More than just a Toothbrush

wpid-20141112_105946.jpgLast week, Carys got a new toothbrush. Not just any old toothbrush, but a Dr Barman’s toothbrush. It has a flat head which looks like two tiny brushes stuck together at an angle. It fits perfectly over her teeth. What’s more, she likes it, and accepts it into her mouth. Score!

But that’s not all… she also got some new toothpaste. Not only is it flavourless, but it’s non-foaming too. I had always suspected that it was the taste of the toothpaste Carys objected to rather than the actual brushing. I had found a mild mint version, but she still reacted violently to it. I was advised against using flavoured baby toothpastes, as they’re not beneficial enough to adult teeth consuming an adult (ish) diet. But who knew you could get flavourless toothpaste, which is non-foaming, too? Double score!

But it doesn’t come cheap; you can’t buy it at all anywhere in the county of Cavan, where I live, so I bought it online… €7.50, plus another €5.00 postage. The tube is tiny, but you know what? It’s well worth it… if it works.

The first time we tried it, Carys saw the toothbrush coming, she screwed her whole body into a ball with her arms and legs crossed in front of her in self defence, as she always does. She’s only tiny, but she’s soooo strong! You can’t force her. It took a lot of coaxing before she allowed me anywhere near her face with that thing! But after a minute or so’s brushing, she relaxed. When I withdrew the toothbrush, I was horrified at the amount of blood in her mouth; it seems the Collis Curve brush I had been using was not as effective as I had thought.

Fast forward a week, and the bleeding has stopped. Her teeth really look clean, and the whole process is proving quite quick and relatively hassle free compared with before. She doesn’t fight me any more; when she sees the toothbrush, she actually opens her mouth! She even smiles during brushing! Which isn’t easy for anyone to do with a toothbrush in there. She pushes the brush away when I clean on her left side, but allows me to re-insert after a moment… her left side is her most sensitive side of her body. And as the paste is non foaming, there is no gagging, and no strings of frothy drool down her front afterwards.

Why on earth did no one tell me about this years ago? How less stressful our lives would have been, and perhaps Carys would not have developed any cavities.

The good news is, she only has the two. The bad news is, she will need a general anaesthetic to treat them, and the waiting list could be as much as a year long. For once, I’m glad the waiting list is so long… GA is so dangerous to her weak, swollen heart. For now, she has two temporary fillings. You can hardly see them. She fought like crazy, and it took four of us to hold her down while they were administered. There were no drills involved, no instruments of torture, but you’d have thought otherwise if you could have seen and heard her. Yep, GA it is then. It’s the only way. And she’ll know nothing about it.

But the thought of sitting in that chair holding her in my lap, feeling her body go limp as the drug takes effect… it scares me to death. If you’ve ever done that to your child, you’ll know; it feels like watching them die. No matter how many times you do it, it never gets any easier.

33 Comments on “More than just a Toothbrush

    • To be honest Rachel I think it would be better if she was out cold and had no memory of what was going on. She has no concept of what its all about. It would just be too traumatic for her.

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  1. At the moment we are relying on a flashing SpongeBob toothbrush to be interesting enough to be allowed in, I will certainly look for a Dr Barmans brush. Last year we had to do the full anaesthetic thing for having (9) baby teeth taken out, I’d rather not do that too often.
    It is a week of discoveries, we found a company that makes screens to protect the car driver from flying toys, feet, etc. etc. this week (They mostly make screens for taxi cabs). guess what is on my Christmas list now?

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    • Lol! Your son sounds quite a character and lots of fun! Last night Carys took one look at the brush, took her thumb out of her mouth of her own accord and opened her mouth without protest! She has NEVER done that before! This am she wasnt quite so keen, but once it was in we were grand! Its the toothpaste that has made all the difference, I think. Flashing Spongebob eh? Does he tell jokes too? 😀

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      • No, we have to provide all the other entertainment, singing, dancing etc. It took us ages to be able to use ‘real’ toothpaste, luckily Jay doesn’t like sugary drinks or eats.
        Our dentist (now we actually have one) is fantastic, she comes out to the car park to examine him while he is relaxed and happily and strapped into his car seat.

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  2. Congratulations on this toothpaste discovery and new brush success with Carys, Ali. Fantastic news! The temporary cavity fillers will do the job until that day you are fretting. Then you both will be good to go for a good long run of eating and brushing thereafter, right?!

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  3. Excellent to hear about this toothbrush and toothpaste. There should be some database with all these helpful items so that we don’t hear about them by accident or years after they were first available. I can liken it to not hearing early enough about Tempur pressure-relieving cushions. If I’d had them when they first came out, I’d have avoided a hell of a lot of problems with excess calcium in my back. High-five to both you and Cerys!

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  4. That’s awesome that you found such a great combination of toothbrush and toothpaste for Carys, Ali. That makes both her life and your life that much better and a little bit easier. Definitely a “score!”

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  5. What a great find, there is no better feeling than overcoming an issue with our kids, no matter how trivial they might be, you feel like you have just conquered Everest. Fair play to you for the find and to whoever came up with the idea 🙂

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  6. When Nick was still struggling with the paralysis and his pre-surgical jaw opening was still minimal we struggled to find anything that was both small and sufficiently effective. And he was an adult who knew the score.
    It is these small, seemingly insignificant things where there seems no information… things we all take for granted… that make all the difference, isn’t it?
    I’m glad you have found a solution that works for Carys.

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          • You think we don’t? 🙂
            Children don’t come with an instruction manual at the best of times… but there are usually plenty of folk happy to teach us where to start. These rarer situations can leave you out on a very lonely limb, not knowing if you are doing things anywhere near ‘right’. But we do it with love, with experience, and do our best… even if we don’t always get it ‘right’.

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            • Yes, but always with a sense that we could/ should have done better… thats a mothers guilt, I guess. It really helps to know that you’re not alone though, doesnt it?

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            • It’s a bit of a relief sometimes.
              You know I felt… still feel… a completely irrational guilt that I didn’t protect my sons from this attack.. that happened to an adult who had left home years before and was living in a town far away… I’m their Mum. I ‘should have’ been able to protect them. Daft, isn’t it? But you can’t always help those feelings of could have/should have.

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            • It may be daft, but I do daft very well, (its one of the things I really do do very well!) and totally understand that feeling, lol! I don’t know if we ever get over that, no matter how old we, and they, get.

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            • I’m not sure we do… bear in mind Nick is thirty and I’m a grandmother now… I think we just learn to accept that kind of daft comes with the job description. And maybe learn to forgive ourselves a little easier for it.

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