Down in the mouth

Mrs Dim has been saying for ages how good her blog would be if she ever got round to doing one, and I’m not arguing with her. I’m not showing her how to do it either, because there’s already enough stuff that she’s better than me at…Better at than me…Whatever.

Anyway, if she was writing a blog, this week she’d be writing about dentists. Teeth have been a major issue for her. As a teen she struggled through four years of braces and misery, and numerous extractions, and still she isn’t happy with the result. As we travelled about the country with her job, we had to change dentists on a regular basis, and she only found one that she actually liked and trusted. One, in sixteen years.

So we’ve come to North America, home of the brilliant white smile, and while there is little chance of saving our teeth, our kids have a fighting chance. Once the super-insurance package from Mrs Dim’s new job was in place, we wheeled the first of the weasels into the dentist. He had screaming hysterics and sent her on to the orthodontist. He burst into tears, mentioned extraction, three years of braces and six thousand dollars. Middle weasel was next, and the dentist fainted dead away. The orthodontist locked himself in a cupboard. Communicating by means of notes pushed under the door, he indicated that we should go to a Peridontist for (eeek!) grafts. GRAFTS! My eight-year-old weasel is going to have to have material taken from the roof of her mouth to repair her gums before the Orthodontist can start on his plan of widening the gaps in her lower jaw to allow all her adult teeth to grow without extractions. Luckily the first part of all this is only going to cost 1800 dollars. Maybe that’s just the brushing, I don’t know. I’m sure the Peridontist is absolutely free. Probably they give away balloons too.

At this point, I expect most of you are assuming that we sent the weasels to bed every night with a lollipop following their tea of a bowl of sugar with a cup of honey to drink. This is not true. Following Mrs Dim’s disastrous dentistry experiences, we have been conscientious brushers. When we noticed the problem with Middle Weasel’s gums, back in the UK, we went along to our NHS dentist. His translator explained that the problem was we had been brushing too much, and had worn away the gum. What could we do? we asked. Nothing, he said. We had broken our middle weasel already, stupid toothbrushing parents that we were. Because of this wonderful advice, we continued to brush Middle Weasel’s teeth, but went softly over the damaged area. This was a mistake, says our shiny new Orthodontist, as it has allowed plaque to build up there, infect the gum and make things worse. No, he says, the receding gums weren’t our fault, but them getting worse through plaque IS. D’oh!

Tiny Weasel got a good report from the dentist, but then since she’s only just lost her first two baby teeth, there isn’t a lot that could go wrong. I’m sure once she has a few more adult teeth we’ll discover we’ve been using the wrong end of the brush… We now have the brushing advice written on the Weasel’s bathroom mirror, and Eldest and Middle Weasel have a spare brush that they take into school to brush at lunchtime. Maybe by the time they’re fifteen, they’ll have teeth like Tom Cruise*.

*By which I mean they’ll have teeth like the teeth he has, not teeth that are short, insincere and gullible….

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