Monday, December 01, 2008

show and tell...

Bliss lost his first tooth of his own accord the day after Thanksgiving.
It is a big deal for so many reasons. I may have touched on it eons ago but will go through it in it's entirety and see if I can do so without breaking down.

When I was pregnant with Bliss I was on antibiotics twice for two different things. It is believed to have led to what Bliss went through but there are many school's of thought on it. I believe it was the cause as does my current pediatric specialist.

Anyhow Bliss' teeth came in falling apart. They were disintegrating immediately. He was exclusively breast fed for the first year and it is not a normal occurrence, but like with IF when you go through ECC (early childhood caries) you suddenly are opened to more info and meet others struggling with it. His teeth did not hurt him at first and I did not want to have to put him in a hospital to go under anesthesia at 9 months old so I waited.

Yes they started breaking off, but the only pain were the scabs on my nipples from his jagged teeth and he did not have pain yet. I could care less about my pain when he was faced with so much future hardship. At just after 12 months, his four front teeth were all broken down to gum level he began getting sensitive a bit and at 13 months I had to have them removed.

[I also want to take a second here to mention that in this world of ECC most people on the outside assume your child has Bottle Rot from neglect and there is quite a stigma tied to it. I was horrified though to hear stories of children being taken away by CPS due to severe cases of Bottle Rot when they may very well have had the problem from a completely different cause. ECC's

It is a predisposition to reacting badly to a normal mouth bacteria and then having that bacteria introduced into the weakened mouth. In my case they believe the antibiotics weakened his early immunity to it in utero and then likely he was exposed to it from me with anything from kissing to any contact with my saliva. All adults have the bacteria and kids get it sometimes early and sometimes later, but it usually only takes hold of a mouth susceptible to it from a weakened state or from severe neglect wearing down the mouth's resistance. A dear friend of mine from my Mother's Group had it with her second child and nothing at all with her first. She went through hell as well and could not get over how different it was for both her kids. CAN be caused by neglect and Bottle Rot and parents who fill bottle's with soda pop and all sorts of other crap, but this is not the only reason it happens and when it takes hold of a mouth, even from something as precious as kissing between mother and baby, it is not mentioned so much.]

I still did not want him having surgery at a hospital and I found a specialist who would do it very quickly with Novocaine and laughing gas. We spent that morning at the State Fair and then went to the appointment.

They were all wonderful and placed him on what they called a "huggy board" to hold him down, while I also held his hands and gave comfort. The entire procedure took less that 15 minutes from start to finish and it is the 15 minutes I wish most I could get back in my child's life. It is also when I learned my son does not react to laughing gas and barely reacts to Novocaine.

He was traumatized so deeply, which is not to say a hospital, an iv, and being away from me wouldn't have been worse, but with his amazing memory, at 6 years old now, he can recant the entire thing back to me and still does on occasion.

We still had teeth coming in with issues and I spent countless hours researching the problem trying to figure out what to do. He began chewing Xyletol gum between every meal along with the brushing and topical fluoride we used (which I am not even a fan of) and we tried hard to keep the decay at bay. He liked breast milk and water and orange juice but we were told no OJ, no dried fruit, night wean (I never did) and many other things, but for everything I was told by one person another expert would say it didn't matter, that it was already in his mouth (the bacteria that causes it) and that it would likely be a problem with all his baby teeth (though not his adult thank Goddess).

Finally a new dentist opened up a few towns away who offered in office twilight anesthesia and procedures. I went to her and she was not only amazing but her anesthesiologist was as well. Bliss now needed 2 crowns, my poor darling, and I was beside myself what to do. This office was terrific and they even arranged for surgery days to be no other clients, they would have the anesthesiologist meet us at the door and as I carried Bliss in he would greet and slyly give a shot to knock him out in order to then put him under. Yes the shot hurt him, but it was quick and I was assured he would not remember it because of what it was.

Well he DID remember it but it was a bit fuzzy and they were able to do all they needed to. They also informed me he took way more anesthesia than they expected and had a huge resistance to it. I was a wreck as it was the first time Bliss was away from me ever, even though it was just in a different room it felt like so much more When the anesthesiologist came out cradling Bliss in his arms while he still slept, as if he was his own child, I knew I was in the right spot.

Bliss has had to have 3 surgeries there, but I am happy to report it has been a year and a half since he had any decay. I use an amazing toothpaste that made a huge difference in not only his teeth but also mine (which has no fluoride btw) and the dentist really feels we are past the bad times with his baby teeth. We are still vigilant, and it has been hard both emotionally and economically (the insurance we had before would not cover this dentist or any surgery but a hospital stay so all the surgeries were cash or credit) but so worth it.

Bliss still has a lot of fear around the dentist and even though his last two visits and cleanings have been awesome, he has still done a lot of crying and hyperventilating. He is getting better but he remembers so much bad associated with the dentist it is hard for him.

So this is a really really long way of saying how big a deal it was for my baby to lose his first tooth of his own accord. It was also the first time the Tooth Fairy visited that he remembers. Back then she visited but he was still way to traumatized and young to get it or understand.

Now head over to Mel's and look at all the other Show and Tell's this week.

10 om's.:

mulberry said...

wowza... and i thought my childhood dentist experiences sucked! i had SOOOOOO many cavities in my baby teeth, but my big teeth have very few. they are much healthier :) glad bliss is starting to see the little ones go, and good riddance.

Dora said...

Wow! What a lot for a little guy to go through! So hard for you, too.

Peeveme said...

Hi Bleu, Just catching up on your blog. Wow, what story about the teeth stuff. Poor baby. That's just awful for the both of you. Will this condition improve or even go away?

The Tooth Fairy is a HUGE deal in you family! I'm so happy for him.

Stacey said...

so glad his teeth are doing well now. poor little guy.

my wife's brother had something similar where he lost all of his teeth as a child and had to get dentures.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

My heart was breaking for Bliss and all the fear that can come from doctors/dentists. I'm so glad he got to have the other side of the experience--the tooth fairy and the grin.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you guys have been through so much. He's so cute.

MrsSpock said...

Oh wow- I've never heard of this before. Poor Bliss! I had my tonsils out when I was 3 and I remember everything in vivid detail from start to finish, even being on the OR table as they put the gas on me. I wasn't traumatized by it- my sister had hers out at the same time and we shared a room, and we loved the visitors and the gifts of two dolls our great-uncle bought us. The most thing I was afraid of was a shot (it wasn't that bad), and being separated from Mommy. My mother worked at the hospital and was able to stay with us 24/7.

That stinks that he's had to have so many procedures. Laughing gas does nothing for me either...

Neenie said...

omg the poor baby! He has gone through so much with that little mouth of his....what bullshit man. That a poor baby would have to go through that- and what a financial blow to you guys as a family. But yes it was worth it and I am so happy that the tooth fairy came to see him (I hope she left him like $20 grand) and hugs to Bliss!
He is so freaking gorgous btw....hate that he has way better hair than me...

Billy said...

Wow! What an awful condition. And adding Bliss's good memory and his resistance to anesthesia. Poor child.

Happy to hear of the first tooth to come out of it's own accord, and that soon this will all be completely behind him.

gypsygrrl said...

i am almost in tears for your sweet boy ~ i had some dental trauma when i was 5 and it has coloured my adult history, so much so that i have two broken teeth (fillings) in my mouth and i keep putting it off. it is such a feeling of being violated, and i am not near as brave as your boy.

if it were up to me, i would have sedation just for cavities. i take usually 3-4x the amount of novacaine to be able to tolerate anything at all.

(((hugs)))) to bliss!