A mummy-fail as my daughter gets fillings.

Friend & foe.

Friend & foe.

Like a plumber with leaky pipes or a cleaner who lives in squalor, it would appear that I am teetering close to the word ‘hypocrite’.

You see on Miss F’s recent trip to the dentist, we discovered that she needed not one, but two fillings. Both in baby molars, but ones that need to stay put for another 3-4 years.

Turning up for our second appointment, I was primed and ready for the SCORN. Dentists specialise in it, don’t they? This dentist, who appears to be extremely nice, still couldn’t help but have a bit of a dig.

“So, we need to discuss her diet.”
Sigh. Heart sinks as I prepare for battle, because frankly, I’m a bit perplexed myself at how she’s managed to accrue TWO holes when I do what I do.

“Does she drink juice?”
No. No juice.
“Soft drink?”
Very rarely.
“Does she eat too many sweets?”
We both look at my skinny-mini daughter, who quite frankly could use a bit of fattening up, and it’s pretty evident that she doesn’t eat too many sweets.

But the inquisition continued.

“Does she eat fruit?”
“Well, yes.”
“Much fruit?”
I refrain from explaining that her name in blog-land is Miss Fruitarian, but concede that yes, she eats A LOT of fruit. Breakfast, fruit-break, recess, afternoon tea and sometimes dessert.

And there you have it. It turns out the problem is fruit. That and more generally the dawdling pace at which she eats. We have a joke about ‘Little Lulu bites’. She takes the tiniest bite and can make something last for an eternity. My mum will verify that one time she took AN HOUR to eat a Tim Tam. She can stretch a lolly bag out for several days, a bunch of grapes takes an entire afternoon and an ice block will have melted before she can finish it. From now on, after experiencing the joy of the dentist’s drill, she’s pledged to eat a whole lot faster.

DS (Dentist Scorn) shared the Lolly Bag policy that she enforces with her kids. You have until the car pulls up at home to eat the lot. After that it’s gone. And she really wishes that there wasn’t a ‘crunch & sip’ type breaks so close to recess. It’s just more hours of the day when sugars are dwelling near children’s teeth.

From now on, I’ve been ordered to supply carrot sticks, celery & capsicum sticks for one of these breaks. No more grapes or stone fruits. Also, I have to encourage the kids to rinse their mouths with water after they eat. Apparently sugar-free yoghurt is a good way to finish or a piece of cheese that will help to neutralise the sugars.

Sheesh. Perhaps calling myself hypocrite is a bit harsh, but it was a reminder that just like motherhood, healthy living is a complex beast and one that you often feel you can’t quite succeed at all the time.

16 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    jennifer said,

    that’s aweful….my daughter needed a filling last check up as well….I have to force her to eat one apple a day,she doesnt eat any other fruit at all……the dentist said it was mostly the shape of her teeth (it was in a back molar in a deep crevice)…..I still felt terrible………………………mothering is hard ……..one day at a time…..you do a great job

  2. 3

    Vanessa said,

    Just goes to show that you can’t win no matter what you do. All you can do is try your best and hope it all works out in the end. Mother’s guilt over fruit is too cruel.

    • 4

      wendyblume said,

      Very true! I’m not going to stress over the amount of fruit I let my child eat. But I will place more time limits on how long she takes to eat things and I will supervise her teeth brushing more often! I’d like to say I’ll supervise every time, but realistically I won’t – there’s too much else vying for my attention.

  3. 5

    Natural New Age Mum said,

    Oh Wendy – you are being way too hard on yourself!! Both my kids pretty much eat the same thing. Son has perfect teeth (he probably eats way more fruit too) and daughter has a few fillings. I really think your genetics has a lot to do with it! You can only do what you can do!

  4. 7

    Fiona Davis said,

    AAhh, the same problem in our house, we dont do softdrinkm very rare for juice and yes we have the fruit time at school, my soon to be 6 year old daughter just had 4 crowns on her baby molars, I was devastated, I thought I had always done the right thing.

  5. 8

    Megan D said,

    My little boy was 5 when he got his first filling. Back molar. Doesn’t drink much juice or fizzies, and we limit his sugary intake as best we can. He LOVES apples and is a very slow eater. Am spotting a trend here! I also had many fillings when I was a child so I’m partly blaming it on genetics also. Noone to blame really, sometimes these things happen!

  6. 9

    Cheesemonkey1 said,

    my son just got his first filling last week, also in a baby molar. i can almost pinpoint the culprit too – it was a piece of CARROT. we had such trouble getting the floss in between his jammed-up teeth, i thought i’d got it all and blamed the sore gum on rigorous flossing. he eats a lot of raw vegies and almost always got carrot stuck in there. hard not to feel guilty in the face of a dentist drill and we have resolved to buy him a two-minute egg-timer to prolong his own brushing on the nights we can’t do it ourselves. sigh.

  7. 11

    Sam said,

    Wendy the advice you’ve shared via your dentist nullifies any supposed fail. Teeth brushing with the kids is my most despised job, am so impressed that cheesemonkey *flosses* their kids’ teeth. I seldom floss my own teeth!

  8. 12

    Holly said,

    This makes me feel so much better! Like your daughter, my 8yo daughter had to have multiple fillings recently and I was horrified! We do not have juice or soft drink, very rarely have anything sweet, but she can eat 5-6 pieces of fruit a day! She is also very skinny, could do with a little extra to soften the landing. The dentist went over her diet with me, thought maybe I wasn’t listing everything…. fruit makes sense though!

  9. 14

    April said,

    Geez, thanks for sharing. I have a little nibbler too and I have a speed policy on sweets but not fruits. That will change as will ending with cheese or yoghurt!

  10. 15

    Tanya said,

    I had the same thing my daughter needed 5 fillings and I felt terrible…
    The dental nurse told me ” it is totally preventable ” and it’s what I feed her…. I was mortified as I don’t give juice cool drink or lollies except on occasions… They then said it was the fruit and yoghurt so you are damned if u do and damned if you dont

  11. 16

    vanessa said,

    have heard that end with nuts is good too. I nag mine to rinse and drink from their water bottle while at school after recess

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