Life, unedited. Take five.

We’d like to think we are a family that maintains a high standard for oral hygiene. However, we also have a 4 year old who is a picky eater with a sweet tooth (she loves her nutella for breakfast). We’ve told her how sugar bugs will eat holes in your teeth if you didn’t brush them off well enough. We’ve taken her in for a cleaning late last year, and that went off without a hitch. But you know where I’m going with this. A few days ago, we decided it would be a good time to fit in a visit to the dentist before school starts and the routine gets limiting. Elliotte’s usually excited to visit Daddy at the office. This time is no exception. She knows of the photo board that features the “Cavity-free Kids Club”, the same kids that get to dip into the treasure chest full of toys and pick anything of their choosing. She had her very own picture taken at her last visit and this time, she’s got her sights set on a little ring to add to her collection.

Here we are, at 8:15 am in the morning, having woken up at 6:30 am and driven across two bridges to get here. I suppose I shouldn’t whine – Daddy had to get to work at 7 am.


My girls greeting Deborah, the receptionist, at the door. Should I take her having her back against the wall as a sign? Goodness, I’m not even sure if I know what Janie’s thinking/looking at!


Treasure chest of toys: target, locked and loaded. Elliotte runs to tell her sister about it.


In the chair. She looks on warily as Daddy prepares the flouride polish for cleaning.


So far so good, first round of cleaning underway. Mouth wide open. Daddy is sorry to report that there are a few small cavities. No picture for her this time :(.


Time for a spit into Mr. Thirsty (aka the spit wand) and BRAAAAAKE!!!! The moment the wand touched her lip and suction applied on it, she clamped up her mouth, sat up and ripped off her bib. Notice her slightly chipmunked cheeks – full of saliva and polish debris. She refused to spit it out into the wand and only after much coaxing, did she finally spit into the sink (insert MAJOR stubbornness here). Suffice to say, Daddy is hugely disappointed, as am I. We pleaded with her but to no avail.

As we were leaving, I tried to explain to her why it was so important (and lucky!) that Daddy does the cleaning for her. Whining, tears streaming down her face, she said to me, “But I didn’t get a toy!”. Never mind the sugar bugs living in her teeth, SHE didn’t get the toy. When reasoning and explanations didn’t work, frustration got the better of me and I turned to scare tactics. That’s right, I’m not proud of it but I did it anyway – I was desperate. I told her we will have to refer her to a specialist, who undoubtedly will also have a Mr. Thirsty – there’s no escaping it. If she resist and the cavities lead to a toothache, she might have to undergo general anesthesia to resolve this issue (insert talk of needles here). This is when she burst out crying out. I was out of patience at 9 am and already feeling emotionally drained. Supportive mommy fail :(.The takeaway from all this? We are going to give it one good try the first Pro-D day of the school calendar. Hopefully, I’m not having to ship her off to some specialist for a simple cleaning and filling. The irony would be too much to bear.

Please click on over to my friend, Catherine, for her take on Getting Real and if you have a little extra time, keep on going until you get back here :). Happy Monday!


  • Catherine M. said:

    Oh no! Might be time for a third party intervention (insert friendly, cheery hygienist here). I suspect my rule of thumb of never teaching your own kids sports might also apply to dental appointments :) I hope the next one goes better.

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  • Gina said:

    Oh, you are brave to have Daddy do the cleaning! For my kids, that would be even harder. Poor thing...cavities are no fun. I have felt the sting of that already...I think I feel worse as a mother not doing enough for my kids' dental health when they get cavities. Hoping she'll cooperate better next time!

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