Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Family Dentist

I note some discolouration of Missy's front tooth. The headache begins, the dizziness follows, and I have to steady myself.

What is that spot on Shemily's left incisor? My breathing quickens, I feel faint, and I have to sit down.

The A-Bomb claims his teeth hurt! The palpitations start, a sweaty episode is upon me, and I have to lie down.

This is my biggest fear. DECAY.
AC is a dentist - his kids can't have rotten teeth!
Their dad had booked them in for a check-up. As the appointment drew near my anxieties worsened. I began to regret every sneaky treat and sugary bribe that had ever passed the children's lips. The time eventually came for me to face the consequences of the sucrose behavioural therapy I had employed with such frequency. It was a grey and miserable day that we made the journey to AC's place of work. I was anxious and the kids were hyper (with excitement... not sugar). Not many people like going to the dentist and the sight of AC in his dental tunic armed with motorized instruments was deeply uncomfortable for me.

First in the chair was Missy. Understandably a little apprehensive after her last visit to the dentist, she took all of 30 seconds to succumb to her dads charm. She loved having her teeth tickled and was rewarded with not one, but two princess stickers.

Up next was the A-Bomb. Eager would be an understatement. He launched himself into the chair and prepared for blast-off. With his space goggles on he was ready for the mission to commence. Laying perfectly still he giggled the whole way through his check.

I don't know who was enjoying themselves more.

Shemily wouldn't even sit on the chair, or look at her dad, but was happy to take the stickers on offer and run. The little tinker.

My fears were washed away like mouthwash down the spitoon. AC gave us a clean bill of oral health and we were all caries free, at least until April 2012.  

AC felt it necessary given the nature of this post to include some basic dental advice, but I said no. Seeing his disappointment I buoyed his spirits by agreeing that if anyone should ask any dental related questions in the comments section, he can answer them. Geek.


  1. Wisdom teeth - menace to tranquility or storm in a teacup?

  2. Mark, excellent question. Definitely a menace to tranquillity. Yet again, key to keeping these bad boys right is impeccable oral hygiene. The problem with wisdom teeth is often 'pericoronitis' -when the space between the gum and tooth becomes inflamed due to the accumulation of plaque. Getting the toothbrush in the area at the first niggle will help- but not always. In more severe cases when there is spread of infection we will prescribe antibiotics. In most cases I flush some mouth-rinse(corsodyl)in the pocket between the gum and tooth and they settle down quickly. If the wizzies continue to cause a problem with well maintained hygiene- then we will treat them with cold steel and fresh air (take them out!).

  3. I have some uneven front teeth and a slight lingual cross-bite in the upper molars. Does the invisiline technology work for those conditions, or do I need to get full-blown braces?

  4. Love this. Wish I had a dentist in the family.

  5. Dan. Its a tricky one. Invisalign can normally correct mild and many moderate crowding problems- but cross-bites are more difficult. From your facebook pics I'd say that its highly likely you could get the crowding sorted. Cross-bite? I am not so sure. Best just book in for a consult with an orthodontist who will give you all the options and timescales along with the advantages/disadvantages of the treatments. Full-blown braces normally have a quicker treatment time- something to consider.

  6. i always love your blog posts! you make me smile! how awesome to have dad be the dentist - that's gotta make things fun and a little easier... :D and how about your teeth, mrs. dentist? haha

  7. Firstly, I must congratulate you on an outstanding web presence. For too long the world has waited for such a fusion ('amalgam', perhaps?) of literary excellence and online dental consultation. If ever there was a niche in the webosphere that needed filling, this is surely it.
    On the subject of 'filling', I have urgent need of your dental advice. Until recently I had an exceptionally talented dentist - a veritable giant of the dental surgery trade, although sadly a stranger to elementary English grammar - but he buggered of to, Jude, the obscure northern reaches of the English- (or, near-English, anyway) speaking world. Obviously I commend the selfless act of bringing dental enlightenment to the less privileged, but I am abandoned to the over-confident hands of the NHS barbarian jawsmiths of Oxfordshire.
    As I write to you, the neurophen/paracetamol/codeine combo is having marginal impact on the abscess behind upper right six, so I turn to you in some desperation. My grandfather regularly extoled the traditional wisdom of pulling all the teeth and investing in a trusty pair of aritificial knashers.
    What do you advise? Should I:
    a) take grandfather's advice (he lived to the age of 94 so cleary had a reasonable innate grasp of healthcare-related matters),
    b) investigate bulk-purchase discounts for Ibuprophen, or
    c) resign myself to the misplaced enthusiasm of the local (and, incidentally, half-blind) practitioner?

    Yours, agonisingly,
    (name withheld)

  8. Dear Anonymous,

    Your predicament is cleary (your spelling not mine)a dire one- dental pain is indeed an unenviable experience. Let me deal with each of your options one by one.

    a) The bible says you should 'honour thy mother and father'. It mentions nothing of honouring grandfathers and even less of their advice on dental matters. I recommend that saving teeth that are worth saving is worth it. However, teeth which cannot be repaired, cause pain and do not have a reasonable prognosis should be removed. Dentures are never fun though and I might kindly suggest that your grandfather's advice should suitably remain in the epoch it was uttered.

    b) Bulk buying ibuprofen is difficult. I once tried to buy two packets from sainsburys and I was prevented from doing so in-case I harmed myself.

    c) Shop around- find a dentist who you like. Its only £17 a try on the NHS? :-(
    I might be able to find some more recommendations in the Oxford area?

    Do not lose hope Anonymous.
    Kind Regards,

    Surfing Dentist

    PS I only read this message within the last hour so I imagine my advice is too

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  10. Thanks for the advice Estes Park Dental. But I think I'll stick with my husband for now.

  11. I'm glad their tooth problems have been treated by their dentist. They should avoid eating too much sweets and brush regularly in order to prevent tooth decay.

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