Last 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.