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02 July 2008

Tooth Ache

You remember that one thing I once said about refusing to post about dental appointments. Yeah? You remember. Oh. Because, um, I may have lied.


I thought there would be nothing to report. Which is sort of the way you hope a dental appointment will transpire.

We have cavities. And by we, I mean they. My two eldest. Cavities. I am so not gettin' my Honorable Mention ribbon this year.

Man, I was so close, too.

I think I could handle one cavity. Not so glaring and with all the flashy neon arrows pointing at me. Bad Mama. Terrrrrrrible Mama. Sugarhead, (whose name now looks like foreshadowing), has six. SIX. Sweet Pickle has two. I'm not good at math, but I know that's not good.

The big deal about this for me, is toothpaste. Fluoride, she (the dentist) said, will "arrest the problem".


There have been a few isshahs in my adult life that I have not wanted to budge on. One was organic milk. The other? Uh-huh. Fluoride. With gas costing upwards of $87 a gallon, we've started buying regular milk. I couldn't see paying $7-8 on milk every week. And my kids don't drink it, so I figured Stretch and I could bite the bullet. So about a month or so ago, we started drinking "the other stuff".

I have to pause for a moment of silence.

So, I've reconciled myself (mostly) to the whole milk thing, but now fluoride? Today, for possibly the first time ever (in our home), the kids brushed with Crest.

How can it be that by avoiding a toxin and trying to keep them in optimum health, I have damaged their teeth.

Sometimes I feel like a salmon of Capistrano (if they even exist). Swimming up-river. And I think, you know? Growing up, we brushed with Crest. Or Aquafresh. Or Close-Up. Or whatever was on sale. I've never had a cavity problem. We ate cheap bologna, Little Debbie's and that ham with the cheese chunks in it. We drank untold gallons of Kool-Aid with sugar that wasn't even measured. Just poured into the pitcher. And it was good. Who knows how much corn syrup or hydrogenated oils we consumed? I'm quite sure the amount of trash we ingested may well be considered legendary. The stuff of legends, people. Surely no one can eat that and live.

And yet here we are.

But I KNOW that stuff is bad for you. I know "it makes our bodies sad". In the long run. I've tried to be preventative. To think of paying more now (for things like supplements, etc.) so as to prevent a significant pay increase to hospitals and insurance companies later. To avoid dying a painful (and preventable) death on some hospital bed somewhere, with a self-inflicted disease. I've tried to be diligent (well, as diligent as a person with a propensity towards forgetfulness and laziness can be) about our health. I've read and read and read some more. I've gotten excited about things like raw diets, juicing, supplements, probiotics and fluoride-free toothpaste and water... I've been very interested in our health.

I'm so disappointed. And I feel somewhat disillusioned. And by now having my children brush with fluoride toothpaste, I feel like a fraud.

Of all the human traits that be, flakiness is one that sickens me.

This whole thing makes me feel tired. The bottom line is, I want what's best for my kids. I want to make choices that I can feel good about. But right now, I question my ability to do that well... and on the toothpaste issue, I feel guilty either way.

4 people love me:

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Does it make you feel better to know that I knowingly and willfully feed my children all sorts of processed/sugar filled foods?!? :) Do I think its BEST for them? Of course not...but there has to be some sort of balance in life. This balance works for our family...it's not for everyones...but it doesn't leave me feeling guilty either.

You are a great mom because you are seeking to do what's best for your kids...bending in a few areas for balance (i.e cavities) does not, in my opinion make you a fraud. It makes you honest and real :) Hope the guilt diminishes soon!

bren j. said...

Cavities! Boo! We haven't been to the dentist in, um, three years and I have this horrible feeling I will rue the day we ever decided we could wait that long to go - stupid insurance!

Have you tried Tom's of Maine? I've been using that since college and I love it. They've got a formula without flouride and one with, and the toothpaste isn't so dang sweet as Crest or Colgate or any of those. We've finally decided we can handle the flouride, but we still can't handle the sweet. yech!

Tante D's better half said...

Don't worry about those teeth, Jo. They're gonna get a whole new set real soon. You're doing a great job! I wanna be a mama like you when I grow up! :)

Tonja said...

did you vow to "never....(fill in the blank about fluoride and milk)"?
b/c you know how those things work...and you know how to break those stinky thangs!

sorry 'bout the cavities...but that DOES NOT make you a bad mom...if so, then join my club, 'cuz my kids have had their share!