Cavities, General Anesthesia, and Surgery

Just a day after I posted my previous entry about feeding your toddler, I stumbled across the following article in the NY Times about the astounding rise in young children with cavities who must undergo general anesthesia and surgery to correct their problems.  I found it apropos to share the article not only because of my last entry, but because we have family and friends whose children have endured the same difficulties.

I would be lying if I said that we don’t struggle every now and then to get Logan to brush his teeth.  Some nights are fairly easy, other nights are harder.  In fact, I’ve never heard of a toddler who enjoyed brushing his/her teeth (if you have one, please let me know how you do it)!  The best technique we’ve discovered is to let our little guy brush everyone else’s teeth first; this includes model cars, airplanes, characters in books, and Mommy and Daddy of course.  Then, and only then, is he pretty chill about us brushing his teeth.  It’s usually a 10-15 minute process, but it works.  We are good about letting him “brush on his own” as well, although this generally consists of him dipping and re-dipping the toothbrush in a cup of water and sucking on the toothbrush itself.

To reduce the risk of cavities even further, think twice about bottles in bed, a constant supply of juice during the day, forgoing fluoride (if you brush with bottled water), skipping a nightly cleaning because your toddler is cranky, or altogether putting off the process of brushing teeth because your toddler just doesn’t like it.  General anesthesia and surgery are two things that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially in such a young person.