I don't think I could have sat for that long.

  2. And happy birthday, Brooklyn! I hope there are no more dental visits for you this year! Looks like you had a great birthday, otherwise.